PressThink is ten years old. To celebrate I’m asking its readers to de-lurk. Want to play?

Your turn: so who are you and what do you do and what interests you enough to show up here occasionally and read these posts? Tell us.

28 Aug 2013 6:57 pm 147 Comments

It was ten years ago this week that I was writing test posts and putting final touches on the site that would officially launch as PressThink on September 1, 2003. It started with this introduction. The key lines:

I am a press critic, an observer of journalism’s habits, and also a writer trying to make sense of the world. I am interested in the ideas about journalism that journalists work within, and those they feel they can work without. I try to discover the consequences in the world that result from having the kind of press we do.

I call this blog PressThink because that’s the kind of work I do. The title points to forms of thought that identify “journalism” to itself— but also to the habit of not thinking about certain things. The subatomic force that holds the pack of reporters together as they swarm around a story, there’s an example of pressthink. Without it there could be no pack; the pieces would come flying apart.

So that’s who I am, and what I do, and what interests me. But who are you and what do you do and what interests you enough to show up here occasionally and read these posts? I am borrowing this idea from the excellent science blogger, Ed Yong, who once a year asks readers of his site to de-lurk— that is, introduce themselves, and perhaps say a bit about why the come back. So if you’re willing, hit the comment button and de-lurk yourself.

Meanwhile, over the next few days I am going to post some reflections on ten years of blogging as they occur to me, which means I will also be able to answer questions posted in the comments if you have them. The first one is below:

1. How has doing this blog affected your career?  Last night on Twitter, after I mentioned it had been ten years, Joey Baker asked me how blogging has affected my academic and writing careers. I had never asked myself that, though I always knew that starting PressThink was a huge, life-changing plus. But once Joey asked me of course I started thinking about it.

The biggest effect comes down to the language I find myself within. Everyone is shaped by the language they habitually speak; but with writers it is a lot more so. Blogging forced me to find a language — a writing style — that would include (meaning: not repel) any of the following because blogging showed me that all of the following were possibly interested.

* Working journalists, any kind. (Like, say, Janine Gibson, but there are many more)
* Peers in the press commentary game. (Like, say, Margaret Sullivan, but there are many more…)
* Bloggers whose blogging verges on journalism or comments on the news. (Like Marcy Wheeler)
* Academics interested in the press and its behavior, whatever their discipline. (Like Brad Delong)
* Journalism students or others hoping to make a career of it. (Like Peter Sterne)
* Non-journalists who have to deal with the press as part of their job. (Like Shel Israel)
* People deeply engaged in politics who have to contend with the power of the media. (Like Anne Marie Slaughter)
* Heavy users of journalism, simultaneously fascinated and dissatisfied with the product. (Like Stuart Zechman)
* Ordinary readers who sense that something is amiss. (Like… you!)
* The denizens of digital culture — geeks — who recognize what is shifting in news production. (Like Jillian York)
* Publishers, any kind. (Like Tim O’Reilly)
* Office-holders who have occasion to reflect on the powers of the press (like Tom Watson)
* People in other countries who feel their press is influenced by the American press (Like Mark Colvin.)

All of those people follow me on Twitter, by the way, and vice versa.

Blogging forced me to speak in a language that would always include all of them and never repel any of them. But at the same time, a blog is “the unedited voice of a person,” as Dave Winer, a huge influence on me, once said. The demands of trying to include, not necessarily “everyone,” but certainly everyone on the above list, and at the same time express myself, in an unedited (uncensored) way, the discovery of a language — an intellectual style — that could accomplish all of those things: that is how blogging affected my career, Joey Baker. It forced me to find my way within the limits of a vernacular, which meant keeping in touch with what matters about the press to all of the people in the categories I have listed.

2. Did you know this blog has a theme song? Here it is. That song, more than any other totem I can find, expresses the attitude I try to write with. I’m not saying that my posts are equal to it, only that they are influenced by it.

What about you? Who are you and what do you do and what interests you enough to show up here occasionally and read these posts? Hit the comment button and speak.


Carl Gottlieb says:

I come here to read other opinions about some of the journalism issues of the day.
Also, to get a feel for the zeitgeist of today’s journalism.

Your writing restores my sanity as a citizen, sets an example of clarity, professionalism and courage. It encourages me to take more chances in blogging about my own professional niche.

Much appreciated, Phil!

I’m suspicious of news media, it seems they serve their own agenda before the idea of informing the public in order to have a better society. I follow football (soccer) & there are loads’ve lies/mistakes written in that section, it’s more like a soap-opera. But there is nothing really at stake there, it’s just distraction. If lies are told regarding sport you can bet there aren’t less lies told no subjects that really matter such as climate change, resources, war & so on. So I come here to try & get a better understanding of the world.

Thanks, Ricky.

Bil Banks says:

Fascinating that your list of notables did not include a single brown or black voice. And then you wonder why thinkers of color disparage much of the Left.

It’s not a list of “notables.” And I don’t wonder what you said I wonder.

I’m a journalist striving to avoid the pitfalls of conventional reporting/wisdom and trying to do my part to keep the profession effective and relevant.

Thanks! That’s exactly what I wanted to know.

Glen Gatin says:

Mostly here with an academic interest in media studies and digital humanities. I also appreciate new media approach to journalism and promise of courageous commentary.

My standard for journalism is that with so much wrong in the world a great act of journalism is one that leads to the resignation of at least one corrupt person or the dismantling of one corrupt agency. Heads must roll, a new take on bleeds/leads.

I’ve been reading PressThink for a long time–I’d qualify as one of those academics interested in the press and how it both reflects and drives our culture. Reading about the blindnesses and insights of pressthink helps me reflect upon the groupthinking (especially with respect to the digital) in my own profession, so in an odd way, I come here to learn more about my own circumstances, even though I’m not directly involved with journalism.


I’ve been reading Pressthink from the start, because I love the depth at which you understand, challenge, and work to expand journalism as a field. It blew my mind, back in November 2003, how you and Pressthink readers ran with a single line from one of my blog posts: Blogging is about making and changing minds. I’m still digging how good and cool that was.

You and Pressthink also brace my long-held conviction that being a journalist does not have to mean being paid as one. The Net is a new bus, and we’re all on it.

Doc, you’re one of my heroes. So thanks.

Linda Roberts says:

As Ricky wrote earlier I want/need to get a better understanding of what’s going on in the USA and the world. My students depend on my being well informed and I am always in search of reliable journalism; I have found it here. Thank you!

I’m a writer, and the reason I read your blog is because of your article, “The People Formerly Known As The Audience.”

Since I read that article, I read your blog to gain perspective on where journalism should be (but isn’t always) heading.

Without a doubt, that is my most well-known post. Thanks, Joseph.

I fall under these categories:
* Journalism students or others hoping to make a career of it
* The denizens of digital culture — geeks — who recognize what is shifting in news production
* Ordinary readers who reflect on the powers of the press

The more content that exists and is continually being created, the greater the need for a distinct voice that stands apart from, and makes sense of, the chaos.

