What can writers do to build the public's trust in the media?

My friend Jay Rosen has posted another useful essay on his blog Pressthink and asks provocative questions with important implications for every writer.

Rosen begins with a graphic that shows the steady decline in news media credibility in the decades since 1973 -- around the time of Watergate. What were the possible causes of this dramatic decline? What are the sources of public distrust? Did it have to be this way? What, if anything, can journalists and their advocates do about it?

Rosen's personal theory focuses on the traditional voice of the journalistic writer, which has been derided by many as too detached, too omniscient, too connected to sources of power, too sure of itself. It comes off, in Rosen's opinion, as the View from Nowhere.

I chatted about this with Rosen and Poynter's Craig Silverman in this week's writing chat. We looked at the implications of this crisis of confidence, with special attention to what writers and editors -- individually and collectively -- can do to make things better.

You can replay the chat here:

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    Roy Peter Clark

    Roy Peter Clark has taught writing at Poynter to students of all ages since 1979. He has served the Institute as its first full-time faculty member, dean, vice-president, and senior scholar.


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