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LETTER: Journalism needs news not ‘storytellers’

Journalism fulfils a necessary and important function in our world, Pam Frampton argues. —
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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Please let me respectfully disagree with Pam Frampton in her Feb. 2 column “In defence of journalism.”

She writes “We need more storytellers who can collect and distil and demystify the complexities, subtleties and frailties of the human condition and encourage people to share their experiences.”

No, Ms. Frampton, storytelling is what has earned journalism a lower approval/trust rating than Donald Trump, so more of the same will not help journalism recover from the almost weekly humiliation of retracting or rewriting their latest “breaking news” story.

Being first has become the mantra, especially with 24/7 media giants like CNN and Fox News, all at the expense of verifying the quality of the information or sources behind the story.

People in the news business have to get back to just reporting the news as it occurred without letting their own biases become part of the story.

A bunch of talking heads (storytellers) or late-night comedians opining on a news event is not news as many outlets present it to their viewers/readers, it’s just opinion.

The downside to social media as it relates to news is apparent, but the upside allows me or anyone seeking what’s behind a news headline, the tools to search out and investigate what is or not being reported about the story and why.

I still watch the same TV news programs and read a variety of newspapers from Canada and the U.S. as I have for many years, but my almost automatic acceptance of what they are reporting as to be the only “truth” behind the story has been severely eroded over the last 20-30 years, well before Trump came on the scene.

Donald Trump's appearance in the political arena has somehow caused many in the news business to lose their objectivity and that to me is not something that social media created.

Malcolm F. Brown

Dartmouth, N.S.


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