…we live in an era when just about every issue’s been politicized—from housing prices to birth control to student test scores. Even the weather. Heck, it’s hard to find a beat outside sports and movie reviews where reporters aren’t afraid to take a stand. We’ve got to change. If traditional news organizations are to survive in the Internet era, they’ve got to make changes that keep them from consistently barfing out stories that mislead their audience and fail to stand the test of time. The ultimate test for journalism doesn’t lie in how a story was reported or presented. It lies in whether the information the story presents is true. Let’s stop being naive. Accusations of partisanship and bias are being used by people on the wrong side of the facts to bully us into not pointing that out. Let’s quit accommodating them by dumbing down journalism to stenography. We need to do better. If we’re to win over more readers (which makes our publications more attractive to advertisers) or even to convince some of those readers to pay us for our reporting, we have to be find a away to be right more often. And that means calling out the liars and fools among our sources.
Robert Niles, at the Online Journalism Review.