Ink-Stained Retches

Today's unanticipated factoid: among the people increasingly "less trusting of the professional behavior" of journalists are . . . journalists! A survey of professional journalists by Euro RSCG Magnet, a PR and marketing outfit, and Columbia University, found that "45 percent of journalists are less trusting of the professional behavior of their own colleagues -- up from 34 percent in 2003." Many of these journalists were unhappy about the recent unpleasantness involving Dan Rather: "78 percent believe that Rathergate has profoundly altered the media's credibility."

The welcome news is that "93 percent of journalists said they are being 'excruciatingly careful' in fact-checking their stories in 2005 -- a huge increase from 59 percent in 2003, likely a reflection of the press's declining credibility." The grabber here is here is that in 2003, 41 percent of journalists said they were being something other than 'excruciatingly careful' in fact-checking their stories.

The survey actually focused on journalists' attitude toward blogs. "[O]nly 1 percent believe blogs are credible," yet "more than half of journalists use Weblogs regularly, with 28 percent relying on them for day-to-day reporting." Assemble those responses as you wish. Many pro journalists use blogs, the survey reported, to find story ideas and sources.

Tech blogs get especially high marks. Indeed, one of the Columbia profs involved in the survey observed that "it is becoming imperative that journalists and journalism students continue to integrate blogs, especially blogs that cover technology, into their reporting practices."

Here's Washingtonian Magazine's list of "Best Political Blogs: DC Journalists Pick Their Favorites." (Nick posted about this list here.) Hit&Run made the cut.

Finally, in late-breaking developments involving the agenda-setting press, The New York Times today kicks off a poker column. Texas Hold'em, writes James McManus in the debut offering, is "intrinsically beautiful."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • tros||

    I'm holding my breath until our favorite intellectual snobs find some classical allusion to apply to our least appropriate subject.

  • Jeff||

    Bill Maher once commented that poker played on TV is one step away from a show where Camryn Manheim takes a coin to her scratch tickets.

  • ||

    "it is becoming imperative that journalists and journalism students continue to integrate blogs, especially blogs that cover technology, into their reporting practices."

    Translation: Our 60-something, Mac-using, technology columnist hasn't scored us a single male reader under 40, and our status as the only idiots out there who actually believe Valley PR harms our credibility in the long term. But we hear Dell offers good value.

  • ||

    Come on Jeff, televised poker is at least as exciting as televised golf. And if they do descend into Manheim, hopefully they'll at least show her spending her winnings on cheese puffs and diet coke.

  • MikeT||

    I think that the argument that it will help urban renewal is false. The poor will be the ones hit hardest by this ruling and few developers really want to go in and build new lower-income housing since it's a low-profit margin housing. Also, in areas with little free land which do you think they'll build, a big and expensive house or several inexpensive ones that may not bring in nearly the profit that the large one does?

  • tros||


    So is this the same idea as getting paid to write dirty novels? I had a history prof who told the class he used to do it to make some extra cash and that it was a pretty straightforward way to make a buck. Flexible style guidelines and the only important thing is the minimum number of pages and sex acts, no? I guess this is the serial version.

    Can you provide me with a link/email to your employer? Of course I would not post such filth here, but the internet is full of people I don't like, so I think I could make quite a bit of money. Does anyone else think it would be interesting to be a professional troll, or am I just wierd?

  • ||

    Is this the thread where anyone writes about anything? Did I miss something?

  • ||

    hahaha, nicely done Tros

  • ||

    Removing the porn spamster was a good idea. But if you are going to remove Tros's joke about it, then you have to remove my post where I laughed at it. Otherwise I look like a weirdo.

  • tros||

    Thanks, except now that it's deleted my comment doesn't make sense. No, I didn't post that. Even if I did, I wouldn't have said I lived in Scotland. I'd probably take more of an Algerian bank fraud no speak English approach.

  • ||

    But how will porn spam help urban renewal? I'd certainly support it if if could.

  • ||

    I think it might help unskilled labourers, which in turn might help urban renewal (getting the poor richer will make poor nighebourhoods richer, therefore nicer urban centers) see, spamming is an act which has low set up costs (cheaper computer and internet connection) and only requires a rudemntory grasp of english, i.e. perfect for thos who are structural unemployed and live in the worse nighbourhoods.

    however, to make it work the us would need to put tariffs on the imported/outsourced spam to bring these domestic workers into place.

  • tros||

    But what about the people who employ and train spammers? Despite our atrocious public education, the supply of poor English speakers will inevitably be much higher outside the US, so the spam cartels will be forced to pay artificially high wages!

  • ||

    So this is what it's come to, Reason as puritanical censors of adult-themed comments. Next up, they head to Hollywood for "Reason," the movie, rated PG. Bring the kiddies.

  • ||

    Ink-Stained Retches
    As Google might say, did you mean "Ink-Stained Wretches"? Or do these guys make you so sick you want to retch?

  • ||

    You misspelled "wretches" unless you wanted to try and compare journalists to a puddle of vomit.

    Not that it doesn't still work.

  • ||

    Several problems come to mind: TV news rarely makes any attempt to do journalism. They prefer titillation, and even when they do hard news, the information contained in a 2 minute story is equivalent to what can be found in the lede paragraph of a well-written news story.

    Print also suffers from the titillation factor. Also, a lot of mainstream papers are in the thrall of PR types (read-professional liars), and get a case of the wet panties over every new stadium/develpment project to come along. Or perhaps I've just been reading the Kansas City Start too much.

  • R C Dean||

    Also, a lot of mainstream papers are in the thrall of PR types (read-professional liars), and get a case of the wet panties over every new stadium/develpment project to come along.

    This is what leads to the dampness:

    (1) One of the big drivers of any paper's circulation and ad revenues is the sports page.

    (2) The sports page depends on team owners giving that paper's reporters good access.

    (3) The paper therefore won't do anything to piss off the team owner in a major way.

    (4) Nothing pisses of a team owner like someone screwing with his billion-dollar stick-up of the local tax base.

    (5) Therefore . . . .

  • ||

    RC Dean-Makes sense to me.

  • ||

    R C

    The City Editor of a small city daily in Canada told me that the biggest driver of his paper's ad revenues was the Real Estate Section.

    Hence negative stories about the real estate market were absolutely forbidden.

    I wouldn't be surprized to find that typical.

  • ||

    If I correctly understand your post:
    1) More reporters are being increasingly careful to get their facts straight
    2) Reporters Consider BLOGS not credible
    3) reporters get a lot of leads for strories from BLOGS

    Somehow the sum of 2) + 3) seems to contradict 1) !

  • ||

    Well, a lot of blogs don't consider journalists to be very credible either, so it probably evens out.

    Actually, it could still be true that journalists get lots of leads from blogs, but use other sources to check out the facts. This implies that blogs provide a lot of false leads that get winnowed out, but apparently enough legit ones that journalists still consider them worth the trouble.

    Myself, my skepticism toward professional offline journalists has only increases, while I am amazed how readily one can find the truth behind incorrect assertions that frequently circulate online.

  • Abbe Buck||

    I think they mix up well. See my blog Thanks !!

  • Billy Beck||

    This is appalling.

    There is no such thing as the noun, "retch".

    You're a fucking idiot, Freund.

    At the least, though, you're living in the right culture for it.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.