Thank you.

NYU ’06 CAS Grad, Computer Science.

In 2009, started

For past few years, have built and sold a web analytics platform specifically for online news, entertainment, sports, & other content publishers. Now used by many companies in the MSM, such as Atlantic Media, Mashable, Dallas News, Conde Nast. Also used by many alt-media sites & large blogs.

Have always been fascinated with journalism, both in the pre-blogging & post-blogging eras. Was editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper. Didn’t study journalism at NYU because I took a terrible intro course & got a bad taste in my mouth, but always been a news junkie. Been blogging since 2003, as well.

Press Think has been a regular RSS read / Twitter follow for me. Probably gets even more visits from me in the days. Consider your site, Jarvis’ BuzzMachine, & Nieman Labs to be the most important reflective takes on journalism’s role & impact on the web.

I’m a European news nerd who, during the run-up to the Iraq War, started wondering what on earth was going on with the American media. That was when I really noticed that basic facts that were common knowledge here seemed nonexistent in your media landscape. I find that your writing has been extremely enlightening on that front, particularly your thoughts on things like “the view from nowhere” and “the Church of the Savvy”. Now I find myself wondering whether the European media actually is better, or whether it’s just that I haven’t discovered where the limits of our news bubble are…

Thanks Jay, for the blog, and for one of the most interesting twitter streams.

And the post I most often refer to is the atomization post.

I have a tshirt that says Living in the sphere of deviance. So appropriate right now wrt Syria.

I’m an expat in Tokyo and currently teaching English to Nikkei employees. A long time lurker, I like to keep up with the state of journalism, and the content helps with the class discussions. I don’t know of another media/press critic that hits the notes I’m looking for.

I’m working at being a member of what Dwight Eisenhower called “an alert and knowledgeable citizenry.” I believe this requires paying attention not only to the news but to the production of the news.

You’ve not shied from grappling with big questions. That has drawn my attention and earned you my respect.

Brian Hayes says:

my naive flip:
media ghost in the democracy machine

I’m a literature major who quit academic teaching and thought I had to “study” journalism in order to do it. Went to Columbia and was quickly disabused of this idea. Worked as a tech writer as the dot-com boom caved in, and then worked as a newspaper editor on a tiny Caribbean island for two years. Came back here and now work as an editor at a large multilateral financial institution in Washington. I really enjoyed reporting and writing. But I also felt that the stories that American journalism tells itself about itself are a lot of nonsense–self-serving, depressing nonsense based on a simplistic idea of objectivity that was childishly easy to poke holes in, at least would be for someone who could think their way past the same set of worn-out literary conventions and received ideas. You’ve been poking the holes.

Very cool summary. Thank you.

I ran a quick search: I first linked to one of Jay’s posts on October 25, 2003. As early as that, I was interested in seeing an academic dig into the thinking & process work of blogging rather than the usual role of public pronouncer that we academics tend to go for. Also I assumed that Jay knew it wasn’t just journalism that was challenged by the web–that someday the same pressures would sweep through the academy and it would be good if some of us already knew how to use the web toolkit for academically respectable, socially worthy tasks.

In 2003 not many academics were blogging. That was part of the reason I was.

Jay, I’m fairly new to PressThink (within the last 12 months). I’m a museum theorist whose work addresses how the Internet is changing the nature of knowledge, and our interactions in society; and what those changes mean for knowledge institutions. Museums are, in many ways, much more akin to media organisations now in ways that they weren’t before. There are many parallels in the problems confronting journalism/news organisations and many other institutions, so I read for different perspectives on at times similar issues.

It’s also extremely interesting to consider communication more broadly, and the complex relationship it has to power. I read for your thoughts on these questions, too.

I can see the parallels. Thank you, Suse.

I’m a former website editor who has been out of the newsroom for about a year after making a cross-country move. This is my second semester teaching communications and editing. I’m also involved with a nonprofit newspaper.

Working in an online newsroom meant living with two constants: deadline pressure and the threat of losing one’s job. As my head gradually clears of these concerns, I am grateful for this blog’s perspective, particularly on the relationship between journalism and the government.

I constantly recommend tweets of yours to others, and all my students are following your Twitter feed now. Thank you!

Wonderful— thanks, Laura.

Hi Jay. I’m an academic critical theorist who enjoys reading your lucid and thorough critiques of hegemonic, lazily accepted notions of objectivity, balance, and truth.

Vince Dale says:

You’ve just outed me as a Geek, I suppose. Your insight into the role of media celebrities, formally known as journalists, who maintain the appearance of arbitrators of ‘balance’, has completely changed my perception of the mainstream media. It has made me a more active and critical participant in what I see and hear. In the midst of an election here in Australia, this is even more relevant. I see these ideas slowly seeping into the bowels of the media itself, who are being forced to examine their declining influence in this connected world, and to ask the same hard questions you have posed over the years. Back to lurking.

“Forced to examine their declining influence in this connected world…”


I’m a former broadcast journalist, news director, foreign correspondent and talkback host.

Thesedays I work to connect and mentor indy thinkers ( mostly on twitter, and work alongside Wikileaks, Occupy, IdlenoMore and Anonymous.

I value indy analysis of my chosen craft and connecting with people interested in speaking truth to power despite the cost.

thanks for your work.

tony serve

I’ve read PressThink from the outset and its influence in my work has been significant. I’ve not always agreed, but even then, I’ve always admired Jay Rosen’s passion to engage and challenge orthodoxy. I only wish there were more PressThinks.

I wish there were more blogs like the Media Manager:

I read you because you are a good writer. I’m a news junkie, with writer pretensions, but only try to fulfill them with comments since I stopped my own blog (made it two years). I don’t comment here because I mostly agree with you, meaning you convince me most of the time. I like argument, so I comment at blogs I disagree with, mostly going at it on one blog until I get bored with it. Currently attacking Bob Cesca at The Daily Banter.

The sun, she burns!

Mark Catoe says:

I’ve been following this blog since your appearance on Bill Moyers a few years ago. I’m a musician with a general interest in the press and politics. But I’m also interested in following other industries that, like music, are in some sort of upheaval. Plus, your ideas make sense to me.

Here’s that segment with Bill Moyers, myself and Glenn Greenwald, who has been in a lot of PressThink posts lately.

I’m a campaigner campaigning against the wiretapping of NSA and GCHQ recently disclosed by Ed Snowden.
We thought we had to fight for our right to privacy only and find that we have to fight for the freedom of press as well.

I’ve only recently discovered this and your blog, since I follow Glenn Greenwald on twitter.

