The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Mike Ananny - ananny@usc.edu

Cc: Margaret Sullivan - public@nytimes.com

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 19 Mar 2016 10:00 CDT

Subject: Communication101-II -- Saving Journalism??

Thanks Mike, for your, "Next NYT public editor should expert in boundaries of journalism" - very well done; however, WE have a bit of a problem, and I quote: (emphasis mine)

Though they first appeared in the U.S. in 1967 (at Louisville's    Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times), Tokyo's Asahi Shimbun newspaper hired an ombudsman (they've mostly been men) in 1922 to receive and investigate reader complaints. Also called "readers' representatives," "readers' advocates," and "public editors," they are typically senior editors equipped with the authority to investigate complaints and get answers for readers. They are neither omniscient ex-journalists preaching ethics in the newsroom, nor are they public relations spokespeople defending the paper from reader criticisms. Rather, they are "privileged readers": experienced outsiders who combine access and wisdom to thoughtfully critique their paper, help readers trust it, hold journalists accountable to the professionalism they know first-hand, and explain to readers how and why journalism works as it does.

And you summarize with the following:

The New York Times could use its status as an icon of journalism to reinvent the role of the public editor. It could show other news organizations and social media organizations alike what networked news accountability can look like, and how it might be institutionalized and made into a public conversation.

By combining wisdom, access, and courage in a way the era demands, the Times might help to protect the future press and public interest in a way that Facebook cannot, or will not.

I am sorry, Mike, but you have failed to consider the most important event that has occurred recently -- we now have instantaneous two-way communication -- we no longer need "privileged readers" -- each and every reader needs to be considered.

And, Journalism must accommodate those readers -- there is no other way. Journalism needs to create "The Science of Journalism".

Obviously, I have a lot more to say on the subject; however, it is a complete waste of effort without someone on your side being interested in some discussion. Ms. Sullivan failed to respond and you can see what it got her.

BTW, we apparently have a surplus of angry citizens as demonstrated by Donald Trump's success. You might want to ask about the cause of all of that anger.

To be continued (of course)

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system for individuals -- and I sure could use some help. Please see http://pdmsb.com, a work-in-process.

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