Too Long For Twitter, too Short for Nieman

Sep 30

Beware of Journalists Bearing Solutions?

The slightly longer version of my challenge to Jonathan Stray and Blair Hickman:

Background: Stray (“Journalism for Makers,”) Hickman (“Solution Journalism.”)

The challenge: By what right, and on what grounds, do journalists claim the authority to offer solutions to any particularly difficult problem? Journalists are neither elected, nor particularly accountable, nor all that expert in anything in particular. 

More: I find it amazing that at possibly it’s lowest moment— under threat of commercial collapse, challenged by “citizen journalists,” and distrusted by nearly everyone— journalism would raise the stakes and claim that it can do more for the public not less. This is powerful and admirable. As I think I noted in my initial tweet, I actually mostly agree with Stray and Hickman — but I want to play devil’s advocate and push the thought. 

Happy to see where the conversation goes from here. 

UPDATED: Even more background (but no direct link, sorry). A similar challenge from the past. “What Public Journalism Knows About Journalism But Doesn’t Know About “The Public,” Michael Schudson, 1999. If I can find a pdf I will put it up, but as a book chapter it is tough. 


  1. chanders posted this