Civil rights activists and journalists have to cooperate, that’s what I learned here and what I transfer into german for my readers.

proximity1 says:


Another of my “on-paper-mentors” I suspect you’ll know of and, if not, I want to recommend his writings as indispensible in the sort of struggle you are engaged in. I refer to the great philologist and humanist Victor Klemperer, whose writings rank as important as any other I know. Especially his ” LTI. Notizbuch eines Philologen” (Reclam Verlag)

and then, similarly, his journals from 1933 to 1945, (in English, I Will Bear Witness (2 volumes) Random House; In German, Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzten. Tagebücher

I’m an academic librarian who helps students in a variety of disciplines assess and understand the nature of different kinds of information they work with. I’m also a news junkie, and “view from nowhere” gave me a name for why I cancelled my Newsweek subscription in the early 90’s.

Newsweek had as bad a “View from Nowhere” problem as any publication, ever. They kept determining that their value added was “context, interpretation, analysis” but because they also clung to the VFN they could never get a handle on what they themselves said was their strategy. Therefore it never became a strategy.

Hanan Cohen says:

I came here because Dave Winer told us to do that.

I am staying because your blog resonates with how I think about the world.

proximity1 says:

I’m an example of what has become an anachronism, I suppose: a kind of autodidact in something like the mold of Bernard Shaw though not, of course, with his dramatic talents or anything like his place and influence. Shaw was one of my earliest “mentors-on-paper.”

I have devoted nearly all of my time over the past twelve years to reading and studying–following a course of my own design, in order to try and understand the conditions in which I live and in order to try and better understand myself and others. I have a diploma which indicates that I graduated from a university but I understood when it was handed to me that I had not gained any education. I determined to try and remedy that–outside the classroom, without advisors other than what I could find in papers, books, journals and on some select airwaves.

George Orwell’s collected letters and essays and journalism and B. Russell’s works were the writings which confirmed for me the importance of reading and writing; “Such, Such Were the Joys” is one of my all-time favorite essays. Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy virtually gave me the point of departure from which I began to understand my place in a living drama of social history. The more I have read, the greater context I have gained and my reading is now sharper, more focused, than ever before. It has become clear over the past dozen years what central threads unify my interests–the juncture of society, politics, technology and moral philosophy. One of your personal friends and associates, the late Neil Postman, occupies an enormous place in my mental universe. Reading his Amusing Ourselves to Death and, moreover, Technopoly, were life-altering experiences for me. I have never been the same nor viewed the world in the same way since.

Just as the G.W. Bush/Cheney regime was concocting and propagandizing its plan to invade Iraq (in the months from early to late 2002) I stumbled upon a raging debate in the New York Times readers’ fora–which first sprang from the aftermath of the events of 11 September, 2001–concerning the real identity of Shakespeare. Until then, I wasn’t even aware that this was an issue. In the process, I learned to review and reconsider everything–that is, the paucity–of what I had heard and been taught about Shakespeare as a person.

The timing was important because my new fascination with what others presented as a case of vast deliberate dupery about Shakespeare’s identity, validated over centuries since by all orthodox academic opinion, happened just as the government was involved in a similar enterprise to manipulate public opinion and sell a set of falsehoods for its own self-serving ends.

Though it may appear odd to find parallels in these two major social phenomena so difffent in their superficial details and so widely separated in their time, in fact the parallels are enormous; the case of Shakespeare’s identity became a template for many similar sorts of well-sold and well-accepted myths. I was astonished to find the circumstances so often recurring in so many different areas–social studies, history and, now, even in the formal sciences.

Orwell, Russell, Postman, and, just as much, Charlton Ogburn, author of The Mysterious William Shakespeare, taught me how to read and think in a far more critical way about all sorts of things. I owe them and some others much about my orientation to the world today. When Ogburn’s book first appeared in 1983, in recall browsing at Foyle’s Bookshop in London. A front table was exclusively devoted to its display and, as I now recognize, I picked up a copy and looked briefly at it before putting it down and turning to other things. Twenty-four years later, after the Times forum debates had sparked my interest, and after having followed them through the skein of the Bush-Cheney Iraq charade, I took up and read Ogburn’s book. That reading, again, changed practically everything in my outlook and it helped me refocus and to reconsider innumerable things in a fresh light. This, of course, was also after having read Postman’s Technopoly in 1992 when it first appeared.

I’m particularly interested in how widely held social beliefs, often false beliefs, develop, spread and become firmly rooted over generations. Of course, I’m one of my own first objects of study and my own glaring faults and flaws have been among the elements which have most helped me see into and through the larger fraud and corruption around us all. Far from being an exception, I’m entirely a specimen of my times, full of the same errors and moral faults which make up the world we are living in. In uncovering the many ways in which I’ve been a dupe and an idiot, I’ve been able to better see these same flaws in so many other places and situations.

So, my reading and studies have been at once a humbling operation, one for which I was certainly not prepared, and through which I lost a good deal of what I’d been pleased to have as a good opinion of myself. It has also been a journey which has meant a more fascinating look at the world around me.
Obviously, I read this blog for multiple reasons, all of which relate to trying to further my efforts described above—to better understand my times, myself and others. The readers here are quite valuable aids in all of that. I know that our social world is in peril—both positive things about it as well as much that is negative about it, of course. I’m interested in trying to understand why and how to the greatest extent possible.

“To better understand my times.”

As a writer I can’t think of a better motivation in a reader.

I’m a Journalism student trying to convince myself that there will be a place for me in the world when I graduate.

I left law after many years, and after a long interval being a stay-at-home parent. I read a lot of news and commentary on domestic and foreign affairs/relations, as well as politics. Your work often helps me by posing questions to authority and to steno-journalists about what skepticism and pointing-out-no-clothes-emperor ought to be done by journalists, and where media largely fails in those regards.

I’m an economics student in Sweden interested in media issues mainly because I think they affect all kinds of political behaviour such as voting, executive and legislative decisionmaking. The press or the media influence such behaviour since in the political arena the usual assumption in economics of perfect information is void. This enables purveyors of information to influence the creation ofbeliefs which decide the space of possible actions to undertake for different agents. I read your blog for a couple of reasons. The main one is for a more theoretical approach to press criticism than found elsewhere. I also like to get ideas about how “one” (as a journalist) might do things differently, in the event that I have the chance to say so to someone who cares or just for my own curious thinking about stuff.

“To get ideas about how ‘one’ (as a journalist) might do things differently.”

This fits perfectly with my intentions, so thanks for expressing it.

I came fairly recently to your blog from a double perspective.

First, as a (French) citizen, slowly turning into a cynic by watching media pundits and politicians day after day.

Then, as a computing security professional. A longtime fan of Bruce Schneier, especially in his political/social views, I am looking at a variety of sources to get a better understanding of what I am doing and its (possible) impact on society.

Your blog is a great source of inspiration, both for the citizen and for the professional. For instance, your latest post, on making journalism harder, slower, lesssecure, is a great synthesis of both aspects.

I’m ready for the next ten years of reading!

Computer professionals with a social conscience is a relatively new audience for me. Thanks for coming over.

