Should Journalists Call It Like They See It?


The Economist‘s anonymous Democracy in America blogger says journalists should make sure to call the show trials of opposition figures in Iran what they are: show trials.

That point goes to a key advantage that opinionated newsmagazines enjoy: magazine journalists are more likely to call ’em how they sees ’em. Instead of offering readers phony evenhandedness, a magazine writer will generally give you a position on a story (markets are awesome!) and trust her readers to be smart enough to know the difference between fact and opinion. And since they’re not used to “opinions on the shape of the earth differ” journalism, magazines don’t fall into the trap of turning everything into a he-said she-said cable news argument as often as newspapers do.

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