deadlines amuse me

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No tears, please; just the news

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“The Anderson Cooper cult of personality must end,” says Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle. I agree.

Goodman’s provocative piece traces the impact of CNN’s Anderson Cooper on news sensibilities at CNN — and the impact of his pairing with Aaron Brown on “NewsNight.” It ain’t pretty.

I’m old school. I’m tired of excessive, sometimes artificial reportorial empathy — often blatantly aimed at gathering ratings or circulation than providing clear, accurate information. As many critics have pointed out, Anderson Cooper wasn’t alone in shedding tears while providing information that turned out to be highly questionable.

I don’t want my reporters crying on the job. (I do think they ought to cry off the job, because too many internalize the pain and suffering they see to their eventual emotional detriment. But no cryin’ on the job.)

Why?

My newsroom godfather told me: “When the rest of the world is losing its head, we’re expected to keep ours.” And who can argue that the world these days hasn’t lost its collective head? Wars, pestilence, disasters, political trickery and treachery, bureaucratic incompetence abound.

Keeping a clear head, to me, distinguishes journalists working at their best. Old school? Sure. Traditionalist? Absolutely. But when you need positively, absolutely need accuracy and clarity, you won’t get it from someone blinded by tears.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 12, 2005 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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