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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 . . .

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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.


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