Friday, October 9, 2009

A good example of bad journalism

As a former journalist and a fond reader of the news I think I know the difference between news and editorial. News is the relaying of the truth. Editorial is stating an opinion.

So, when an editorial statement makes it to the news, that makes the news editorializing and no longer unbiased. Hence, an article I just finished reading, "Proposals to create jobs add up to second stimulus," from the Associated Press by Stephen Ohlemacher, was supposed to be a news article about a "supposed" 2nd stimulus package. Now I say "supposed" because democrats aren't calling it that quite yet.

The article was fine until I got to this statement:

"But with unemployment reaching nearly 10 percent, many lawmakers are feeling pressure to act. Some of the proposals come from the Republicans' playbook and focus on tax cuts, even though they, too, would swell the deficit."

The problem with this paragraph is it's an editorial. Actually, the problem I have doesn't come until the last part: "...even though they, too, swell the deficit."

While that might be true, it is an opinion -- an editorial. This type of stuff is fine for the editorial page, but it is not fine in a news article. This is one of the reasons the mainstream media has gone so out of favor with the majority of Americans.

I, however, happen to disagree with that statement. I believe, and history has proven, that tax cuts do not swell a deficit. They might do so in the short term, but in the long term they actually grow the economy. In fact, history has proven that tax cuts stimulate growth, savings, and ultimately encourage the hiring of new workers all of whom will pay taxes too. Thus, in the long term, the government will make more money off tax cuts than tax increases.

But that all doesn't matter for the sake of Mr. Ohlemacher's post, because my opinion and his opinion does not matter when relaying the facts of the story. If his opinion was omitted, the story would have stood up for itself and wouldn't have offended humble RTs as myself.

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