Ranting and Raving: Journalism may not be fake, but it’s lazy

Fake news? Nah, more like lazy news.

Journalism today isn’t what it used to be. Part of that has to be because of the overly cautious news sources who routinely withhold information out of so-called privacy concerns. But, back in the day, journalists had ways to work around such roadblocks. They had sources inside of sources who could point them to the answers they sought.

And when that failed, there were databases they could access for other information. (There still are.)

Nowadays, however, it seems if a source says “no, I can’t give you that information,” that’s it. End of story. No further effort required. Here’s what we know, or rather what the sources will tell us. We’ll leave the rest for another time when maybe they will be ready to spoonfeed us a bit more information.

Case in point:

This past week, a guy opened fire on a city police officer in my town. The officer gave chase, resulting in a shootout in a crowded shopping parking lot. The perpetrator was killed.

Police then learned that a K9 dog had been shot in the initial drive-by. During emergency surgery, the dog died.

The news reports on the incident didn’t provide much more information than you just read. The name of the perp was released, and his age, and the name of the dog.

The dog’s funeral was covered extensively.

But I have yet to see an article about the man who did the shooting. Beyond his name, who was he? Why did he open fire on a police officer?

 The TBI is investigating, so I guess that means there’s nothing more to be released until they get ready to release it.

A journalist worth his salt wouldn’t quit there. You’ve got a name, so let’s figure it out. What town did the guy live in? Did he have a criminal record? Did he have a Facebook or Twitter or Instagram page? Are there friends or family on his page that can be contacted? Actual people who can tell us more about him? What information or sources can be gathered from his obituary?

That’s fact-finding information any good journalist should pursue in any situation. There’s a story behind the story here, but no one seems interested in it. If the official source doesn’t share the information, does that mean it’s not worth pursuing? Or is it because journalists today are lazy?

Local journalism isn’t alone in its apparent laziness.

All week long, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins has bemoaned the lack of access to the President and anyone in his administration. We know from past experience that when Trump and his co-horts do answer questions, they are riddled with lies in any case.

Kayleigh McEneny finally took a handful of questions from the press for the first time in over two weeks on Friday, but refused to take a question from Collins.

Kudos to Collins for trying, but honestly, what did she expect?

I suggested in a tweet to Collins that she should find another source to answer her questions.

In other words, journalists, don’t be so lazy.

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