, 19 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. We are all responsible for the death of reality. We are all responsible for the crippling of journalism.

Truth is too complex to be captured in a single article or broadcast or even a book. All we can hope for, when we are doing our absolute best, is accurate and fair. That..
2...was the standard I was taught by great reporters. But we have fallen so far from that, accurate and fair is no longer part of the discussion. Facts - sloppy, minuscule, often wrong facts - are used for conclusions with people not realizing that is not enough. My 2nd book...
3...from back in 2000 was about that. I wanted to use the tagline "All of it is factual, none of it is true" but my publisher thought it would be too confusing. But facts can be misleading.

Bob shot Bill and Bill died. All of that is factual. So Bob killed Bill? Nope.....
4...the facts lie. Bob shot Bill with a water pistol when they were kids, and 50 years later, Bill died of cancer. So yes, Bob shot Bill and Bill died. But more facts changed the meaning.

I watch people on right and left get facts they don't like and then rip apart....
5...the journalist's motive, rather than considering the newly presented facts if they challenge beliefs. If they are clearly false "facts" twisted to tell a storyline, then yes, attack motives. But not if you can't disprove them.

We as a country love tearing people to shreds..
6....we love being stupid - always certain, rarely well-read, unknowingly adopting the mindset of ignorant trolls sitting in their basements sneering, not realizing they are the dumbest of them all - because it lets us be angry, to fling our rage born of misplaced certainty ...
7...the most frequent thing I am told as a journalist is this: "You are the first reporter to contact me." And I am not told that by people who are unknown. Most of the time, it is from people who have headline names, who have been attacked and attacked on TV and in the press...
8...and i find, every time, that what these people have to say makes their stories far more nuanced. So, suddenly I am shifting to journalism. The problem there is not bias - it is laziness. Journalists who think they know the "truth" are the ones most often wrong. Again....
9...I have never had the faith that I know the "truth." Thats why I keep reporting.

This is not about me, but I know the complaints of these people who say no one ever spoke to them is true. A lot has been written about me over the years....
10...hundreds of articles. But I have been contacted less than ten times. Instead, people rely on factoids, tweets, bits of information, but rarely try to learn the nuanced, often great story. Often, "journalists boast that "both sides say Im wrong, so that means Im right..."
11...the arrogance of that has always stunned me, the fundamental ignorance, as if everything is a duality - one side or the other, one side lying, the other side true. If both sides say you got it wrong *then it is probably wrong.* I have written explosive stories that have...
12...collapsed businesses, and never had 2 sides say I got it wrong. I have sometimes had one person involved in the story get something wrong, and if they showed me why, I corrected. I am always *terrified* of getting it wrong, because we are messing with real people's lives....
13...so are you. When you judge a person based on a tweet or a clip or what someone says about them somewhere, you are abandoning reality. You don't know. You only know the limited facts you have seen. You cannot get enraged without as much info as you can find, you cannot...
14...attack until you educate yourself and find out, if the message is wrong, why the messenger got it wrong.

Accurate and fair has been undermined by flashy and quick. The right standards still exist, but they are hard to find. Flashy and quick is the fast food of news...
15...it is not nutrition for your brain. It is fuel for your emotions.

Once, a reporter with the Oregonian wrote something about me, saying I had done something because an anonymous person on twitter said i did. She may no attempt to contact me. She just said the lie was true...
16...when I emailed her with the facts, she did not respond, just like too many reporters dont. I finally reached her. As best I know, even though I showed she was absolutely wrong, she did not correct.

I don't know if journalism will ever recover from what it has become. The...
17...the only way it can is if we demand better of ourselves, if we demand more from the journalists who feed us quick and flashy, if we read the complex stuff so we become educated, not the simple clickbait so we get enraged.

And journalists? You need to do your damn jobs....
18...you don't KNOW what happened in any circumstance, unless you are reporting "the building blew up" when you saw it. Or "an official told me the building blew up" which is different from flat out statement of knowledge of what you did not see.

Call. Everyone....
19...unless you write an opinion column, your opinion is irrelevant. You must report and report and report. What you believe is irrelevant. And if you find that you are writing something about someone - and have not tried aggressively to talk to them - you should quit your job.
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