Peter Holland says:

Thanks for the invitation to ‘de-lurk’. I’m a retired academic and broadcaster in Perth, Western Austtralia, interested in what is happening to journalism and the media. Your astute observations are always a pleasure to read. Congratulations on your decade of achievement.

Bernie Latham says:

Hi Jay,

I’ve been attending to your commentary for several years now. I actually can’t even recall who or what alerted me to your writing. Perhaps Alterman. But whomever or whatever is owed a profound “thank you” from me.

I’m not a journalist nor have any real aspiration for the profession. I’m rather too lazy, to be honest. But though Canadian, I have been acutely interested in American politics, culture and media since my early teens and watching news coverage, with my family, of the civil rights battles in the early and mid-sixties. My mother was a Mennonite and my father a Brit/Canadian union organizer. The moral universe we were witnessing was incomprehensible to me and, though to a lesser extent, to my parents as well.

I wanted to make the world a better place and knew I had to learn to achieve any goal in that direction. I haven’t made much progress on the former, I confess, other than such as helping some little old lady struggling with heavy groceries on a snowy street (though in one case, while living in Manhattan, that little old lady turned out to be Adele Mailer). The learning thing has been more successful. And that’s why I attend to you.

With Pressthink and with your twitter feed, you steer me to sources and to ideas which illuminate. You do this with a consistency that is really quite exceptional.

And now that I have this invitation and opportunity, I thank you.

I’m an academic who studies rhetoric, philosophy and argument. I read Pressthink because I am interested in how you marry a distinct critical and theoretical perspective with the concrete and material practices within the media industry. It gives me a model for thinking about how to relate my own work to contemporary situations and issues.

Hi, Cate. One way to define what “pressthink” is: the rhetoric of the press as it seeks to explain and justify and describe itself.

I’m a Navy officer. I’ve been following you for about two years. I believe reading your blog has made me a better critical thinker about media and life.

I stumbled upon Jay via Twitter, probably through a retweet of someone else discussing the “View From Nowhere” – which struck me. I’m no journalist and don’t blog much, but the dilution of news into its current state, a lukewarm stew of extreme viewpoints without a willingness to call bullshit (in most cases) is alarming to me.

As a technologist, I follow how mobile, social media, and the web are affecting journalism and access to information, so Jay’s perspective – which includes components of technological change – has been illuminating on that front as well.

Thanks for hosting this venue.

Thanks, Jeremy. Do you follow Dave Winer’s writings, as well?

I first found PressThink on the blogroll of Ed Cone’s blog, but started reading it regularly after meeting you at ConvergeSouth in 2005 (and my first link/mention: ).

I am a scientist turned blogger, now trying to figure out how to remain a blogger while working in a traditional newsroom, without losing my blogging reputation 😉

I hadn’t realized it until Jay mentioned it, but he started his blog around the same time (literally the same month) as when I started grad school for media studies. I can’t remember how or when I found it, it might not have been that first year, but it makes sense that as I was learning about “media theory” and “framing” that I glommed onto his blog. I think I used to post as “catrina” but then in 2007 I discovered Twitter and started posting as my Twitter handle.

I was a reporter for 4 years (and a few more years as freelancer) but I learned just enough to know that I wasn’t good at it and while I enjoyed some aspect, most of the stories I worked on just flat out weren’t interesting. If they weren’t interesting to me, how could they be interesting to anyone else? Right now I *happen* to have a job right now that involves media analysis and criticism, but I’ve had this interest in media analysis since grad school (and probably before). Actually it dates back to watching Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing and how people would argue about the actual facts (about real issues) Sorkin got wrong. Was curious about how people learn about complex issues.

Also I have to say, never forgot Jay’s appearance on The Daily Show…because I was studying it for my master’s degree at the time.

Thanks, Cat. You have been a faithful reader.

I can’t find a working link to that Daily Show appearance. It might be expired.

UPDATE: A faithful reader found it:–of-new-journali-m–ucce–

Oh I love that clip. So demonstrates that the debate about bloggers vs journalists really should be over. 2013 does NOT look like 2005 in terms of web-writing. (Side note: I thought you had written a post about the experience of being interviewed by Rob Cordry but I looked around Feb-April 2005 and couldn’t see any such post. Maybe it was something you wrote in the comments.) Also I never thought I would say this but there was definite slut-shaming of the Jeff Gannon guy. I remember the issue, but his sex work wasn’t the issue with him.

Been following for quite some time – think I first heard about you from a Doc Searls mention. Lots of changes in the world of journalism and you’ve always seemed to be on top of it.

Keep up the good work Jay.

I’m a sex blogger. I believe there’s always room for improvement. I started reading you for that. I stayed because you’re brilliant.

As a former political operative specializing in online communications, ex-political blogger at the Agonist turned chronicler of cage-fighting and sports reporter at (which is actually steadier work than politics ever was), I rely on Press Think to understand how the profession actually works in a rapidly evolving communications environment.

Mr. Rosen, your blog makes me regret not applying to NYU. To think I could’ve rubbed shoulders with Mr. PressThink himself!

I earnestly hope you will come to Melbourne, Australia to give a talk very soon.

I will be in Sydney in November. Not Melbourne this time, sorry.

I am a reporter-turned-communications person. I am currently a volunteer for Cuso International in Kingston, Jamaica, and your blog helps me to think about a journalist’s role and responsibility when covering complex topics. I write a blog here and face daily challenges when it comes to portraying things with accuracy, sensitivity and awareness of one’s role as a journalist and foreigner. Thank you.

I am a public health researcher. Good clear writing is hard to find.

Jay, you have wonderful style.


I decided I wanted to go into journalism after I had left college. I had not taken a single journalism class, nor worked on the school paper. Instead, I’ve been piecing together a self-designed syllabus to learn about the craft and field of journalism.

Your blog helps me understand the journalism world in aggregate and figure out how to think about it. It shows me the contemporary tendencies and habits of the profession, and when those tendencies and habits should be resisted.

Congratulations on Pressthink’s ten-year anniversary.

“Piecing together a self-designed syllabus…”

That is actually one of the use cases I write PressThink for. Here’s an example:

I found this space too confining, so I wrote my thoughts over on my blog and am posting a link here..


Thanks, Dave. I love that you did it that way.

If the Iraq war taught us anything, it’s that poor journalism can be a matter of life or death. I come here because it helps me keep track of how well we’re doing (as a nation) and where the next pitfalls may lie.

Friend M Wells says:

Dear Jay,

In my day job I make things in the digital and the built worlds for films and museums … But my training and inclination is in art and culture … Finding ( as Werner Herzog says) the “ecstatic truth” in a person or societies moment in time is an epiphany to me. And I care deeply about communities and problems that derive from individuals being alienated from their geography , their neighbors and the shared desires and aspirations of their society. Great journalism reveals things to people about who they are and helps them be more human and less alone. You are an inspirational advocate for great journalism. Thanks!

