Howard Kurtz and the Incredible Shrinking Journalism Profession
"Who is a journalist?" It's an exciting, evocative question and I hope to be on panel to discuss it very soon! Luckily, while I wait, there's been a poll on the subject, which is not as definitive as a panel, but is more definitive than goat entrails! In the WP today, Howie Kurtz writes about the Annenberg Public Policy Center poll that found that as many Americans consider Rush Limbaugh a journalist as they do Bob Woodward -- 27 percent each.,saldmf,d .mf,mds.a,mf.dsa,m.f,d.saf..,;',llkl
Sorry. Fell asleep there.
I woke up at the end though! It turns out that Kurtz has written the story backwards. You know who those polled say they consider to be a journalist? People on the TV! Peter Jennings, say 79 percent of the respondents, followed by Mike Wallace (64 percent), Katie Couric (48 percent). This fact is tucked into the second to last paragraph after a lot of meaningless other facts about Woodward and Limbaugh. (Both Virgos, it turns out.) Maybe it’s just not that interesting to report on a study that says people equate being a journalist with playing one on TV, but one does wonder why Peter Jennings has almost three times the journalistic wattage as the guy who kicked Nixon out of office. Of course, the study was done a month ago. If only something would happen that would put Woodward on television more... — FRED BECKER