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Veteran Advisor

Are Ag Journalists Enemies Of Farmers?

Journalists as enemies of the people is a popular topic these days.  Why is that?  My guess is it's because many people don't agree with what the journalists say.  These critics claim the journalists are pushing a one-sided story.  Isn't that right? 


Where do journalists come from?  One might guess that many people would say that most of the journalists are young, educated at a journalism school that is probably in a liberal arts college, mostly Caucasian, for the most part middle-class.  The critics would argue that based on the idea that how one sees something is based on their perspective (what was just described as their background), that most journalists are idealistic and liberals and many seem to believe in a big government with one-size-fits-all policies.


Is that the same in ag journalism?  Are our ag reporters familiar with farming?  Have they had their hands dirty?  When they write about hogs have they smelled them?  When they write about weed control have they run the sprayer or walked the rows with a hoe?


I'm not sure how important any of this is.


I think we want to hear what we want to hear.  


We do not want objectivity or the truth.


We do not want an alternative perspective.


We are happy to kill the messenger.


If a journalist reports that some interest groups disagree with nitrogen policies and you don't want to hear it, is that fake news?  


Does a journalist have a responsibility to present all sides of a story as long as the story is accurate?  For example, if the story is that nitrogen is causing a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, does the reporter have to include your contention that Iowa farmers are not responsible?


What is the job of the journalist?


Oh, I forgot.  The job of the journalist is to tell you things you want to hear.


Isn't that right!  I suspect that journalists are held in about the same amount of respect as members of Congress.





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2 Replies
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Are Ag Journalists Enemies Of Farmers?

Show me the advertisers of a publication and I`ll accurately predict the slant of the articles.   I don`t mind the slant of articles nearly as much as when the author puts themselves up as a "truth detector" as we`ve seen the last 2 years.   Just report the damned stories and I`ll decide what the hell is true....I do anyway   🙂

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Honored Advisor

Re: Are Ag Journalists Enemies Of Farmers?

Wrong for the most part.
Criticism from me for journalists (ag or otherwise) comes from four common choices they make.

1- publishing content they don’t write or research (like reproducing a Reuters article which may be a reproduction itself done by another party. — it’s common the last few years— credibility by reproduction)

2– attempt to blame the public for journalistic laziness.
( For example — presenting those with opinions as those with knowledge. Not the same but good enough for our readers—or— it’s what our readers want to hear.)
3— Sinsationalized headlines, not supported by article content—-or corrected by minor content of article —and over simplification
4– supporting popular trendy thinking.

Journalists are the enemy of good journalism. Leaving their readers short of the information and opportunity to reach independant opinion.
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