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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on January 25, 2021

Here's the latest news from Beachwood HQ:

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See also: Media Watchdog Suspends Beachwood Reporter.

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OTD in Beachwood History in 2016, I wrote this item:

8. Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter!

Once again showing us the difference between what the media says and the truth - all in the name of "objectivity."

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If you do your reporting deeply enough, you can write/speak with authority - that's objectivity, because the facts are incontrovertible. Some people mistake that, though, for subjectivity.

When a local magazine editor told me once that "In magazine writing, you can have an opinion, that's what I teach my students," as if I'd never heard that before, I blanched. No, it's not about having an opinion! It's about reporting deeply enough to state the truth!

In newspaper writing, the problem is of a slightly different sort - without the time or resources to report deeply enough, reporters (and their editors) fall back on the formulas of objectivity that aren't objective at all, but instead just catalog the unvetted claims and outright lies of everyone quoted in a story. That's probably worse than simply writing an opinion because it's disguised as truth when it's the least truthy version of journalism of all.

The lack of time and resources is not an excuse, either; it can be done nonetheless. It just takes skill, hard work and a certain mindset. (It's even easier in the digital world than in print, with the ease of search, the availability of video and the tool of linking.)

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That magazine editor, by the way, didn't so much as want me to have an opinion, but to have his opinion, which, typical for him, wasn't a very good one. I stopped working for him, and I don't mean my old boss at Chicago magazine.

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I use to call my version of magazine writing a "reported conclusion," which my old boss liked very much. The only problem was getting an assignment with a pre-determined conclusion, which invalidates the whole premise of the job, and which is hugely common in the newspaper world as well. It's never served my career to come to an independent, reporting-based conclusion instead of the one an editor has dreamed up ahead of time. They tend not to like when you bring them real-world results different than what they pre-determined what you should bring them. In other words, it's hazardous to your job to actually do your job the way it's supposed to be done.

Now, having a notion, an angle, a thesis going into a story is fine. Sometimes that's how you start. Sometimes you have a basis for such a thing. But that doesn't mean that's how you have to end. (Which is why I shy away from pitching stories to ideologically driven publications. So I don't fit into mainstream journalistic culture and I don't fit into alternative journalism culture, which leaves me . . . here. Where is journalism practiced? It's like alt-country artists being too country for Nashville; some of us are too journalism for journalism.)

Note: I slightly edited/tweaked the last two paragraphs of this item on Jan. 25, 2021.

Back to suspended animation. We'll only return if we find a cure!

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P.S.:

Even in suspended animation the Beachwood kicks ass. Since we last spoke . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #340: Bringing The Hammer Down
Attention, white people. Plus: Rags!; Comedy QBs; Kris Bryant Beefs; Does Zach LaVine Wear A Cape Or No?; Blackhawks Blackout; Evanston vs. Champaign, and more!

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Trump's Most Amusing Pardon
"The victims of Urlacher's gambling business appear to have been people already addicted to gambling. Just like Steve Bannon's pardon for duping Trump fans into donating to their own Build The Wall numbskullery. They were less victims than self-duped mopes with too much loose money," our very own David Rutter writes.

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Being Sure About George Ryan
Testing the sincerity of the former governor's stance on the death penalty, our very own Ed Hammer writes.

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TrackNotes: The Phantom Zone
A diminished Pegasus opens the new horse racing season amidst a giant orange background, our very own Tom Chambers writes.

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Post-Paxson, Post-Boylen, Pre-Winning
"The Bulls aren't going to win the NBA title in the coming summer, but believe me when I tell you they are moving in the right direction just about as quickly as is humanly possible," our very own Jim Coffman writes.

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The $10 Million Wang
Theo protege's penis pride cost him dearly, Rutter writes.

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It Takes A Volunteer Village To Be This Bad
"In something of a unique ascendance of insipidity, Tennessee thus hired 10 men to coach its football team to total incompetence - and cheated to do it. The 'team' that coached the team was even incompetent," Rutter also writes.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #339: The Four Horsemen Of Halas Hall
Awesome culture not even able to pull off a press conference. Plus: Holy Shit, White Sox; The Bad, Bad, Bad Blackhawks; The Less Bad Bulls; Evanston vs. Champaign; and more!

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Comments welcome.

Permalink


MUSIC - They Flirted With Disaster.
TV - A Quincy Top 10.
POLITICS - The Traitor Who Is A Great Patriot.
SPORTS - Broken Hearts In Greedy Markets.

BOOKS - Scientists Gone Rogue.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A People's History Of Uptown.


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