WashPost Columnist To Media: Don't Be Afraid of Liberal "Passion"

Washington Post columnist (and former Post reporter) David Ignatius concludes his year in review by endorsing the notion that liberal reporters ought to stick by their biases and passions. Don't be afraid to be liberal, and don't try to please everyone (conservatives):

It was a bad year, finally, for the people who are paid to make sense of things -- the unhumble and increasingly unloved scribes in my business. Newspaper circulation was plummeting, network television lost its anchors, literally and figuratively, and new media seemed to be feeding on popular anger at the Mainstream Media and its claims of impartiality.

At the center of some of the year's biggest stories stood the media themselves -- trying to balance codes of professional ethics against demands of citizenship. The New York Times lionized Judith Miller for going to jail to protect her sources from a grand jury investigation, but when her key source turned out to be Vice President Cheney's top aide, the cheering stopped and Miller lost her job. Top editors of the Times and The Post tried to act responsibly by discussing explosive intelligence stories with the White House before publication, and then they were vilified by the left for publishing too little and by the right for publishing anything at all.

Maybe the lesson of 2005 was the same for the media as for the politicians: Hang on tight to your values, and don't be afraid to let that passion animate your work; be careful about making promises you can't or shouldn't keep; and don't try to please everyone, or you may end up pleasing nobody at all

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis