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Resistance Journalism

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Alma, May 19, 2020.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    This paragraph, from the piece Azrael linked, is spot on.

    The irony here is that Smith didn’t need to frame his column around Trump to make it more than just a fact-checking dossier. The problem Smith identifies isn’t “resistance journalism,” but rather “superstar journalism”—the notion that some reporters, Farrow definitely among them, enjoy such glowing reputations that their output can’t possibly always match up. The superstar journalist may well be extremely talented, but that doesn’t make them an infallible prodigy—everyone has biases, and everyone makes mistakes. The cult of journalistic celebrity tends to ignore context—in Farrow’s case, the editorial and social capital to which he has access—and the crucial fact that high-level journalism is a team sport.

    The idea of "resistance journalism" in the context of Farrow is also so stupid and flawed in the first place, but it's a reflection of how ridiculously partisan we try to make every issue now.

    Let's unpack this for a second: Reporting on Harvey Weinstein being a rapist is being framed as a progressive, liberal endeavor. So the other side of that would be ... conservatives defending a Hollywood liberal rapist (LOL) because ... um ... women make up rape allegations is a conservative position because ... it's what Trump believes so ... that is what the ideology must also believe?

    How badly have we lost the plot here?

    Farrow leaves out stuff and frames it a certain way because it makes for a clearer, more cinematic narrative. I wish he'd gone to journalism school after he breezed through college at 15, he could have learned a thing or two about nuance.
  2. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    The "journalism industry" bestowed Ronan Farrow with its highest honor, so I sincerely hope for the sake of the profession that he's actually a good, dogged, trustworthy and accurate reporter. From what I can tell, he certain is...one of the most powerful predators in Hollywood history will spend the rest of his life rotting in jail as a direct result of the reporter's work.

    I do think he hurts his credibility by wanting it both ways when it comes to his personal life. Of course one can validly argue that a reporter's personal life should result in no reflection on his work, but when that reporter has such a high-profile background as Ronan does, I think it's fair to include it in his career narrative. And when you do that, the whole Woody-Allen-is-my-father claim is absurd. I've heard Ronan on many occasions acquiesce to the wink-and-a-nod notion that Frank Sinatra is his actual father...Ronan and his boyfriend all but reveal it several times on the boyfriend, Jon Lovett's, podcast. I fear that by not clarifying his story, he opens himself up to the criticism after every story, "yeah...that story subject lied but what about you?"
  3. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Two things:

    1. Is political identification the only thing against which resistance journalists might desire to resist - especially in 2016, 2017 and 2018?

    2. I'm not sure what they teach in journalism school gets you to where Farrow is. It may arguably prevent it. Objectivity is not a particularly laudable aim, and it leaves practitioners of it are fairly lonely in a business now built "relationships" that lead to "bombshells."
  4. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    How do you see it then?
  5. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    I don't know. A lot of these same criticisms were leveled against Nellie Bly in 1890. Not really new to accuse journalists of fame-seeking.

    In the old days, famous reporters and hotshot columnists wound up in Hollywood or with their own network radio show. Same of course for television.

    And journalism has always been about heroes and villains.

    So it's hard for me to take seriously the idea that this is something new, something driven by Twitter or Facebook, so much as it's a thing that's been happening in journalism from the beginning of time.

    We can address accuracy and fact-checking separately.
  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The way Scout wrote it, to be honest.

    It isn't Farrow's job to take down Matt Lauer. Or any journalist's job. So one wouldn't be "choosing" between them.
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's hard for you because it implicates your side.
  8. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Like Double Down, I think the "resistance journalism" notion is the weakest part of the piece.

    I won't comment on the insult.
    sgreenwell likes this.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    What opens up Ronan Farrow to that "resistance journalism" nonsense is that he displays empathy for the alleged victims his work has focused on. That seems to rub certain people the wrong way.

    Whether that empathy taints his ability to be fair, accurate and rigorous in his reporting is a legit question. But then it should have focussed entirely on Ronan Farrow's work and skipped the silly narrative and the motives it was attributing to Farrow (and a broader category of unnamed journalists).

    For his part, Farrow needs to know with the kind of work he sets out to do, that if he gets even one comma wrong, someone is going to use it to try to invalidate everything he has done.
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  10. champ_kind

    champ_kind Active Member

    Leaving aside whether Farrow embellished anything or got it exactly right (not saying those details are not important), isn't revealing fucked up things powerful people did exactly what the job is?
    Mngwa likes this.
  11. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    It's not an insult. My goodness...it'd be a normal emotion.
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    What job? Farrow's job? I suppose it's sort of that - although, sometimes, you'll find powerful people didn't do the things people keep accusing them of, and it's worth reporting that, too - and it's doing those things you said to leave aside in lockstep.
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