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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So, Who Was on Journolist?

Here's an interesting post on Politico - "Journolist Veers Out of Bounds."

"Somewhere along the way, things have gone terribly wrong. Journalism has become a toy, an electronic plaything. I do not blame technology. The giant megaphone of technology has been coupled with a new, angrier, more destructive age. (Yes, you can find extremely angry, extremely partisan times in our past, but I always thought the goal was to progress over the centuries, not regress.)

Until recently, there was a semisecret, off-the-record organization called Journolist. It was a listserv, which is a bunch of people who sign up (if allowed) and then get the same e-mails and can reply to everybody on the list.

Journolist was founded by Ezra Klein in early 2007, when he was 22 and working for the liberal publication The American Prospect. Klein continued running it when he went to The Washington Post in 2009. The Post is a mainstream publication, but Journolist was limited to those “from nonpartisan to liberal, center to left.”

Klein determined who would get on Journolist — political reporters, academics, think tank members, left-wing bloggers — and it grew from a manageable 30 members to a pretty unmanageable 400. There was no censorship, but if Klein felt you had gone too far, he would tell you to stop it. You could be threatened with expulsion, but nobody was ever expelled."

Based on the coverage of the last election I'm sure many are not surprised by the existece of such a "list." Many a story from local and national media seemed to have had the same "talking points" to the point that I often joked yet wondered if the media received a morning e-mail of sorts steering them/advising them on how to handle that day's "events" - how to focus on something, ignore, or deflect away from something.

Strangely enough I haven't read anything about Journolist in my local newspaper. A search on their website garnered 0 results. I'm sure the discovery of such a list might be one of the "events" they'd like to ignore. What I would love to see is the full list of "unbiased" reporters/columnists/journalists, etc. who were members. If the members felt what they were doing was honorable, and not a clear affront to all unbaised journalists, surely they're not afraid to out themselves. Heck, I wonder if any from our local Roanoke newspaper were on it?

1 comment:

  1. I saw that post. I feel sorry that there are so many folks that I know who fail to question what they see on television--I am not certain there is anything that will change their blind eyes.