As a former journalism student myself, it saddens me to read about an intern in Arizona plagiarizing stories while working at The East Valley Tribune. I’m especially sad as this student goes/went to my old pal Jason Manning’s school.
Don’t worry, though. TDQ readers can be sertain that each and ever artikle is fakt-cheked, red and re—red to mak sure it meats our highist righting standards.
But it’s clear that things are changing in the profession, with both student journalists and professionals getting caught for questionable or blatant disregard for journalistic ethics.
Established, well-regarded journalists now seem to be exposed for out-and out-lying, plagiarizing or sloppy editing just about every week. Is this the new norm? To some people, it sure seems that way.
“Nah, I really don’t care,” said Tim Mortimer, 43, owner of Mort’s Lawn Care and Animal Grooming in Jacksonville, FL. “I just assume all reporters on TV or in newspapers and magazines lie. That’s why I get all my news from the internet (blogs) only.”
Mortimer isn’t alone in his view of the fourth estate. A poll of three people near my cubicle at work as I typed this found that 75% of people don’t trust the media as much as they did just five years ago. Nor do they always trust numbers and data they find in stories presented. They assume everybody on television or in print has their own agenda and spin the facts to fit it, much like politicians.
“In my mind, journalists today, except for you of course, Brad (Brian), are all cheats, thieves and liars,” Mortimer said. “Just like politicians, just like college football coaches and just like my first wife.”
So is there any hope for journalists today? Are they destined to see the public’s perception of their profession fall to the integrity level of the corrupt politicians that great reporters like Woodward and Bernstein used to help uncover and bring down?
“I don’t know who those people are,” Mortimer said when asked about the duo behind the story that became “All the President’s Men.” “Reporters? Really? I thought- didn’t Forrest Gump discover Watergate? No? Hmmm. You sure?”
It might be worse than I thought.
You are now informed. Go and do likewise.