Journalists wither under scrutiny

As a former newspaper journalist, I'm amazed by some of the hysteria that journalists are exhibiting about a plan for webloggers to follow and critique specific political journalists during the 2004 presidential campaign.

A case in point is the reaction by Alan Judd, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The idea of 'tracking' individual campaign reporters -- as on Wilgoren Watch -- is absurd. The people behind such efforts would be satisified with nothing other than stories effusively praising Howard Dean and blasting Bush as the great satan. What they advocate isn't press criticism, it's stalking.

It's hilarious to watch professional journalists, a group that makes their living subjecting public figures and private citizens to scrutiny and even ridicule, turn into delicate flowers at the mere thought of being subjected to the same treatment.


I find Alan Judd's response rather entertaining. This is a newspaper that encourages its reporters to hold stories until they can get quotes to "ratchet up" the melodrama. As a result, facts end up on the floor, if they were there to be cut at all, and very little information, in either a McLuhan or Hughes sense, reaches the page.

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