These days, it seems more and more journalists are weak-kneed hacks who are worried about their popularity.
And it's not just others. I find myself often gun shy. Some days, I'll go to publish an article and feel that gnawing anxiety. Is this article too conservative? Or too liberal?
And let's face it, with blogs that can blast back in a heartbeat and e-mailed links that can be forwarded to hundreds and hundreds of folks, you have to be more careful these days than back thirty or forty years ago. (Particularly given how divided our country is these days.)
So, it made my day when I read this column tonight: Gene Weingarten: How ‘branding’ is ruining journalism.
Wow. You want to talk about pulling out a ball bat, letting loose and breaking some stuff... My goodness. Gene Weingarten must have typed this doozy on an old-school typewriter in some smoke-filled room from back in the day... Or, maybe he sat in a modern, temperature-controlled newsroom that's more politically correct than your local first-grade classroom, and while sitting there, he had a massive case of nostalgia strike him. Either way, you'll be yearning for the old days after reading his column.
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Stan Mitchell is the founder and owner of The Oak Ridge Observer. He started the paper in 2004 with a $20,000 loan and writes generally on his blog about business practices, politics and local matters.