14 August 2005


Quiz time: which paranoid lefty blogger wrote this about the vulnerability of the press to right-wing think tank propaganda?
Journalists are, perforce, generalists; they have limited time and expertise and are always confronted by what I call the tyranny of the blank page or the broadcast slot. Whether they are ready or not, the paper is coming out tomorrow morning and the news is going on at six p.m. They’ve got to fill so many column inches, or so many minutes of airtime. Period.

And, being rational people, they want to fill those pages and minutes with the least effort, and at the least risk to themselves. If they can come out looking good as well --- looking like they have mastered their topic, gathered new and provocative insights, or clearly advanced the public debate --- they, and their bosses feel that they’ve had a good day.

But there are other, less obvious, things, that you need to grasp if you are to put yourself in the journalist’s shoes .... to most journalists (and, indeed, to most people) the value of ideas is far from self-evident. That, and not the supposedly left-wing bias of the media is, in my view, the single biggest obstacle to effective communication ...

Really, guess. Then come read the answer... Why, it's from a primer on media relations published by the right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation.

You may want to read the whole thing.

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