Journalistic Standards?

It’s a regular morning ritual with me; morning coffee, breakfast, and the newspaper. This morning on the front page of the Washington Post I saw and read two articles, both of which were described by my husband as “juicy”.
The first one I read was about the shananagins of an enterprising radio host on radio channel 99.5 who arranged for an intern to stand on the side of a busy highway carrying a sign identifying himself as an adulterer who was forced to hold up the sign for all to see as his punishment.
As printed in The Post,
“Kane (who refuses to disclose his own real name) now says he hoaxed the media as an experiment in fluff tolerance and fact-checking standards. He then proceeded on his show, and via Twitter, to criticize reporters who’d tried to fact-check the story he’d concocted to check up on fact-checking.
Coverage of the ersatz adulterer made news worldwide and became a Web sensation. For many onlookers, “Taylor’s” sign-bearing served as a catalyst for musings on contrition and the messier corners of love.”
Kane berated journalists for not bothering to fact check the veracity of the story to confirm that the so-called adulterer actually cheated on his wife….
Yes that is interesting , but more horrifying to me in evaluating the present state of the media was the lead story in Reliable source about the current article running in Vanity Fair theoretically authored by ex-boyfriend of Sarah Palin’s eldest daughter, Levi Johnston. Did Johnston actually write the article? A junior editor spent three days interviewing Johnston and subsequently worked with him to “craft” the piece. Paying a source for a story that consists of telling juicy stories on his observations of the shortcomings, vices, and weaknesses of the former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaskan governor seems pretty tacky to me. Particularly when these “seamy tales” don’t really offer up any new insightful information. Yes, I already knew that Palin leaves much to be desired as a political leader–doesn’t read the newspaper, is selfish, and vain. Please tell me something I don’t know. Is this what our media needs to stoop to in order to attract readers. It’s a sad commentary on our society and much more disturbing than how the media reacts to an odd fellow holding up a sign.
I guess The Washington Post did okay because they got me thinking and blogging about their style section.
Journalistic communication can be used in many ways. Inform and teach are at the top of my list.

Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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