Journalism and Truth: Strange Bedfellows (Medill Visions of by Tom Goldstein

By Tom Goldstein

The criticism is all too universal: i do know anything approximately that, and the inside track bought it wrong.  Why this could be, and what it says in regards to the courting among journalism and fact, is precisely the query that's on the middle of Tom Goldstein’s very well timed book.             different disciplines, Goldstein tells us, have transparent protocols for collecting facts and looking for truth.  Journalism, in spite of the fact that, has a few curious conventions which may truly paintings opposed to the sort of goal.  taking a look at how journalism has replaced over time--and with it, notions approximately accuracy and fact in reporting—Goldstein explores how those long-standing and finally untrustworthy conventions developed.  He additionally examines why trustworthy criteria of objectivity and accuracy are serious not only to a unfastened press yet to the democratic society it informs and serves.  From a ancient review to a reconsideration of a misunderstood ebook approximately journalism (The Journalist and the assassin) to a mirrored image at the insurance of the battle in Iraq, his ebook deals a remarkably wide-ranging and thought-provoking account of the way journalism and fact work—or fail to work—together, and why it issues.

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But even the hard sciences, and surely the soft sciences, have relevance to journalism. ”40 In her quest to grasp the accuracy of memory, she has made a career of testifying to the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. Because journalists rely on eyewitness reporting at least some of the time, they should be aware of the latest thinking on eyewitness testimony from a psychological perspective. However, the press, as Jane Kirtley noted, is not bound by the same rules of evidence that govern a criminal dispute, and a journalist, thankfully, is not required to meet the same burden of proof expected of a prosecutor in court.

How Can We Know? Tetlock, a psychologist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley, conducted a study demonstrating that expert political forecasts are frequently wrong. The more famous the experts were and the more they were quoted, the less reliable their predictions were likely to be. In other words, Tetlock found that people who make a business out of making predictions are no more prescient than the rest of us. In a flattering review of Tetlock’s book, Louis Menand, in the New Yorker, elaborated on Tetlock’s thesis: “People who follow current events by reading the papers and newsmagazines regularly can guess what is likely to happen about as accurately as the specialists whom the papers quote.

23 There is little methodology for defining news or for using sources. Journalists have few tools in their arsenals for uncovering the truth. They are not prosecutors or law-enforcement officials, AJC Group 34 JOURNALISM AND TRUTH and unlike law-enforcement officials, they cannot compel people to talk to them or, presumably, to tell the truth. Any conversation with a journalist obviously is voluntary, not compulsory. Journalists cannot offer the inducement of immunity or the penalty of prison to those who are reluctant or unwilling to speak.

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