A Good Report by Les Sillars

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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?

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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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