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Toward Knowledge-Based Criticism (2)

In my previous post I discussed Thomas E. Patterson’s just-published book, Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism (Vintage Books, 2013), which puts forward the radical idea that journalism as a practice would improve dramatically if journalists actually knew something about the subjects they covered.

Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at […]

Toward Knowledge-Based Criticism (1)

It may seem preposterous to have to advocate for and even defend “knowledge-based journalism” against ignorant or dumb opinionation. But we live amidst a growing faith in the reliability of what Jaron Lanier and others refer to as “hive mind,” the collective wisdom (and lack thereof) of whatever amorphous and usually anonymous aggregate one might encounter in an online forum or the listener base for a call-in talk show or the habitués of your neighborhood sports bar. […]

Forumization and Its Malcontent (3)

This challenge seemed to me a reasonable proposal, one that would require an equal amount of labor from both of us in her proving her point and me trying to disprove it, placing our resulting efforts in front of an impartial professional jury for evaluation. How better to engage with the question of what makes the opinion of a person who’s knowledgeable about a given subject more valid than that of someone who doesn’t know shit from Shinola about it than by putting it to the test? My interrogator would have none of it, however . . . […]