Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lapdog Journalism Wholly Unacceptable

It's been several years since I earned my paycheck as a working journalist; however, I remember a thing or two about how it is supposed to be done.

Rule 1, it seems, it not to take a single source at face value. Check. Double check. Dig. Ask the other side. Ask a follow-up question. At any rate, here is what should not happen:

Anchor: There seems to be some controversy out at city hall.

Mayor: There is no controversy. Everything is great. We asked some people, and they, too, said it is great.

Anchor: Great. Now let's take a look at the weather.

I hope you see the problem. This is lapdog journalism. If this is the only service to be offered by journalists, then there is little need for the First Amendment.

Journalists should be watchdogs. They should ask the questions that the public cannot. They should hold public officials accountable. They should not, however, simply roll over.

Yet I've seen too egregious instances of lapdog journalism this week alone in Lubbock.


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