I’ve got a new Think Again called “Follow the Money” here.
David Broder passed away this week. I interviewed him once over twenty years ago for my first book, and have written about him quite a bit since. I am not one to comment on Broder the man based on a single one-hour conversation. But here are some of my assessments about his work and his influence. I link to them here for the sake of the public record.
Jerry Ceppos—dean of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and a former VP of Knight—was troubled by the last of these columns and got in touch with me about it. He gives a fair summary of our exchange here.
Now here’s Reed:
If you have the time and aren’t completely saturated by the coverage of the hidden-camera NPR fundraising fiasco, I recommend checking out NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard’s Washington Post webchat. It presents a near-perfect distillation of the current conventional wisdom about modern media ethics and its obsession with hiding reporters’ personal beliefs. Indeed, read through Shepard’s answers to the online questions and it becomes evident that her real beef with NPR executive Ron Schiller is his violation of this supposed code of journalistic omerta, so much so that she revisits the point three separate times:
“Who blabs to total strangers in public about their personal biases?” […]
“That is what baffles me most. When you first meet a complete stranger do you share your personal feelings about conservatives, liberals, politics? UNBELIEVABLE.” […]
“I still can’t believe you would divulge so much to a stranger. That’s what I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around.”