- Hardcover: 241 pages
- Publisher: Down Home Press; 2 edition (Mar 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1878086936
- ISBN-13: 978-1878086938
- Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.2 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,000,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Along the way, Bledsoe surfaces these problems, most of them well-known to the public yet blind spots to mainstream journalists:
1. Assignment of stories is not based on an objective pursuit of the news. Rather, they reveal the well-documented liberal biases and desire to sensationalize from even the hometown or 'local' paper.
2. Many journalists want to write something that gets them attention from their peers. There is more ego and entertainment than education or integrity in such people.
3. "Quotes" in articles are not always the real words of the person to whom they are attributed. And paraphrases are even worse.
4. Once a story is printed, it takes on a life of its own, often picked up uncritically by other media outlets. This multiplies the injury.
5. The truth is no defense against a reckless, opinionated journalist.
After the death of the instructor, with a case of libel in the works, there was little reason to show the videotapes of the class to the public. Perhaps that would have helped. But it is not an obligation of the person who organized the class.
Apply this same lens to works like Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and dimed" and it becomes apparent why surveys show that Americans distrust journalists and why good people avoid speaking to them. In fact, there comes a time when the word "journalist" takes on a life of its own, far away from the profession. Sure, there are many hardworking, honest, journalists with integrity but as Harold MacMillan once said, the purpose of an education is to help you detect when a man is "speaking rot". Bledsoe found the rot.