There is a quiet dialogue happening about “knowledge based reporting,” which is a fun term if you think about it (the alternative being of course stupidity-based reporting which you must admit we all see every day).
But the point is a deepening of the beat reporting concept. Not only does the reporter attend every event and etc on the beat, they also become journalistic stewards of the historic record and even curators of a community conversation about that beat. That is stone fucking fascinating if you ask me.The committee members were careful to say that “journalistic truth” is not truth in the ordinary sense of the word, much less in the way philosophers understand it. Journalistic truth is a “sorting out” process that occurs over time through interaction “among the public, newsmakers, and journalists.”5 Committee members Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel said that journalists get at “the truth in a complex world by first stripping information of any misinformation, disinformation, or self-promoting bias and then letting the community react…. The search for truth becomes a conversation.”6
Patterson is especially strong in describing the confluence of mindless objectivity and a lack of knowledge. When a journalist doesn't understand the truth of what he is covering, it's all too easy simply to present different viewpoints and leave it up to the reader, the viewer or the listener to decide. "The objective model of American journalism offers a weak defense against factual distortions," Patterson writes. "Not only does the commitment to balance invite such distortions, it allows them to pass unchecked."