WORDmeister note: Gwen Ifill, longtime journalist and host of the PBS Newshour, died at 61 yesterday.
Jeez, It's Been a Rough Week
“A mutual friend nails it about Gwen Ifill: ‘A voice of calm, reason and credibility.’
“How odd that those pretty rudimentary values seem so rare. It wasn’t that long ago that such attributes were expected from most journalists. And, come to think of it, many other Americans in positions of responsibility, not just rabbis and parish priests. Possessing them didn’t virtually ensure professional esteem and reverence, as they do now.
“Consider a culture in which being provocative is now more prized than being right. Being ‘interesting,’ even if consistently wrong, will get calls from TV bookers. It will get clicks and calls from editors about having ’really stirred the pot!’
“And it’s a reason so many Americans detest the press.”
—James Warren, The Poynter Institute, Nov. 15, 2016
• Editorial Comment: Oh, man.
PeezPix by Ted Pease
Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to email@example.com. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard