View

A Good Report

Les Sillars on Journalism as an Exercise of the Moral Imagination

The newsroom where I got my start in the 1990s, at a conservative newsweekly called The Alberta Report, loved to skewer the pretensions of establishment media. Establishment journalists saw themselves as professionals graciously bestowing their wisdom upon the unwashed masses; we saw journalism as a trade. "It's kind of like plumbing," our publisher, Link Byfield, would chuckle, "only less complicated."

That's plausible. The reporter's job is to get accurate information from A to B with no leakage. You talk to somebody, you write down what he says, and you put it in your news story. How hard can it be, really?

Journalists themselves, being humble creatures . . .

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Les Sillars teaches journalism at Patrick Henry College and is on staff at WORLD magazine; his first book, Intended for Evil: A Survivor's Story of Love, Faith, and Courage in the Cambodian Killing Fields, was released by Baker in 2016.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone


more on culture from the online archives

32.5—September/October 2019

Must Say No

on When Christians Can't Compromise by Joshua Steely

32.4—July/August 2019

Malaise in Malaysia

Will Islamicization Become Its New Future by Peter Riddell

32.2—March/April 2019

The Mimetic Bachelor

Reality Shows, Even in a Popular TV Series by C. E. Smith

• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.


• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

27.4—July/August 2014

The Things Freely Given

The Bible, Sacred Theology & the Mind of Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon

28.3—May/June 2015

Of Bicycles, Sex, & Natural Law

Describing Human Ends & Our Limitations Is Neither Futile Nor Unloving by R. V. Young

30.3—May/June 2017

Three Trojan Horses

Insider Attempts to Disorient the Orthodox by Alexander F. C. Webster