Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Job Of A Journalist & The Duke Lacosse Case

Former Raleigh News & Observer columnist Dennis Rogers recently made a number of false statements concerning some of this blog's posts and its readers commenters. See Former N&O Columnist Told: "Look To Yourself."

Here, without any further comment from me, is what JinC reader Ryan Paige wrote in response to Rogers - - -

I was amazed at the cruelty and mean spirits exhibited by the News and Observer (and Dennis Rogers in particular) when it came to the Duke Lacrosse case.

The job of a journalist (columnists included) is to seek the truth. The truth. Not the convenient truth. Not the truth that serves the narrative you wish to call attention to. Not the truth only so far as it serves your world view or the story you want to tell.

Did you ever once consider what your casual disregard for the truth meant, not only to those who were falsely accused of a crime that never happened, but also to those who have to work that much harder to regain the public's trust that you so casually threw away with your blatant disregard for facts and reality?

Those people who work so hard for middle class salaries - who sweep the floors and drive trucks and do all the other things to bring the news to the public? They were all counting on you and other journalists at your paper to be honest, and you just couldn't be bothered.

And now the ship is sinking, and it's at least partially your fault, Mr. Rogers. Shouldn't you be crafting a heartfelt apology to them rather than chastising the lot of us for finding some degree of justice in the current mess your former paper now finds itself in?

Perhaps had you and your colleagues handled the story in an honest fashion (actually reporting rather than printing some half-remembered claim from someone who was provably lying); perhaps had you been appropriately outraged at the corruption in Durham during this case, maybe we'd all be joining in lamenting the precarious position the N&O now finds itself in.

Of course, maybe if the N&O had those kinds of reporters working there back in 2006, they wouldn't be in quite as precarious a situation now.

Ryan Paige


Anonymous said...

Paige's comments are spot on. Rogers and his colleagues are reaping what they have sowed - it is unfortunate that there are those who will also suffer. However, that is no different than those at AIG who swept the floors, did the filing, and the hundred other myriad jobs who now find themselves out in the cold. They trusted that those in control were making wise decisions. THey were encouraged to trust the company for which they worked - I would not be surprised to hear that they had many employees at the lowest levels who palced their extra monies in AIG stock - just as those who worked at the lowest levels at Enron who lost their jobs and their savings.
Executives and those in positions of authority have a responsibility to be honest in their dealings (in part, that is why they receive the pay that they do). When they abdicate that responsibility, they hurt not only themselves but many others. Rogers and those at the N&O who were part of the lacrosse witchhunt should take a long and hard look at their responsibility in the N&O debacle.

Anonymous said...

"Former Raleigh News & Observer columnist Dennis Rogers recently made a number of false statements including claiming commenters here. See adfad adfad adfafda"


JWM said...

Anon @ 10:10,

Thanks for calling that stumble to my attention.

It's fixed now.

More about it later.


Anonymous said...

Not all journalists try to deny the harm their bias and outright dishonesty has done to their profession. On the last thread some genius declared posters here did not understand the demise of print news.

Anonymous - “Per usual, this blog and most of the people who comment show a FUNDAMENTAL lack of understanding about the media business”.

So the genius better write Howie Kurtz [eroding trust] at once to tell him he doesn’t understand the media business. Bhahahahaha
Linus, reporter
March 1st, 2009 Jeff Jarvis
“Howie Kurtz minced no words in today’s Washington Post writing about the state and fate of American newspapers:
Why a once-profitable industry suddenly seems as outmoded as America’s automakers is a tale that involves [arrogance,] [mistakes,] [eroding trust] and the rise of a digital world in which newspapers feel compelled to give away their content.”
@Jeff Jaris -