Letter to editor icon 1

Letter to editor icon 1

Abandonment of journalistic principles

While in Butte recently, I read the editorial in the Montana Standard by Leonard Pitts regarding fake news. He identified several examples of fake news, all of which conveyed the narrative that it was an activity in which only conservatives engaged. He failed to cite a single example of the epidemic of fake news by CNN and other liberal mainsteam media during the past year.

I had read another of his editorials in The Montana Standard a few months earlier. While he may have won a Pulitzer Prize, I found both editorials poor examples of what should characterize journalism.

I am not a journalism major, but I believe that the fundamental principles of good journalism are intuitive. Journalists are responsible for providing readers with the facts and for presenting all sides of a story/issue. They are to be unbiased providers of information; where they have not verified the accuracy of the information, they have an obligation to state that is the case.

When, why and how journalism began to depart from these principles are questions for which I do not have the answers. The answers would make a good research project for every journalism major. What is obvious is that we desperately need reform in journalism. Journalism schools must correctly teach the fundamental principles of good journalism and journalists must embrace and abide by those principles, even when the journalist has an agenda that requires deviation from those principles.

Mr. Pitts has a strong dislike for President Trump and for conservatives. His opinions convey that very clearly. He is entitled to his opinions, but newspapers that publish his very biased presentation of the facts have an obligation to provide a counterbalance.

— Earle Canty, Spokane

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