Journalism needs a better metaphor

NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen writes that “exposure” is a “metaphor that increasingly misleads. I refer to the image of ‘exposure’ as a description of what the press does, should do, or isn’t doing well enough. To expose wrongdoing, incompetence, or hypocrisy is to do good in journalism, right? Well, yes, but…”

What follows is a remarkable twitter thread that “get(s) closer to the key problems in covering disinformation than anything else I have read,” writes author Roy Peter Clark of the Poynter Institute. “It is also an exceptionally effective use of Twitter as a format. I think of it as a short essay in serial form.”

Two of Jay’s key points:

Many of the biggest and hardest problems before the American press involve matters that have already been “brought to light,” meaning they cannot be resolved by further exposure. …

For the press, then, the problem is not how to bring to light the truth that the President is a wholly unreliable source of information, but how to operate around him in light of the fact that we know he is likely to pollute the stream further when asked legitimate questions.

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