Analyze This

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

'Analyst', 'specialist', and 'expert' sound like credible titles. However, their credibility needs to be matched up against their credentials.

According to an article from The Huffington Post, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin stumbled after Stephen Colbert's asked what the government mandates Americans to purchase. Colbert admitted that he had not thought out his argument.

Regardless of Colbert's uncommon sense, he still managed to stump an 'analyst.' His unintentional success is unnerving.

Journalists, specialists, analysts, experts, or any one reporting on a subject should research it. This is especially true for those who are supposed to be authorities on the subject.

Last week, my blog was about the public's lack of trust in the press. Toobin is an example of why citizens are wary of reporters.

It will take a team effort in order to restore trust in journalists. All reporters need to quadruple check facts and research a subject until they know more about it than they know about themselves.

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vanvolkinburg October 5, 2011 at 10:33 AM  

I agree with you for the most part, but a few questions come to mind before I can back your arguement 100 percent. First, when you speak about 'reporters' I wonder if you are simply talking about journalists who write news stories, or their editors (etc.). If not, I have to defend those reporters, such as newscasters, who are given information to report 15 minutes before having to do so. These reporters cannot be expected to exstensively research and check the facts of the stories they report.

Furthermore, it is punishment enough that, in the newscaster's case, they are held accountable by the public for the mistakes of others (as would an editor of a paper). So, in a scenario such as that, it is difficult to completely agree with your scrutiny of reporters. However, when it comes to an 'expert' or 'specialist' reporting the news incorrectly in the area of their specialty, I would have to agree that there is very little leeway in what the public, myself included, should allow those people.

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