I like people who think out loud and consider you to be an expert at it. Your blog is the relentless challenging of assumptions, and I think we all grow from doing that. My own blog is about to turn 10. Remember blogrolls? Yours was always a part of mine, and I figure you owe me several thousands of dollars for the link SEO juice I’ve provided you over the years.

Seriously, Jay, congratulations. By keeping your focus narrow (journalism), you’ve actually managed to make a difference. There is no greater calling for humankind.

Tight focus, relentlessly narrowcasted is part of the approach, yes.

Broadest possible language for the narrowest set of concerns that do justice to the site’s title and my title as a professor of journalism: that’s my idea.

“the relentless challenging of assumptions”

Thank you, Terry, for clarifying why I am an “on again” – “off again” follower of Jay’s blog.

I am a retired clinical psychologist and I actually see Jay doing something like I was trained to do, though in a different area. I did spend some years trying to understand politics – in terms of assumptions as I think about it. Or in terms of what could be healing.

In some ways I view Jay as trying to “heal” – through, as you put it, Terry, “the relentless challenging of assumptions. In a nutshell, that’s what therapy is about. Though the figuring out of “what are the assumptions” takes most of the time, while the challenging has to be done in such a way that the person sees the assumptions, perhaps for the first time, and begins to find them annoying enough so they’d like to redecide what assumptions they’d prefer, rather than the ones they inherited.

Peter Grier says:

Jay – thanks for all you do. I have been a national reporter for 35 years. I lurk to try and learn stuff to make my work better and more useful to readers and the country.

I read and have read for the decade because To do so fits my definition of being a friend and colleague. And I learn stuff, too.

Immersed, as Tyndall Report is, in the world of television news, it is all too easy to be preoccupied by TV’s mass-media metrics of success and failure, the ones that are derived from the Nielsen ratings.

Television journalists — and the analysts, critics, reviewers, watchers, such as myself, who focus on television journalism — reflexively take popularity (large audiences) as a proxy for quality. They routinely, and lazily, define correct journalistic decisions — about what to cover, how to cover it, what attitude to adopt — as those that attract the most eyeballs.

Contrast how the TV industry found CNN lacking (because its audiences were declining) with PressThink’s simultaneous dissatisfaction (that it was searching, quixotically, for an ever-diminishing midpoint in a partisan political spectrum).

The usefulness of PressThink is that its starting point is to consider the political role of journalism first, rather than its audience-amassing role: as part of the press, rather than part of media. This can lead to blind spots: PressThink often collapses all journalism into the category of political journalism; when assessing the performance of the press, it overemphasizes its political ideology and underplays its cultural and sociological communication.

Nevertheless, PressThink is based on the belief that the essential criterion by which journalism should be judged is its impact on the health of the body politic, the republic itself. This provides balance to a second, equally indispensable, criterion, namely that journalism must signal to its audience, the populace, that it shares its worldview, its priorities: that it represents them.

The latter is small-d democratic. PressThink is small-r republican.

Very interesting! Thanks Andrew.

You’re right about this part: I do believe the “essential criterion by which journalism should be judged is its impact on the health of the body politic.”

Who I am

I had a long and satisfying career in traditional journalism, and by the rules of the game at the time was quite successful: Pulitzer prizes, winning a newspaper war, serving as chief editorial officer at a good company (McClatchy). At the end (2008) and afterward I watched in heartbroken dismay as the wheels came off and we couldn’t seem to help it.

Why I need PressThink

First I’ll echo the many readers who praise the provocative and thoughtful content overall. It’s a touchstone that helps me keep up with journalism issues that need attention. Sometimes, it’s just the right thing to piss me off and get me focused.

More specifically, let me praise one Rosen trait and give thanks for two things it has applied to: he is one persistent mother, and as a result two ideas I’ve wrestled with since my early days in newspapers 40 years ago have risen to the common vocabulary: valuing “the people formerly known as the audience” and “The View From Nowhere.”

I worked to express both during my career, in many ways more clearly at the beginning than the end. The View From Nowhere in particular was a constant struggle. As early as the mid-1970s, I wrote in a memo to fellow staffers at our alternative weekly:

“So fuck the average reader; he doesn’t exist anyhow, and even if he did, let him read the [other papers]. We’re doing something more important and exciting. ‘We do not intend ever to view ourselves as part of the establishment. Too often, newspapers confuse their role with that of the official government process. They become weighted down with chains of artificial responsibility and so become just another cautious, sterile institution.’ Sound familiar? It ought to; that’s what we told readers in our first publication…

“When pressed, we often revert to the formulas that produced exactly the kinds of newspapers we are all running away from: Keep yourself out of the story. Balance criticism with a favorable quote. Be objective. Two sides to every story …

“From here on out, let’s pull out the stops. If we err, let it be on the side of excess. If we are irresponsible, let’s be irresponsible to something besides our consciences….”

Thanks you, Jay, for doing so much to bring such issues into the daily conversation about news.
(You can read a PDF of that badly typed, 14-page “manifesto” here:

I recommend that manifesto. Thanks, Howard.

I’m a journalist. But I’m very critical of most of the top-tier national press corps — its smug and corrosively cynical tone, it’s lazy fallback to he-said/she-said stenography, its delight in horse-race political coverage as if every citizen shared a political operative’s worldview, its insiderish, “cult of the savvy” frame of mind, its willingness to play the game and refusal to call out the game’s phoniness and artifice. You’ve done great analysis of these themes over the years, and that is why I read your blog.

Those are indeed some of the leading obsessions of this blog. I didn’t know it, but the first “test post” way back in August 2003 started to introduce them.

Steven Springer says:

I’ve worked primarily in television news for 39 years, but have had to branch out to a more multimedia outlook over the last 5-7 years. I’ve also been closely involved in working on, and looking out for, journalistic best practices for the last eight years. I discovered PressThink about 4 years ago, and while I may not always agree with your positions on the issues you write about, I enjoy reading your posts because they make me THINK. So thank you for that!

Yes, it’s called: press… think.

I work in communications and have personal interests in politics, information ethics and policy, and how knowledge is created and shared.

PressThink hasn’t directly related to my career, but I think it’s made me a better citizen.

I read it because we live in a mediated world – seeing/learning through the words, voices and images of others. And to be an informed consumer of that media we have to understand how it is created. Sadly even some of the people creating it don’t really understand their own processes, or are deceiving themselves about it. PressThink cuts through that and asks the deeper (more “meta”) questions.

I’m a computer programmer. I come here so that I can see that I’m not the only sane man. It seems that only comedy like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have the courage to speak up against press BS. Those comedy shows seem to be the only ones wiling to push back on political BS whether it’s from the right or left (although they do attack the right more often). This blog reminds me that there are non-comedians out there who get it.

Li Terrell says:

I have been a freelance journalist for years, mostly because I couldn’t get a “real” gig due to lack of a degree.

