Journalists must separate the story. It makes for more copy when the reader’s eye wobbles over to another column space or the ear off into the increasing din of aural messaging surrounding us. By the time they get back to the original story the reader is ready for a detailed description of the coin’s other side, so to speak. It’s a trick journalists can always rely on. Journalism is “the wisdom of the ages,” wrote American author Stephen Crane in a poem (actually, Crane referred to the newspaper). We’ll forgive the “wisdom” reference here to Crane’s indulging in poetic license.
Not everybody is out for a quick buck or a political plum. Some are out for qualified opinion and honest insight. Some are in search of wisdom and truth. Journalism isn’t in the wisdom business per se and in the U.S. they ought to acutely point out the distinctions between it and the essay, the scholarly article, and the impartial policy analysis better in schools before they let someone graduate. (Many American schools emphasize an amorphous exercise in synaesthesia called “mass media,” which suits corporate messaging and the bureaucrats of the U.S. Department of Education.)
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