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Beyond NewsThe Future of Journalism$
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Mitchell Stephens

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159388

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159388.001.0001

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“The World’s Immeasurable Babblement”

“The World’s Immeasurable Babblement”

What Does and Does Not Make Journalism Wise

(p.139) 6 “The World’s Immeasurable Babblement”
Beyond News

Mitchell Stephens

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines various types of wisdom journalism. It first considers what kinds of journalism, however interpretive, do not qualify as wisdom journalism and do not point to a future for journalism. Some traditional American journalists, partisans of shoe-leather reporting, dismiss interpretive journalism as “thumb sucking”—a lazy alternative to gathering the facts with which they might nourish themselves and their audiences. And it is true that our burgeoning number of networks and our billions of web pages are filled with plenty of unimportant, uninteresting, even inane interpretation. Some can also be found in today's newspapers. But vacuity is not the only problem. Bullheaded, overheated opinion is also hard to avoid on the airwaves and the Web. This chapter analyzes the variety of opinionated journalism that often appears on news outlets such as Fox News Channel and MSNBC. It argues that we need more interpretation, even opinionated interpretation, in journalism today.

Keywords:   wisdom journalism, journalism, journalists, interpretive journalism, interpretation, newspapers, opinion, news

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