Solid journalism is not readily apparent. A number of people have questioned how I arrive at my opinions. Apparently, they’re seeing the end results where I’m furiously posting links, my opinion, and more links at the end of my day, and can’t believe I’m taking any time at all to verify anything. In reality, I’ll often spend eight or more hours conducting research on numerous issues before heading online to post my opinion. I always strive towards solid journalism. Whether or not I achieve it is left to the astute reader.
My career — aviation — was horribly intolerant of opinion. It didn’t matter how strongly you held an opinion. If you were in the wrong place at the wrong time or doing the wrong thing, you stood a significantly greater risk of colliding with the ground, dangerous weather, other aircraft, or physics. In fact, seven friends of mine have died in aviation accidents over the years, four in the Air Force alone. All five fatal accidents (two friends died in the same accident) were the result of flying perfectly good aircraft into the dirt. Of those five, two involved flying perfectly good aircraft into dangerous weather before the dangerous weather forced them into the dirt. One of them had a mid-air collision, essentially flying two perfectly good aircraft into each other, whereupon gravity took over. Heck, as a private pilot, I inadvertently flew into dangerous weather which then tried its best to force me into the dirt. I thank God for guiding me out of it, and will never again trust ATC’s report of weather whenever and wherever I can gain a better report from FSS and ATIS.
In aviation, FACTS are LIFE. A lack of information, misinformation (error) and disinformation (intentionally, usually by the enemy) can and will kill you. We learned and practiced an exorbitant number of pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight tactics, techniques and procedures to maximize the breadth, depth and accuracy of good information while detecting and correcting both misinformation and disinformation. We learned which sources were reliable and which were only so-so. Once airborne, we used a number of means including ATC, FSS, Command Post, Intel, ATIS, onboard radar and similar instruments, and the old Mark I Eyeball to update the information with which we flew while accomplishing the mission in the safest, most effective way possible.
Throughout my aviation career, I trained, flew, and scheduled, managed missions, projects and programs, and instructed members of all branches of the service both on how to integrate joint firepower onto the battlefield, but also how to best employ intratheater and intertheater airlift. Somewhere along the way I learned a boatload about IT and wrong two dozen articles for Network Wold.
Thus, aviation is utterly dependent upon solid fact. Similarly, solid journalism requires solid fact, as well.
The need for accurate information is also true of politics, with the exception that the results are less immediate, taking years and even decades of political stupidity to drag a country into the muck. Sadly, when it comes to information, many if not most politicians these days and those who continue to elect them are ill-equipped to separate the chaff from the wheat, either by defect of character, religion, or education.
I love our country. To that end, I eschewed an offer with a starting salary in private business as a consultant that was 50% higher than my starting salary as an officer, served honorably, did the absolute best I could, and retired honorably. These days, I spend an inordinate amount of time supporting and defending the same Constitution which I took an oath to support and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic both upon entry into the service as well as when I was commissioned.
To that end, each day I do the following:
I read between 5 and 20 articles at Fox News.
It launched on October 7, 1996, to 17 million cable subscribers. Fox News grew during the late 1990s and 2000s to become the dominant subscription news network in the U.S. As of September 2018, approximately 87,118,000 US households (90.8% of television subscribers) receive Fox News. In 2019, Fox News was the top-rated cable network averaging 2.5 million viewers.
Source: Wikipedia’s entry on Fox News
I like Fox News primarily due to their complete and utter disregard for the scourge of political correctness. It’s refreshing to digest content that’s not heavily slanted in order to avoid offending some ridiculous if not mindbogglingly stupid political agenda.
I enjoy their many straightforward expose’s on liberal group think. I’ve long been fascinated by group think, a concept about which I first learned during my commissioning program. I then saw just how prevalent it really is throughout society, both military and civilian. Most anchors at Fox News know it well, and are quite adept at disassembling the rather flimsy constructs behind most liberal philosophy and action.
I read between 5 and 20 articles on Yahoo News.
“Duh News,” as I call it, is an internet-based news aggregator. Yahoo News articles originally came from news services such as the Associated Press, Reuters, Fox News, Al Jazeera, ABC News, USA Today, CNN and BBC News.
Back then, it was pretty good!
