Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Jack Kelly on choices in reporting

From Irish Pennants this morning:

::::::::Arthur Chrenkoff has a mind-numbingly long post on good news from Afghanistan. Most of what's on his list is small potatoes, but that's not the point. The point is the list is mind-numbingly long. Why is it "professional journalists" can only find bad news to report?::::::::

And this, my friends, is the entire point of Chrenkoff's blog and his increasingly-indispensible series. If all you do is report on the murders in a city and never once show any sign that anything remotely approaching a normal life is being led by the vast, vast majority of the city's inhabitants, the impression outsiders will get is of a hell-hole where simply poking your head out your door to get the mail is likely to get you killed. And if you do that time and time again, completely ignoring any news of anything positive in that city and not reporting any progress made on any front at all, whose fault is it when you get called biased? Chrenkoff's posts are a reaction to the MSM's total disregard for reporting the facts of life in Afghanistan (and Iraq) in favor of only reporting the negatives. They report the bad news, unqualified by any good news. They cannot relate a positive story without qualifying it with bad news, even if they have to repeat unsupported allegations or dredge up older stories to replay.

Chrenkoff, and those of us who link to him, understand completely that there's bad news in both of those places. That kind of news isn't being under-reported, therefore there's no reason to re-report it on a blog. The kinds of stories that Chrenkoff finds and posts are the stories the MSM is refusing to carry and the realization of that fact is what's driving the public away from trusting the MSM. Good to see someone "inside" like Jack Kelly can see that.