Recently got back into school and am FINALLY getting my BA in Journalism…as a result, I stumbled across your blog recently while doing research for my Ethics in Journalism class.

Your openness and critical thinking are what drew me in. The idea of honoring what we do and why we do it and how we are losing our rights and how that effects our society as a whole… all subjects that are dear to me.

As a rookie journalist at our local Tribune back in the late 90s, I was always the “activist” in the editorial meetings. I never want to lose that feeling that what I write is important. I never want to be jaded and complacent in my reporting.

Thank you, for sharing that passion as well!

Li Terrell says:

By the way…how’s THIS for Irony?

I just pulled out a small booklet I got at a Jrn Conference in ’98 called “Community Connectedness, Passwords for Public Journalism” to use in writing my final paper for Ethics class.
Lo and behold, YOU are the author!

Seems I have been a fan of your work for longer than I knew! Awesome!

I am indeed the author. I believe that was from 1990 or 91. It was the first thing I published about an idea that later became my 1999 book, What are Journalists For? So: important to me.

I live vicariously through your writing.

Jay I am interested in news as a business through Web 2.0 eyes. I deal with CEOs of media companies, I am also a writer and not only non-fiction, but newsletters, my own blog, and also I need to be updated about what is going on in news that I need to deal with critically – so I read your blog. You work for me.

Small-town newspaper editorial page editor out on the Left Coast. Because the medium is the message — and because the media have been changing and multiplying so quickly — anyone willing to think hard about what it will mean is invaluable to us all.

Greg Kemble says:

I’m a community college instructor who first took on advising our school’s student news organization because no one else would and I thought it was important. I had virtually no journalism background, so I had (and continue to have) a steep learning curve. Your blog helps me test concepts as I learn them, ensuring that I don’t settle for (and then pass on) simplistic views of journalistic practice.

I’m a PhD candidate, doing research work in interaction design and digital archives. There is a bit of crossover in my research with digital journalism (in terms of technology and and digital mediation if nothing else).

I started following you around 2010 – I can’t remember where I got the link (maybe via Dave Winer?) I was fasciated by your idea of wikileaks as a ‘stateless news organisation’.

Although my work doesn’t much call for it, I’ve always been interested in media criticism and analysis: especially what I see as the total failure of mainstream journalism to address issues around its influence and power in the world, and some of your ideas (especially your identification of the ‘view from nowhere’) have really helped me think some of this though… It does make reading the coverage of the election here in Australia especially depressing though 🙂

I recently got an MS in information and library science, and really feel there are a lot of similarities between journalism and librarian ship/archiving in terms emerging technologies.

More librarians/archivists should follow what’s happen in journalism, and more journalists should probably pay attention to innovation in librarianship and archiving.


Thank for your post. It’s encouraging to see a bit into this community – of which, you are an undeniable leader.

Your turnabout question struck me as much as my question must have stuck you.

I started following you during while studying photojournalism in college, in order to see into the “new media” world that I felt was both inevitable, and ignored.

I parroted many of your arguments to others, and used some to build my own. By the end of my college career, I was relieved that my peers were catching on, and fairly convinced that institutions never would.

My involvement with CoPress and a stint at my college paper as the “Exponent of the Evolution” introduced me to the practicalities of web-meets-journalism.

Now, I spend most of my day writing code for a network hardware/software company. Pressthink is one of the few sites that I have piped directly to Instapaper, and it helps me stay in-touch the fourth estate evolution that fascinates me.

Someday, I’ll get back to working on “journalism” directly. For now, I’m working on tangentially related big problems.

I am drawn to this blog because it is part of my journalism education.

Carrie Spencer says:

I just arrived here via Twitter. I sought you out after a conversation with a former journalist-colleague. I asked him if he might return to journalism now that he was retired from his second career in education. He replied,”no, I don’t think journalism is relevant any more when the real news comes directly from the people via social media”. I think I disagree.
(I’m an instructional designer by profession, and a wide-ranging dilettante).

delia ruhe says:

I’m delia, and I’m a Professor Emerita of Cultural Studies, specializing in technotheory, American news media and popular culture. The Snowden disclosures and their impact on journalism are like catnip to me.

Not an academic but I have a keen interest in the issues you discuss because I believe that the quality of our discourse and the success of our democracy depends on an informed public and it is very hard to do that with a weak or feckless press. I have read your pieces daily from the beginning and have learned a great deal: from history and background to framework and analysis. Sources go direct, atomization overcome (sphere of deviance), the ethic of the link, Rosen’s Flying Seminar In The Future of News (still refer back to it). What a great contribution you are making. Thanks!!

I am struck by the number of replies that begin, “I am not a journalist” or “I am not an academic.”

“I am struck by the number of replies that begin, “I am not a journalist” or “I am not an academic.”

I was going to continue lurking. But after reading your comment I felt compelled to reply.

That even you’re surprised at how many people are in fact NOT journalists or academics is a testament to how much in demand your insights really are.

Unless you were just making a quip about grammer, I interpreted your comment as you being surprised at how many “pedestrian” – or Ordinary readers you actuall do have, even though you acknowleged us in the op.

I’m one of those ordinary readers. And I think alternative points of view with integrity, and your type of analysis is in high demand among. I remember when I was a major contributor to a large social media political group. I posted alternative sources frequently. The Guardian, Consortium, Democracy Now, pressthink, etc. The articles I posted were often insightful, profound and often questioned the official version of events. At first I was made fun of, but eventually many of the members came around and began to actually seek out my posts.

That was when I knew there is a large market for explanations of broad systemic issues – People will read it – they just don’t know where to access it, which outlets have integrity, as many of the alternative sources are only accessible via the web, or they simply don’t have the time.

So many of the important issues still remain in the abstract to the average American. Many of us simply do not understand how issues such as media corruption or the politics of mass surveillance affects us; these issues aren’t immediately perceivable in our everyday lives. That, most of us take in the messages through the peripheral and go on about our everyday lives. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that self preservation always comes first. And relative involvement outcome plays a major role how we take action. We care about corrupt politicians, but at the moment, we care more about feeding our daughters. Declining wages is definitely important to all of us, but at the moment, not getting fired, working 50 hours is more important. Mass surveillance is a major problem, but to many, getting the rent payed is more important.

I have a minimal education ( a GED) and I would also consider myself an “average reader.” The average reader to me is someone who has absolutely no expertise in any of the fields that would give them the proficiency to decipher messages in the media beyond the normal experience of others. No expertise in journalism, social psychology, history, economics or law.

We depend on the major networks to tell us the truth. Even though we secretly believe they always don’t.

I come here because your blog gives me the language I need in order to understand – and explain the broader issues.

Your blog is one of many that I use to help analyze how these subtle issues are connected to our everyday lives and why we should care more. “Why are these things happening to me” are the quiet questions people ask to themselves, but will never utter out loud. A prime example of you providing clarity through you own insights and the synthesizing of various sources was The Toobin Principal. – It was at the same time both fascinating and terrifying. But it helped me define my current reality – it was a major orientation. And because of that, I shared it with everyone I thought would care.

