The news is – or should be – the news.
The Good In Journalism
In the days of my parents and grandparents, or your grands and great-grandparents, the news was a simpler thing. There were three networks, ABC, CBS and NBC. They had nightly newscasts where those broadcast journalists set the agenda for the nation. Many of the producers for those newscasts were heavily influenced by the nation’s great newspapers: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Charlotte News & Observer, The St. Petersburg Times, The Plain Dealer, The Seattle Post & Intelligencer …
The glue holding all of this information together into something that the U.S. public could (generally) trust was journalism. Most journalists worked for their community’s daily newspaper – or even their community’s other daily newspaper – and operated under professional standards and a code of ethics. Professional standards include things like accuracy, correct or standardized use of language, objectivity (reporting both sides of a story) and a system of reporting and the checks and balances known as editing. Ethics in journalism involves objectivity, and the sense that professional journalists hold themselves outside of the story or beat that they cover. For instance, someone who calls herself a journalist would not report from (and only) one point of view or accept anything of value (other than information) from a source.
In the recent past, the nation or your community, had a common understanding of the “news” and the basis for debate started from the same basic information. This wasn’t always the best system, as the Pentagon Papers taught us, but it seemed to work better then than what we have now.
Here’s What We’ve Come To
Axios’ media newsletter reported September 26, 2017, three new “media” sources for the world. Former VP Joe Biden’s daily briefing, a site being touted by Hillary Clinton, Verrit, and a “news” site by the Republican Governor’s Association.
Axios announced them under the apt headline, “Choose Your News.”
So, Why Clips and Comment?
Put simply, you shouldn’t have to “choose your news.” And for fuck’s sake, you shouldn’t be choosing it from partisan, one-sided sources. Although they are fewer in number, there are still news organizations that are out there working according to journalistic standards and ethics. The Republican Governor’s Association isn’t one of them. Neither is Think Progress. Breitbart sure as hell isn’t. Drudge could be such a force for good, but it’s one-sided and many of the links go to spurious sources.
The genius of Drudge is aggregation. Bringing together a bunch of links/headlines onto one page and making it easy for a reader to stay up on things is/was a brilliant use of the web. The problem with the Drudge Report is that if you only get your news from there, you’re getting a one-sided (and often twisted) view of the world.
Clips and Comment was first published in 2008 under a nom de plume, Pelikan. The difference today is that I publish as me, and I’m happy to stand up for my editorial decisions regarding the clips. I’ll also engage on the “comment” part of the site, via the comments.
My standard for linking in the “clips” or “real news” section of this site is pretty simple. Stories should be timely, from sources that practice journalistic standards and/or ethics; or, if they are opinion, marked as so. While I am a registered Democrat, I believe that great information is more important for people than ideology, and will do my best to present both sides via the clips. The clips are also open to comment, so have it, let’s discuss.
At any rate, I’m concerned, as a U.S. citizen, about the polarization of opinion and ideology in this country. Clips and Comment is my way to aggregate “real news” and offer considered opinion on current events.