Sunday, November 28, 2010

Undocumented Journalist, Media Analyst: Eric Boehlert of Media Matters

In an effort to expose unqualified journalists working in the field without documentation, I will identify whether or not a so-called 'professional' journalist actually holds a degree in journalism or communications.

Why is this important?

'Documented' journalists have been taught in college to cover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of news. But more importantly, they have also been taught the reasons why the framers of the Constitution protected the press from the government in the First Amendment and the role the press plays as the Fourth Estate by providing final checks and balances over the political process in the United States. Thus, regardless of work experience, the most basic forms of journalist malpractice can be measured through training, or lack thereof.

Simply put, it is not the job of the press to hold one ideology more or less accountable than another. It is the job of the press to objectively report the truth. In the age of Internet news, it is no longer the job of a journalist to decide what is the correct news; it is the job of a journalist to be an educated, skilled professional.

Eric Boehlert is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, a liberal Web site self-discribed as, "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006). He worked for five years as a senior writer for the liberal blog, where he wrote about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for that proud paragon of investigative reporting and balanced journalism, Rolling Stone.

Boehlert has a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is an undocumented journalist because he does not hold a degree in journalism or communications. More disturbing, Boehlert writes as the premier analyst for a Web site routinely quoted by members of the mainstream media as a credible and reliable source for news.

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