The Industrialization of News
Marvin Kalb, a 30-year veteran of CBS and NBC, is director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy and Murrow Professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Cambridge, Mass. - Journalism is in serious trouble.
Earlier this year, a jury in Maine accused " Dateline
NBC" of "negligence, misrepresentation and emotional distress"
and ordered the top-rated network to pay $525,00 in damages to a trucking
company. Then, CNN retracted a story alleging the United States use of
poison gas against American defectors during the Vietnam War; CEO Tom
Johnson said the story contained "serious fault." The Boston
Globe fired one of its top columnists for making up people, quotes and
situations. In May the New Republic apologized to its readers after discovering
one of its associate editors had manufactured stories out of whole cloth.
When the Monica Lewinsky story erupted on the national scene, journalists
were accused of a string of sins, including the publishing and broadcasting
of stories based on highly questionable sourcing, inadequate fact-checking,
innuendoes and finger-in-the-wind-guessing.