Journalism 101: I fixed this meme for you.

I can sympathize with the sentiment, but the top part of this meme (the white text on black background) is not how I’d frame the situation.

My take (which I’ve added underneath the original) is that when two sources disagree, assuming that one must be right and the other must be wrong is a form of bias. What if one source is in New York and the other is in Santa Fe, and you are in Ohio? Would looking out your own window be enough? Both sources could be wrong, or they could be exaggerating, or they could both be 100% correct for their location.

People who form their opinions by consulting sources that already share their world view often mistake spin that favors their world view as “truth,” and dismissing spin that challenges their world view as flawed journalism. The statement “The mainstream media needs to learn this basic principle of journalism” is spin that favors the status quo.

Journalism 101: I fixed this meme for you.

This reminds me of the “6 or 9” meme, and the “The curtains were f*cking blue” meme… all of them seem to disparage approaches that acknowledge nuances, the real differences that come from understanding differing viewpoints (not just “respecting” or “tolerating” them).

3 thoughts on “Journalism 101: I fixed this meme for you.

  1. You missed the point.

    Case: “If someone in New York says it’s raining and their rival in Santa Fe says its’dry.”

    It is suppossed that you are a journalist. If you are in Ohio, you do not look through your window. The message says that you must investigate. We need information. Find it and tell us.

    After it, we must test your information anyway.

    • If you mean the person who created the original meme missed the point, then I agree with you. That’s why I posted this update. If you are saying that the original meme makes the claim that “you must investigate,” I don’t think the original meme is successful at using “look out the f*cking window” to make that point. First of all, the original meme implies that when two people disagree with each other, one must be right and one must be wrong. Further, the original meme suggests that if you encounter a difference of opinion, the way to break the tie is to agree with whoever’s perspective matches yours. Those are dangerous arguments, especially when taken together, which is why I created my own meme in response to it.

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