Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is This Really How Journalism Works?

Rob over at Say Anything has a post on the story AP reporter Jennifer Loven filed about President Obama's speech last night. The story was fairly fawning. It had a painful and jarring change of tense about two-thirds of the way though, something I would think an reporter of a major news syndicate would avoid as the mark of an amateur.

Poor writing skills aside, what Rob (and I) find funny about the article is that it was posted several hours before the speech began. I know some reporters (especially sports writers) bang out columns or stories in advance in a skeletal sort of way. The fleshing out and finishing touches get added later, then the story gets published.

But is it common practice to write a story about a future event that relates details ("He enters the chamber to lawmakers of both parties hanging into the aisle for a chance to shake his hand or exchange a word.") the writer would need a time machine or at least access to Miss Cleo to know?

I know there are a few journalistic types that read this blog once in a while (don't worry, I won't bring shame and ridicule down upon you by identifying you). I'm asking as a matter of professionalism / rules of journalism thing. Forget about what this may say about reporters being in the Obama Fan Club, yada yada.


  1. For 90% of the mainstream media, journalistic integrity died years ago. This time-warp recollection of the Obama speech should not be a surprise to anyone.

  2. I went into the future so I knew you were going to say that.