Journalistic paranoia and why democracy needs a different kind of news producer

The Poynter Journalism Ethics Summit is more than just an oxymoron — it is a place where the clueless show precisely why they lost their credibility with the public.

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CNN’s Jim Acosta’s statements are absolute proof that North American journalism has gone off the rails and has become a danger to the public:

If journalism is attacked, we should resist. That is up to us.

Excuse me? If journalism is attacked, journalists should see what it is that they did to upset so many people.

And journalists in North America have made a career of attacking other people.

Who resists them?

When reporters were going up against institutional abuse and robber barons, it was one thing. But when those institutions and barons co-opted the press, the press became part of that machine. Journalists are the Establishment. They are the Man, and for someone like Acosta to pretend otherwise is a scam.

Not once do journalists entertain the notion that they are the problem. They do not question their methods, assumptions, or ideology.

You are supposed to agonize how you do your job, and fret about the unforeseen consequences; otherwise, you have become a psychopath.

And no psychopath can be a good journalist.

The problem began when emotionality was deemed bad for journalism, meaning emotional literacy was never instilled or respected. Emotionality does not mean irrationality, but the lack of emotions is the defining sign of being a psychopath.

Reporters got on that hamster wheel of having no feelings, exploiting the pain and suffering of others as they relished humiliating their prey, all while chasing the Next Big Thing (for an excellent example of the mindsets of journalists, Investigative Reports’ Hype and Glory is a must-watch). They see their ways as normal, and they are not.

Journalism has turned into a predatory exercise, and now when the predators are the prey, they want to “resist.” Resist what, exactly? Being held accountable for their numerous travesties? Be made responsible for their own messes?

All the press does is knock the president. That’s it. One note wonder, and if they press was truly under attack, there would be a government crackdown, and they would all be rounded up and sent to some work camp or be thrown in jail.

It is an insult and outrage for every reporter who has died trying to expose the truth. Chauncey Bailey was murdered following a story. Daniel Pearl was murdered for doing his job like a real reporter. Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered doing the same.

Mr. Acosta should think before he throws a temper tantrum.

But there are too few Baileys, Pearls and Galizias, and too many Acostas.

And it is the reason why there needs to be an alternative to journalism. There is more than way to disseminate information, and as the old guard seem unwilling or incapable of resisting their old ways, then it has to be others who are willing to do it a better way.

Because the tantrums have gone on long enough.

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