HERE.Journalism professors are constantly telling their students to write articles that are accurate, fair and balanced "Fair and Balanced" is a trademarked slogan used by American news broadcaster Fox News Channel. The slogan was originally used in conjunction with the phrase "Real Journalism. . The first two are fairly easy to explain. But what does "balanced" mean exactly? Does it mean all issues have equal parts? And, if not, how does one determine the appropriate amount of coverage to give one side or another in a dispute? It's not an easy question to answer.
Luckily, on Sunday, Dec. 5, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the only major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri. Although written to serve Greater St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the region, and is available and read as far west as Springfield, Missouri. provided journalism teachers and students everywhere with a perfect example of what a truly balanced story should not be.
On Saturday, Dec. 4, a conference was held at Webster University Webster today operates as an independent, comprehensive, non-denominational university with campus locations around the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide array of disciplines, including the liberal arts, fine and performing arts, teacher education, business called "Democracy for the Many." It was billed as being "progressive"--the new, somewhat chic, somewhat fuzzy term for leftist left·ism also Left·ism
1. The ideology of the political left.
2. Belief in or support of the tenets of the political left.
left . Of the several speakers on the program, two were prominent, national figures: Michael Parenti Michael Parenti (born 1933) is an American political scientist, historian, and media critic. Background
Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and has taught at several universities, colleges, and other institutions. , an anti-capitalist intellectual, writer and commentator, and Benjamin Barber Benjamin R. Barber (b. August 2, 1939) is an American political theorist perhaps best known for his 1996 bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld.
He currently holds the positions of Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at , a mainstream liberal political scientist who has been a consultant to President Bill Clinton.
The reaction to their talks was not balanced. While Barber was interesting, passionate and well-received, Parenti captured the large crowd. His talk was interrupted numerous times with laugher and applause. At the end of his speech, he received a long ovation. It was pretty obvious where the hearts of the mainly under-40 listeners lay. They were respectful of Barber. But they seemed hungry for the fire and energy of Parenti.
The next day, though, the story in the Post concentrated on Barber and several of the conference attendees. It didn't even mention Parenti or what he had to say about democracy and wealth.
SJR SJR Senate Joint Resolution
SJR Superjoint Ritual (band)
SJR St John Rigby (Catholic Sixth Form College)
SJR Signal-To-Jammer Ratio
SJR Saint Joseph Regional High School (USA) does not blame the reporter. In fact, she has long held our respect as an excellent journalist.
We do blame, however, the editors at the Post. They have created an atmosphere at the city's only daily where the newspaper's image is more important than news, where corporate agendas are made to appear as if they were civic agendas, and where "groupthink group·think
The act or practice of reasoning or decision-making by a group, especially when characterized by uncritical acceptance or conformity to prevailing points of view.
Noun 1. " has become a byword by·word also by-word
a. A proverbial expression; a proverb.
b. An often-used word or phrase.
2. for leadership. Our guess is that the reporter was either instructed not to mention Parenti or knew that any mention of him would bring down admonishments on her head from top editors. These folks are deathly death·ly
1. Of, resembling, or characteristic of death: a deathly silence.
2. Causing death; fatal.
1. In the manner of death.
2. afraid that they might offend someone--in this case, probably businessmen--with any criticism of capitalism or the corporate state.
Here's another example of what I mean. On Nov. 12 and Nov. 28, the Post editorialized about "zero tolerance The policy of applying laws or penalties to even minor infringements of a code in order to reinforce its overall importance and enhance deterrence.
Since the 1980s the phrase zero tolerance has signified a philosophy toward illegal conduct that favors strict imposition of ." They argued strongly that zero-tolerance policies were not flexible enough, that "Draconian discipline" should not be enforced at the expense of "common sense and compassion."
In the weeks leading up to the editorials, seven black students had been expelled from a Decatur, Ill. high school for fighting at a football game. The school said it had a zero-tolerance policy for violence and, even though nobody was seriously hurt, the students faced harsh punishment. The Rev. Jesse Jackson Noun 1. Jesse Jackson - United States civil rights leader who led a national campaign against racial discrimination and ran for presidential nomination (born in 1941)
Jesse Louis Jackson, Jackson came to Decatur and protested the expulsion, saying basically that the crime didn't fit the punishment. The Post agreed.
So does SJR.
But just a few weeks before its editorial stand against zero tolerance, the Post fired one of its long-time advertising salespeople, a 54-year-old white man named Albert Arno, evoking an unspoken zero-tolerance policy of its own.
One day in September, Arno lost his cool. Someone threw a container of white paint from the window of a school bus, hitting Arno's car. He went nuts. He boarded the bus and yelled at the kids. Two of the children told the police that Arno had used the N-word in his tirade. (By the way, a 13-year-old boy was arrested for hitting Arno with his book bag, drawing blood.)
In any event, a few days later, Arno was fired.
Although the exact phrase wasn't used, everyone was left to understand that the Post had a zero tolerance for even the slightest manifestation of racism, like using the N-word. They didn't want to offend people in the black community by defending a man with an otherwise spotless record. So the Post management decided that "Draconian discipline" should be, in this case, enforced at the expense of "common sense and compassion."
It's hypocritical, of course, but better to be hypocritical than to offend someone apparently.
It's the same kind of outrageous thinking that allows editors at the Post to defend every bizarre action of the St. Louis Public Schools St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) is the school district that operates public schools in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, United States. With a 2005 enrollment of approximately 33,000 students it is the largest public school district in the state of Missouri. while sending their own kids to private schools. It's the same kind of hypocrisy that allows the Post to endorse every regressive sales-tax plan to pay for the pet projects of their rich and powerful allies while pretending to defend the poor. (When was the last time the Post editorialized in favor of raising the upper brackets of the personal income tax?)
Don't get me wrong. SJR still believes there are a lot of good journalists at the Post. The Washington bureau has been doing excellent work for the last couple of years. And other individual reporters have written fine stories. Overall, the editorial page is pretty good. But most of the time, most of the newspaper is mush (MultiUser Shared Hallucination) See MUD.
1. (games) MUSH - Multi-User Shared Hallucination.
2. (messaging) MUSH - Mail Users' Shell. . You just can't help but notice. Something's wrong at the Post.
Folks are constantly complaining about it. They want to know what's wrong. I tell them I'm not sure, but it seems like the Post has lost its desire for excellence.
Here's just one example of dozens of mistakes you'll find every day in the Post. A headline in the sports section Noun 1. sports section - the section of a newspaper that reports on sports
sports page - any page in the sports section of a newspaper
newspaper, paper - a daily or weekly publication on folded sheets; contains news and articles and advertisements; "he read reads "Missouri wins by 70 points over Centenary," but in the story you discover the score was 111-31. That's 80 points guys.
When the Post-Dispatch helped close down the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat The St. Louis Globe-Democrat (casually referred to as The Globe) was a daily newspaper based in St. Louis, Missouri. It began operations on July 1, 1852 as the Missouri Democrat, which later merged with the St. Louis Globe. It was St. back in the 1980s, some latent guilt made its management promise St. Louisans that the Post would try to present conservative as well as liberal points-of-view. It wanted to be all things to all people. That was the first sign they were running scared. Now they don't want to offend anyone--whites, blacks, conservatives, liberals, women, Asians, anybody but possibly white, working-class males, them they don't care much about. The Post has become unbalanced in its search for balance.
The fire is gone.
Ed Bishop is editor of SJR.