You provide a invaluable service, Jay.

Continue to help people answer these questions, and you’ll always have an eager readership.

Though I am grateful for all of them, Mardy’s is perhaps my favorite reply on this thread.

You’re the reason we do this, Mardy. Not the only reason, of course, but the one we hope for.

DS Wright says:

Good commentary on the media. Insightful analysis sorely lacking elsewhere.

Twitter feed is good too.


Andy Donohue says:

I’m a journalist. I believe deeply in our profession, but I also think we’re seriously held back by our conventions and priorities and dogmas. This blog is the best place around for challenging the issues that keep journalism from being as interesting, democratic and, most importantly, effective as possible. Congrats on 10 years, Jay. Here’s to another decade.

The author of this comment is an inspiration to me, quite apart from what he said about PressThink.

I’m a coder geek and left wing populist. My blog covers politics as well as cleantech, renewable energy, and water issues. Yeah, I know, it’s a weird mix…

I find it heartening that lots of people across the political spectrum support Snowden and, just recently, oppose Syria intervention. It really does seem like “something’s happening here.”

Good blogs like this one create conversations. Conversations can lead to change.

British, just started a masters in journalism in Colombia, therefore in Spanish. I’ve been reading your posts as a way to consolidate some ideas – they feel more solid to me in English and I don’t yet have an English speaking journalism network. So thanks for filling that gap!

Congrats on PressThink’s 10th Anniversary!

Since I haven’t commented in a while, I guess I qualify as a lurker. I would self~identify as a member of the following interest groups:
* Heavy user of journalism, simultaneously fascinated and dissatisfied with the product.
* Ordinary reader who senses that something is amiss.
* Denizen of digital culture — geek — who tries to recognize what is shifting in news production.

I do have a question: How has President Obama dealt with this busted system for communicating with the American people?

My profession (knowledge management) relies heavily on understanding systems, and the system of politicians engaging with the electorate is a fascinating one.

But my introduction to you and your work was very specific. I read “Clowns & Jokers” in the middle of the Australian 2010 election, generally seen as one of the least inspirational campaigns in recent memory. The ALP leaks from an insider (often assumed to be Rudd) to media really reinforced their status as the Church of the Savvy, but I think completely neutered their claim of impartial objectivity.

So this time around, the media are being actively called out as players. Funnily enough, this isn’t doing much. It seems to me that most Australians have already internalised the role of media and adapted to ignore the “noise”.

The reference is to:

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right: On the Actual Ideology of the American Press

Gary Dickson says:

This is similar to me – I’m a grad journalism student at the University of Melbourne who read the same piece during the same campaign.

Lucas Graves says:

PressThink launched about the same time as my grad school career and has been a constant resource ever since. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a half-formed thought about blogs and journalism and factchecking and ecosystems and objectivity, and etc, and found it nailed to the wall right here. Needless to say, the conversation about what counts as journalism is more urgent than ever right now. Keep it up Jay.

Thanks, Lucas. Much appreciated.

John Harrold says:

I’m a chemical engineer by training and I’m attracted to solving problems dealing with mathematics and biology. I spent most of my life in school and after that was over I joined the Peace Corps. I’ve lived all over the US and I work work in early drug discovery by providing modeling and simulation support.

I’m interested in public and foreign policy, and I try to stay well rounded in terms of what I read.

I recently discovered your site after listening to an NPR interview you did recently.

Truth not only interests me, but sustains my sense of what it means to be a human being. There are many reasons to be critical of the Press and most of them revolve around avoidance of Truth, denial of Truth and obfuscation of Truth.

But imperfect as the Press is, there is no alternative social institution which can replace it. At its best, provides eyewitness accounts of the daily dramas of life. The press, is in a real sense, society’s institutional camera and microphone into the hidden places which the rich and powerful do not want seen. At its worst, it is drab and trivial, a vehicle for groupthink and for what the wealthy and powerful want us to think.

The Snowden NSA revelations brought me here. I believe in the exceptionalism of the United States– not for whatever it does, but for our exceptional ideals. These ideals are the warp and woof of our national fabric. Without them, the nation will unravel. I want the press to keep us citizens informed and government self-aggrandizers to worry about that. In other words, I want light and plenty of it; we may not be able to eradicate the rats, but they belong back in the shadows.

My name is David Wynn, and I’ve been following PressThink for a number of years now. I consider myself a geek who’s deeply interested in journalism and governance among other things. I keep coming back because I really appreciate Jay’s perspective, and his ability to put his finger on a problem I can clearly feel.

Currently I’m a solution engineer in Mountain View working for a software firm that is not Google. In my spare time I read a lot about media (among other things) and tinker with tools that I think might improve the discourse in America.

I’ve been an academic historian for a decade or so. Among the various failures in our social system, none truly bother me so much as the failures of journalism because it represents the final backstop in holding all our various other discourses to account. Your dissection of the ideology of journalism is immensely helpful in unpacking the nature of these failures and how they might be resolved.

Beyond that, I also find that concepts such as “Church of the Savvy” can be reapplied to areas like academic history, where there is a strong incentive to caricature the ideologies and thought systems of the past, so that the present-day historian can claim to diagnose the persistence of malignant ideas, recover neglected wisdom, and reconcile previously fractious ideologies into a more harmonious politics.

You keep begging me to pipe up as if you have time to wade though it all this. You caught me on a slow morning. If you insist:

I am a photographer (and writer and musician et al) in Wyoming. When you were skiing here last winter, I tried to cajole you via Facebook into posing for a quick family photo, gratis, because I think people who matter ought to have a great head shot. It’s the least I can do to propagate the influence of the clear thinkers out there.

In college I heard a lecture by anthropologist Dr Ashley Montague. Talking about ancient literature, he observed something like, “You can tell a lot about a culture not by what they said but by what they didn’t say.” Apply that to our popular media. I say with no hyperbole that it suffers from a form of insanity. For example, Bill Kristol will be on Meet the Press this weekend as an “expert.” No one will tell him on air, “Every time the chips are down on critical matters, you are 100% wrong. You are a disgrace.”

I’ve done enough journalism to know how hard it is to convey truth and fairness and all that. But muy-serioso truth-fairness-et-al discussions are cop-outs. To be effective, journalism requires both a good writer and a good reader. Montague’s point as applied to journalism: know how to filter. Know that “bias” is a human constant — especially the newly-dubbed confirmation bias. Know that no distinct line separates information from propaganda. So have fun taking it all in. Become good at separating fact from the rest. Skepticism and cynicism are two different things.

Anyway, your dissections of the degradation of journalism, its groupthink and in-crowd decadence, are routinely spot-on. You are doing a lot of hard thinking for me and I appreciate that.

