As Rabett Run said, Eli appears to have torched off a pretty good discussion as to the nature and responsibility of journalism, at least according to the incoming from flacks. This is not sitting well with many, some even have style about it, the ears are buttoned down but the woodwork is boiling over (here, here, here, here, here, here). Eli, of course, is dinged frequently for not tipping the cap and tugging the forelock with proper deference.
So allow Eli to go a bit further. The nature of journalism has changed driven, by the professionalization of the trade and the burgeoning enrollment and number of journalism schools (j-schools) and schools of communication. What they teach shows that there is no longer a dividing line left between public relations, advertising, fiction (film) and journalism. They all take the same classes. You find various combinations at different places.
For example, the alma original, the Missouri School of Journalism, does journalism and public relations, the U Colorado j-school does journalism, advertising and public relations, but they call it media studies which
prepares students for careers as analysts, evaluators and producers of media messages and policies in government and private industry and for graduate education in the social sciences, humanities and law.In addition to faculty who figure out and teach students how to ferret out and report the news there are faculty who are trying to figure out how to sell a message or a product and teach that to the students. Get some smart people in a room and they can come up with some effective stuff.
And then, of course, there is the journalism - public relations complex with bodies moving constantly back and forth. Two examples which spring to mind are the fabled Marc Morano (he was a poli sci major at GMU for what it is worth, worked as a reporter for some right wing organs, then as a flack for Sen. Inhofe and now is at a think tank pouring out daily misinformation), and Jay Carney, President Obama's new press secretary.
If the places where journalism is taught is also the place where churnalists and flacks are trained, perhaps we need a blogger ethics panel?