Tuesday, November 30, 2010



“Philosophers have long disputed the nature of truth [which] . . . lies at the very center of journalism. So it’s essential to examine it, if only to discover that it differs from what many of us were taught—that truth is self-evident and unchanging. . . . In most ancient tribal societies, shamans and elders held the authority to say what was true and what was false. Later, religious authorities, kings, queens, and the nobility would claim it. In our day, scientists, political and religious leaders, and news media are the most powerful truth-tellers.”
—John H. McManus, journalist, educator and author
of Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism
in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web
, 2009 URL
Image: Jules Joseph Lefebvre’s 19th century portrait of Truth

Editorial Comment: I can’t handle the truth.

PeezPix: December Sunrise


  1. Although they are more obscure than scientists, mathematicians take us even deeper into the mystery by revealing that there are truths which cannot be formally proven to be true, as well as things which are simply unknowable via the tools of science and mathematics.

  2. Heard one the other day, attributed to Bismarck, saying that conviction is a greater enemy of truth than a lie.

  3. This idea that anyone can define what's true (and what isn't) has a huge amount to do with the fact that we newsfolk are right down there with politicians and used-car salesmen in terms of being trustworthy.
    One wonders where little Virginia would send her letter asking about the existence of Santa today. Could her Papa say confidently that if you read it (or hear it) in this paper or on that broadcast, it's believable?
    Joseph Benham, Kerrville TX