These days, it’s owned by Verizon and run like a sewer chock full of the worst liberal news articles imaginable, mixed in with the usual assortment of more or less credible news sources.
Today’s lineup includes sources such as Yahoo News, Celebrity, Yahoo Finance, NBC News, Popular Mechanics, Business Insider, Defense News, Tech Crunch, Reuters, HuffPost, EndGadget, CoinRivet, GeekWire, OilPrice, The Daily Beast, and USA Today.
Source: Wikipedia’s entry on Yahoo News
While some of those are good, others are absolute trash. “So, then, why do you read it?” Simple: Because the Demoncrap opposition reads it, from your lowliest brain-dead Demoncrap teen to the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, Biden and the rest of the Congressional Demoncraps.
Yes, it’s JUNK. But I have to know what Demoncraps are filling their own heads with so that I can counter it with well-articulated reality. “You’re wrong!” doesn’t win arguments, much less good bouts of logical discourse. It certainly doesn’t help chart a course out of this idealistic mess into which the mass manure munchers have dragged our nation.
The major beef I have with Yahoo News is that their very business model violates the first code of journalistic ethics:
Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.
Source: SPJ Code of Ethics (see below)
Not only does Yahoo News fail in this regard, they routinely publish HuffPo, one of the most flagrantly non-factual, anti-Conservative sources of hate, misinformation, disinformation, and liberal/socialist/communist idealistic mush on the planet. By comparison, they make the old U.S.S.R.’s Pravda look like a church hymnal.
I read between 5 and 20 articles from the BBC.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world’s oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.
The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television license fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organizations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up. The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, and used to fund the BBC’s radio, TV, and online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has also funded the BBC World Service (launched in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service), which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, radio, and online services in Arabic and Persian.
Source: Wikipedia’s introductory section on BBC.
In fact, I find the BBC to be an excellent reflection of conservative Europe. While it’s not quite like America’s conservatism, they’re fairly apolitical, focusing instead on the good, old-fashioned 5+1 Ws of Who, What, Where, Why, How and When. They’re not a very well-informed source on politics here in the U.S., but they’re well-connected to world events and politics.
I read half a dozen articles each from The Big Three: ABC, CBS, NBC
While these guys (stick it in your ears, you purveyors of gender neutrality) have a vested interest in protecting at least the appearance of objective journalism, they fail, often in big ways, usually by failing to tell the whole truth. They deceive readers and viewers by telling only that part of the story that supports the liberal agenda. Despite this obvious shortcoming, they do a fairly decent job staying on top of at least half the news. It’s certainly better than the crap on Yahoo News. Most importantly, it’s a key window into the Demoncrap mind, as the Big Three are a major source of their news.
Throughout it all, I keep notes on the articles I read, particularly where various stories are heavily slanted along party or ideological lines or articles contradict one another. In fact, if I find two articles published on the same day by the same publisher and one article says one thing while the other says something completely different, I’m likely to cross-post links to the two articles, write the writer, the editor, and the publisher with something along the lines of, “If two members of your journalist team research and write about the same top but come up with two wildly conflicting results and conclusions, then not only do they FAIL as journalists, but you FAIL as editors.” Furthermore, if I find any substantial lack of journalist integrity, I call them on it, pointing out the specific infraction(s) while referring the entire chain to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics page.
I usually begin all writing on Facebook. Quite often, however, a particular issue arises where I either have extensive knowledge or am otherwise highly qualified to comment. When this occurs, I side-step to this blog, before posting a link here to both Facebook as well as any of the many daily articles from Mudstream Media which I find to be incomplete, in error, or just out to lunch.
Before I publish, however, I perform a thorough review, acting as my own editor, rewriting as necessary, changing the layout, structure, focus, headings, and more. In short, all that and more is required of solid journalism.
Research, research, research,and I’m not talking about another news agency, much less social media, including message forums. I’m talking about masters-level reviews of peer-reviewed research papers conducted using statistically and scientifically sound procedures and controls.
If I can’t find what I need, I crack open some textbooks, dust off my two masters degrees, s.c.l. both, brush up on the latest from reputable, industry-standard sources, and start conducting doctoral-level analyses using what data I can find.
Based on all of the above, I then add my own $0.02, often accompanied by substantiating links I discovered during my own research.
And THAT, my friends, is where the fray begins!