“We Need More Opinion in News Not Less”: a response to Michael Arrington (July 8th)

Posted: July 9, 2010 in Opinions, Personal, Technology
Tags: , , ,

I read with great interest the article scripted by Michael Arrington in “TechCrunch” July 8th as there appeared a slight naivety in his comment.

I am new to “TechCruch”, and the first thing I note from the blogs contained within is that they “appear” unbiased. The blogs are informative, to my knowledge factual, and well written: which is exactly what the authors are, paid to do.

Trained reporters are employed to present intellectual opinion reflecting the underlying position of an employer. You would not expect, Liberal newspaper reporter presenting a Conservative opinion. A favourite saying of mine attributed to Ludwigg Wittgenstein (1889-1951) is, “everyone is entitled to an opinion, however intellect is less equitably distributed.” The point here is if individuals require more opinion in news, then reporters would need to consider at an early stage whether they work freelance or for an establishment. Which system would have the greatest influence on their reporting ability?

Reference to reporters being “punished or even fired” for expressing opinions, noted at the beginning of the article suggests that Arrington has not heard the idiom “he who pays the piper calls the tune”. If he had then why would the action taken against the reporters come as a surprise. It also suggests a lack of intellect on behalf of the journalists.

Later in the article Arrington mentions a discussion with a political journalist; drawing the conclusion that the journalist was wrong in not publicising his personal political opinions.

An added adjective here, an added paragraph there, just the right quote from a source and voilà, you’ve got yourself an opinion piece masked as a straight up unbiased piece of reporting.

If Arrington could see this, then obviously so could the journalist ergo so would the journalist’s employer.

With the advent of the internet and the ability to “blog”, an opportunity has been created to access more opinionated reporting: however the question now is, how much of what we read is an intellectual opinion”?


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