Currently doing Master’s in journalism at Syracuse University. California native, studied Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Goal is to focus on investigative journalism. Interested in starting my own independent news organization dedicated to quality, in-depth reporting. Believe in grassroots movements, rebuilding the business model of journalism.

Too much news centers around what’s happening, not why. Social change is why I’m pursuing journalism.

I’m relatively new to journalism. I just finished a multimedia journalism master’s with a British University in China. My undergraduate degrees are in theoretical physics and mathematics, and most of my work experience is in medical research, programming, and web development.

I read this blog to keep track of evolving trends in thinking on journalism, as I want to participate in and invent new modes of journalism for the internet era. I think the first step to evolving journalism for new technologies is evolving our thinking on journalism–especially journalistic ethics. I’ve found PressThink very useful in helping me clarify my ideas.

Your pieces on Wikileaks and the Snowden drama have been of particular interest to me.

I am a psychoanalyst interested in developing a stronger voice for psychoanalysts (myself and my colleagues) in public conversations about social issues, culture and people. We’ve tended to be an isolated group that talks more to each other than thinkers and doers outside our small profession. But we have some really valuable concepts we’ve worked with for a very long time–for example, denial and how to overcome it, which is applicable to climate change, racism, homelessness etc and a useful thing for journalists and policy makers to get. So this means learning to use social media and blogging. Your distinction between “idea-casting” and “life-casting” is what first captured me.

Thank you, Prudence. Denial has seemed to me a term of escalating importance for understanding politics and journalism. And the psychological component of what I call pressthink is in many ways the richest vein an “analyst” of the press can tap.

I’ve only been reading your stuff for a couple of years. I’m a late-in-life Pressthinker. About fifteen years ago I had read Manufacturing Consent and was developing a very critical view of media. Ten years ago I wrote a Master’s thesis that was, in part, about the philosophy of science and epistemology and I used Nagel’s “The View from Nowhere.” So when my good friend suggested a couple of years ago to check out your press analysis, I was hooked.

I would say that over the time that I have been reading you I have become slightly less cynical about the press, and you are partly to blame for that. As a result, when I find the time to think on my blog, it’s often about journalism. Thank you for your hard work engaging with the public. I’m looking forward to ten more years.

I’m a journalism scholar from Denmark and have (on-off) followed the blog for a couple of years now. I’ve used what is probably your most famous post (“The people formerly known as the audience”) in my PhD as well as in classes. Here, it provided a very useful frame for understanding the complex relationship between media organizations and their audiences, and several of my students have made good use of it in discussions and in their exam essays.

While I don’t always agree with what you’re saying, your blog posts always do inspire and make me think about my own position re contemporary developments in journalism. And for that reason alone, I’ll surely keep PressThink in my RSS feed for years to come.

“While I don’t always agree with what you’re saying…”

Thanks for mentioning that. It’s important.

I’m a local media critic and journalism teacher. I read PressThink to stay on top of burgeoning ideas about the role of journalists in 21st century America. The distinction between “politics:some” and “politics:none” is of interest to me, as is the idea that journalism does not exist in a vacuum, and because of that journalists have a special obligation to civic tasks like defending the Bill of Rights.

Tim Sullivan says:

I’m the news director for what seems these days to be a typical commercial AM news-talk radio station – conservative, with a syndicated talk show lineup of the usual suspects: Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin. Our local talk show hosts are also conservative-libertarian. Me? I would be the black sheep of the family. My selection of news stories and manner of coverage of certain issues sometimes gets criticized by listeners apparently because my news judgement doesn’t fit the overall conservative theme of the radio station. In other words, listeners will complain because a story isn’t slanted to their point of view, or because a report might include a newsmaker’s comment with which they don’t agree. All this to say I read your Press Think blog pretty much to keep my head on straight. I became aware of it a few years ago, I believe through a reference in a Glenn Greenwald blog. I can say that I have learned more about what journalism is and how to do it in those few years than I learned from my college professors and in my previous radio news jobs. I always knew there was a different way to report the news, and the methods and theories you espouse in your blog have opened my eyes to that. I’m also better able to argue my case when questioned by a listener upset at how a particular story was reported. It’s hard to unlearn years of being taught and told that to do news properly all stories must be fair and balanced, or in the mode of “he said, she said,” but I’m getting there. Thanks to Press Think for the assistance.

“I became aware of it a few years ago, I believe through a reference in a Glenn Greenwald blog…”

Just guessing but based on the timing and your description here, it might have been this post:

Colin Snowsell says:

I’m a College Professor who teaches in a Communication Studies department, up in B.C.

For my “Intro to J-Studies” course I partner the best bits of Pressthink with readings from Schudson’s Sociology of Journalism; and sometimes show the video of you, in which you pair despair to Scotch (Watchdog Press died…), to class. Oddly, everyone leaves thirsty.

But seriously: I introduced the course four years ago because of you, and Greenwald. Here’s hoping for another ten…

Also, this is one of my favourites:

Hmmm, maybe you ought to consider republishing your archived material in a nice new interface as a ten year anniversary gift to your readership. Could be a nice project for some grad students.

Lach Myers says:

Ordinary reader who senses that something is amiss.
After watching the published work of Australian press journalists gradually fall into disrepair, your comments to Leigh Sayles about a year ago suggested that I might not be the small minority, but that wiser heads might see this too. Her shocked expression when you identified the degree of “capture” was a delight. Even if it had little lasting impact.
Been visiting ever since.

I remember that interview very well.

Aenid Lesrauv says:

Somehow came across this blog while reading (and attempting to keep track with the recent June+ revelations).

This blog’s articles regarding the issues of the June+ revelations has been insightful and helpful.

Thanks for writing.

John Jackson says:

I think I first saw you at Bloggingheads a few years ago and ended up swinging by and reading some of your posts and have been a semi-regular visitor ever since.

I’m a semi-professional musician (the frequency and amount of pay being the main reason for the “semi”.) I have no experience in journalism but have always felt that it is a very under-appreciated profession. During the Bush administration, when I started getting more politically aware, I became pretty infuriated by the GOP’s constant harping of the “Liberal Media” Myth. And examples like Climate Change and the Iraq War really opened my eyes to how bad much media performs it’s job. I had already taken a layperson’s interest in some of Eric Alterman’s media commentary, so yours was a nice second-step into more of the nuts and bolts of the craft. I think you raise very important points and ask very thought-provoking questions. Most of them are still sadly ignored by the MSM, but I have been seeing more people like Maddow and Hayes having discussions in similar terrain which gives me a certain amount of hope that some of your concerns are gaining traction, albeit slowly. Thanks for the great blog.

“Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”
– Henry Anatole Grunwald

Your decade young blog (“In Internet years, the blog is about a thousand years old”) always speaks to me as you challenge both the angels and the devils dwelling in one and all readers …

I look forward to hearing you in November when you invade Sydney 😉

Best wishes and may the force be with you always …