Jay Rosen Profile picture
I teach journalism at NYU, critique the press, try to suggest reforms. PressThink is the name of my subject and my site. @jayrosen_nyu@mastodon.social
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Oct 8, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
There used to be in president-press relations something called a gaffe. The gaffe doesn't exist any more because it's become the whole presidency. This method is surprisingly effective. It's worked for fact-checking too. How can you fact check a hurricane of lies? Thread. 1/ I call it a 'method' because we have a statement explaining it that way. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit," said Steve Bannon to author Michael Lewis. 2/
Sep 14, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
The listening tour that @jack has been on as CEO of Twitter found its way to me this week. I recorded my one hour conversation with him on my iPhone 5. Then @Recode made a podcast out of it, with transcript. recode.net/2018/9/14/1785… 1/2 Among the things I talked about with @jack: an edit feature; a "live now" button you could turn on and off that would say, I'm on and reachable; what he heard from conservatives when he met with them; his view that Twitter should be an "impartial" platform— but not "neutral." 2/2
Sep 9, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
A common element in Woodward's book, Fire, and the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times is the manner in which they ask to be trusted. In both cases, the trust system summed up in the word transparency is declined in favor of an older system: reputation, or "stored" trust. 1/ Woodward has hundreds of hours of tapes, but we cannot hear them. He has voluminous notes, but we cannot see them. He also has documents, a few of which are apparently reproduced in the book (it isn't published yet) so that part would be an exception to this observation. 2/
Sep 3, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
On the New Yorker having Steve Bannon at its festival, I disagree with friends and people I normally align with. We ought to debate it— and even fight about the wisdom of such invites. But I am cautiously in favor of this one. I will try to explain why. nytimes.com/2018/09/03/art… 1/ That Bannon is a dangerous operative with a racist agenda, an avatar of illiberal democracy, I do not doubt. I am just back from three months in Germany, where I had a lot of conversations with journalists about "giving platform" and media coverage to people like him. 2/
Aug 26, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Ask the journalists who loved him why they did, they will say: McCain loved to talk to them, he was FUN to talk to, you could ask him anything, he didn't observe his own party's PC or anyone else's, he was unpredictable, he had depth, he was larger than life, and no one ever...1 ...ran a campaign like his in 2000 with the sort of openness, candor, patience and good humor they found on the "Straight Talk Express," as it was called. And all that is probably true. He was kind of a dream politician to cover. But there's another "fit" we should mention... 2
Aug 14, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
I watched the briefing today. Not as a journalist, but as an academic. A thing I kept asking myself as I listened to Sarah Sanders reply: what kind of speech is this? Who — or what — does she represent? Not for you, maybe, but for me, it is extremely difficult to answer that. 1/ By convention she is supposed to, but in reality she knows she does not speak for the president. He will contradict her on a whim, without realizing that this is a problem. But she does not speak for — or as — herself either. For the world has no interest in what she "thinks." 2/
Aug 9, 2018 17 tweets 5 min read
1/ Here I share some thoughts about what has become a famous phrase. It originates with Marty Baron, editor of the Washington Post, whom I regard as the unofficial leader of the American press, the tribal chieftain. His famous phrase is this: “We’re not at war; we’re at work." 2/ Baron is referring, of course, to Trump's "war" on the press. And he's reacting to statements like Steve Bannon's: “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Aug 8, 2018 6 tweets 4 min read
Makes sense, as long as @jack understands: principles enforced impartially will lead to an imbalanced result under conditions of asymmetric polarization, where one side is drifting toward the extreme at a faster rate than the other. If you grasp that, then get ready for the heat. As @caitlin__kelly pointed out, everything we know from behavioral science about conspiracy theory and wild factual claims tells us that @jack's innocent suggestion here will help spread those claims. Study up on the term "strategic silence," Jack.
Aug 2, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
I visited Zetland @ZetlandMagasin in Copenhagen today. They are a journalism site (subscription) that has gone all-audio, in addition to text. That means every story is read aloud and recorded by the author, and available for listening on-site and in-app. Now for some stats... 1/ They have 11,000 subscribers in a country of 5.7 million (US equivalent by my math: about 625,000 circulation.) They publish 2-3 original pieces a day. Of the total consumption of their journalism, 64% is now through audio. That speaks of significant demand... 2/
Jul 28, 2018 17 tweets 4 min read
1/ Time for another report from Berlin, midway in my stay at @BoschAcademy. I'm studying German pressthink this summer. This thread is my notebook on What Objectivity Seems to Mean in German Journalism. To an outsider. So if that title excites you, you're in the right place. 2/ This week I interviewed leadership and staff at New German Media Makers, @NDMedienmacher, a support network and advocacy group for journalists with a "migration background" who are working in German Media. goethe.de/en/kul/med/208… We talked for an hour just about objectivity.
