Tag Archives: rules

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor…

As you can see, my website/blog has been updated. (I would say I’d updated it, but that would be inaccurate–my tech whiz son, who does this for a living, did the work.)

This may be a good time to explain my approach to this whole blogging thing.

You may have noticed that I rarely weigh in to the sometimes lively conversations taking place in the comments section. There are several reasons for that: unless the discussion turns on a totally erroneous read–a clue that I’ve not been as clear as I’d hoped–my preference is to allow commenters to “talk amongst yourselves.” Plus, I have a day job that doesn’t leave me a lot of time to engage in lengthy discussions.

I am grateful to commenters who point out factual errors, or provide missing context to a discussion. And I try to resist the temptation to block the folks who are unpleasant when they disagree with me. (I do wonder about people who consistently visit and comment on a blog written by someone with which they vehemently disagree–do they think angry ripostes will change my political perspective? But hey–whatever floats your boat!)

The one rule, which I fortunately have had to invoke very few times, is no name-calling. Arguments and disagreements are fine, even when somewhat less than polite, but when people post invective, especially invective aimed at other commenters, I will block those posts.

I have really enjoyed the back-and-forth, the illuminating information, and the thoughtfulness that most of my commenters display. I’m delighted when my often snarky observations can spark a real conversation. I hope you all like the new format–and I especially hope you will all continue to visit.

Now, back to our program…..


Good Journalism

Jim Lehrer recently announced a change of name and some changes of format to what was previously the McNeill Lehrer report. As one blogger who reported on the changes noted, Lehrer has consistently approached the news with a certain seriousness and depth that is virtually non-existent on television anymore.

Last week in a piece about the show’s latest changes (new name, revamped website, etc.), Lehrer outlined his “guidelines… of what I like to call MacNeil/Lehrer journalism.”  If everyone followed these rules, we might all breathe sighs of relief. Here they are:

    •  Do nothing I cannot defend.
    • Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
    • Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
    • Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
    • Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
    • Assume personal lives are a private matter, until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
    • Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.
    • Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
    • I am not in the entertainment business.

As important as all of these are, I REALLY like the last one.