Since when did covering Twitter amount to reporting?
“Ivanka Trump is facing an online backlash for tweeting what one critic called a ‘tone deaf’ photo of herself cuddling her son as outrage grows over a federal government policy to separate the children of undocumented migrants from their parents.”
“Jimmy Kimmel’s defense of disgraced comedian Roseanne Barr has made people furious on Twitter.”
“When Browns safety Damarious Randall made his Twitter promise Monday night, he was expecting 100 retweets. Instead, he got Twitter infamy.”
Reporting is in a bad way when these things pass for news. These reporters need to get out from behind their desks, drive to the local high school, interview a teacher, interview a student, talk to a local business owner, interview a city official, or go wherever news is coming from in their community.
Twitter coverage amounts to entertainment gossip of the lowest form, a dumpster fire for a lazy dilettante to scribble about. In the limited newspaper writing that I did, it would have been inconceivable for me to propose a story based on sitting in front of a computer screen, writing down insults from one person to another.
I took pride in my reporting and I am angered by those that devalue the profession. This coverage gives rise to the deepest suspicions that people have about journalism, that it is infatuated with itself and out of touch with the things that matter most to people.
Perhaps Thompson had it right. He once wrote, and I can’t repeat the quote because of the language, that journalism was not a a profession or trade, just a false doorway to the backside of life. Yes, maybe he was right. And we’re all worse for it. You can read the full quote here (external link)