Kolls has engaged me in a short discussion about his story. I appreciate that. It seems that the people who take their work seriously do. I have had long exchanges with Kessler and Shelby at WCCO. Hauser at KSTP responds from time to time. Even that knuckle head who walked off his radio show — God, what was his name? How quickly we forget! — would send long — and I mean LONG — emails to me in an effort to defend or explain his whacking opinions.
What was his name?
As I am writing it occurs to me that journalists see and create a story from the facts. An obvious observation, I know, but we’re all subjective creatures. And I believe denying that has created some of the problems we have with news and information.
Let’s take a common target of criticism, Fox News, which is largely agreed from persons of both conservative and liberal leanings to be conservative. In my opinion a lot of that network’s efforts is crap. (Judge Jeanine Pirro…really?) But it is still news. In fact it betrays an element of newsworthiness that less opinionated crap might not. It gives one a glimpse into the thinking of other people. It adds a layer of subjectivity that in itself is newsworthy.
Therefore I think — and thinking off the cuff — that the real news guys (and news gals, of course) is each of us, public and reporter alike. Information is a process. It is about dialogue. Those who participate in this process of dialogue are “real”, in whatever way that I am trying to frame that idea now. And I think when a reporter takes the time to respond to opinions about his story, he is partaking in that sort of newsworthy dialogue.
Sadly, I don’t think there is much of that on the professional side of news reporting and definitely not enough on the public side. Without dialogue, we are divided.
Even Jason Lewis gets this. (Jason Lewis! That’s his name.) It might be the only thing upon which he and I would agree, but it is better than nothing.