Jul 17, 2018 11 tweets 4 min read
Will you indulge me for a moment? Here's a transcript of an interview just before the summit, conducted by @NPR's David Greene with Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat. It's a four minute read, then I will have some comments. npr.org/2018/07/16/629… 1/ You will notice that Greene's entire approach in this interview is "but what about...?" He thinks interviewing is listening to what a guest says, then tossing back a few doubts. "Is it going too far to..." "Isn't this an opportunity to..." "But wait the president says..." 2/
Jun 30, 2018 11 tweets 7 min read
0/ Four weeks into my summer fellowship in Berlin at @BoschAcademy. Today I can report back about the major differences I have found so far between the German and American press— and the different press situations in Germany and the US... Ready? pressthink.org/2018/05/will-s… 1/ Biggest difference with the US: The strength, stability, tradition and sheer "bulk" of the public broadcasting system in Germany, funded through a license fee that every household and firm pays. At the heart of the German media system are the two major public broadcasters.
May 1, 2018 5 tweets 3 min read
"Our followers on social media and our readers across the Internet have come together to collectively serve as a modern watchdog, more vigilant and forceful than one person could ever be." That's what @nytimes said in killing the public editor position. politico.com/story/2017/05/… 1/ Here's a story that puts that claim to the test. vanityfair.com/news/2018/05/m… A key editor is dismissed for #MeToo reasons, but the Times won't say a thing about it. We are left in the dark. Readers are supposed to serve as the answer-demanding journalist now? How does that work? 2/
Apr 26, 2018 9 tweets 3 min read
1/ I wrote in my latest essay: "Journalists are correct that if they become the political opposition to Trump, they will lose. And yet, they have to go to war against a political style in which power gets to write its own story." nybooks.com/daily/2018/04/… Many people have asked me— ... about that distinction. They want to know: What should journalists do in this situation if they cannot become the political opposition, and yet they have to push back against Trump turning journalists into hate objects and "flooding the zone with shit," as Bannon put it. 2/
Apr 21, 2018 36 tweets 6 min read
'The Campaign to Discredit the Press.' That's the title of my talk to @ASCmediarisk (April 21, 2018.) Presented here in THREAD form...

There is alive in the land an organized campaign to discredit the American press. This campaign is succeeding. 1/ Its roots are long. For decades the Republican coalition has tried to hang together by hating on elites who claim to know things, like “what is art?” Or: “what should college students be taught?” Or: “what counts as news?” 2/
Apr 13, 2018 29 tweets 6 min read
My keynote talk to the International Journalism Festival #ijf18 in thread form. The title is 'Optimizing Journalism for Trust.' 1/ In a book called 'Politics and Vision,' the philosopher Sheldon Wolin said that when there is vision, “things appear in their corrected fullness.” This helps explain what I mean by optimizing for trust in journalism. It is a vision toward which we have to move. 2/
Feb 20, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
0/ I gave testimony today to the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy. I talked about an emerging approach to the production of trust in news. It's not standard now, but will, I think, become such over time. It has 9 or 10 interlocking parts, which I will now describe. 1/ "Here's where we're coming from" to replace the view from nowhere. There is something about the claim to objectivity— or, as I have called it, viewlessness — that now invites mistrust. A more human and believable approach is tell people where you're coming and let them judge.
Jan 7, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
From @chucktodd's interview with Wolff and other things he's said, it's clear how this book happened— and the way he punked them. 1/ Wolff was going to do the contrarian thing: go deep on liberal media bias. Sales would come from that controversy + a cheering right wing. 2/
Dec 5, 2017 10 tweets 1 min read
I spoke at a conference of political journalists and academics today about Trump, the press and public trust. Here’s what I tried to say. 1/ If people on both sides are attacking you, it's possible you’re doing something right. It's also possible you are doing everything wrong. 2/
Nov 22, 2017 10 tweets 3 min read
This is the piece about @MarkHalperin I have been waiting for. buzzfeed.com/evefairbanks/m… I can't recommend it enough. But I'm sure going to try... 1/ The two best points @evefairbanks makes: Halperin made it seem like access = insight and that power was inscrutable without his access. 2/
Nov 6, 2017 9 tweets 3 min read
I recorded @brianstelter's interview with @KellyannePolls on @CNNReliable today, and watched it three times. Now I have a few comments... 1/ 2/ We disagree on interviewing @KellyannePolls. Brian's view: He has questions for the White House. She's a White House aide. End of story.