I think Steve Benen’s take on the move by Peter Goodman from the NY Times to the Huffington Post is an interesting one. I don’t know why the standard operating procedure for the mainstream press has become one where reporters can repeat what two sides are saying in a controversy, but not say which one is right. But that’s the way it is and it’s one of the most frustrating aspects about being an informed news consumer – I know that the healthcare bill has no death panels in it, but the reporters I read won’t tell me flat out that Republicans are lying.
For the public that wants to know who’s right, and not just who’s talking, it creates a vacuum filled by online outlets. For journalists who want to “tell readers directly what’s going on,” it creates an incentive to abandon news organizations that demand forced neutrality.
Hopefully the continued growth of outlets like Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo, along with the expansion of reporter-bloggers at sites like FireDogLake and Daily Kos, will provide meaningful competition and real alternatives to what we get from the traditional press. People like Ryan Grim, Brian Beutler, Marcy Wheeler, Sam Stein, and David Dayen are proof that you can tell your readers when someone is right or wrong and still be a journalist. In fact, that’s what makes for real journalism.