BuzzFeed and a Question of Journalism Standards

BuzzFeed stands by its reporting after Special Counsel Robert Mueller flagged alleged inaccuracies. But I have some thoughts about wavering journalism standards– and how propagandists have learned to exploit our weaknesses to further their narratives.

Sharyl Attkisson hosts the independent Sunday TV program Full Measure

54 thoughts on “BuzzFeed and a Question of Journalism Standards”

  1. We heard many Fake News Democrat Stooges report, “if this is true,” when they cited the Buzzfeed story.

  2. You covered it Sharyl, propaganda. It seems MSM outlets want to push a certain narrative, get it out 1st, and don’t care if it’s wrong. Truth in Advert’, or Bait n Switch, just get it out there, so it can go viral over the Internet, get ppl arguing with each other over false reporting, then just move onto the next false report without apologizing.

  3. Sharyl, you need a monthly subscription service, kind of like Bill Oreilly is doing. $4.99 a month. I would subscribe. Many would. We need your keen eye and fairness.

  4. I enjoy listening to your reporting as well as your lectures. I wish that more news outlets had your same journalistic credibility and integrity vs the journalistic programming and editorializing that we are subject to now.

  5. Dear Sharyl,

    Stellar. You don’t need feedback on this. You already know how well you expressed this. What’s wonderful is how sincere you are; it comes through superbly in audio. Text is least distracting; audio is more distracting but one gets the added benefit of the sincerity in the voice. Video is more distracting still but one gets the added benefit of seeing the sincerity on the face. In person is the most distracting but you get the added benefit of reading the sincerity in the eyes. Audio, being more editable without visual breaks, does work for you because you have a stellar speaking manner, and again, the sincerity comes through. I’ve put up a number of youtube videos of you over the years (under the channel “mollesjohn”), and I’m “hirdman” on twitter (you graciously already follow me there). So I’m already a huge fan. But I’m happy to report I’m VERY impressed how you come off with just audio. Seldom heard better. The content speaks for itself. It’s the expert explaining things in such a way that I think most everyone gets it. At least I hope they do. I’ve followed you long enough to know this is your core message but you’ve never said it better. God bless you for speaking truth with sincerity.

  6. Once again Sharyl. Maintaining the integrity and ethics of a professional journalist. Another great podcast. I support you 1000%

  7. Excellent perspective. MSM needs to be held accountable. They are not. How can CNN as an example continue to say – the most trusted news – and not be challenged?

  8. Just think how less divided the U.S. would be if journalists did their jobs properly, ethically, critically, like you do.

  9. Integrity is a wonderful thing and really needs no accountability. When it’s gone, who provides accountability? The net is truly the wild west. I love what you said about “thinking for yourself.”

    I like your short podcast. Lots of info in 7 mins.

  10. Your educational comments on respectable journalism is helpful to many. I have watched you for years since early days on CBS. You have been a TRUSTED source of news to me and I believe to many. Thank you!

  11. What I did do was compare what events are being reported on across media platforms, regardless of spin. And what I found was they all report on the same event. If there was independent reporting I would expect to see some diversity of topics.

  12. Well done. You are one of a shrinking number of unbiased news reporters who actually report the news. I’ve read both of your books and hope you win your lawsuit against the injustice dept. God save our country!

  13. Do you think CNN intentionally does this kind narrative because of their bias, and it pushes their agenda? Other than Tapper (which could be debated) who is a journalist on CNN (who labels themselves as a journalist). Everything is opinion and punditry.

  14. Your educational comments on responsible journalism is helpful to many like myself. I have watched you since your early days at CBS and have found you to be my TRUSTED source for news. Thank You!

  15. I enjoyed the podcast. I came to your twitter page looking for your take on some current journalistic practices concerning Buzzfeed and/or the Kentucky Catholic student stories.
    I’m curious to know if you scripted the narrative differently than you would have if you had written and published the material online – particularly the UF reference.
    I would have clicked either the podcast or narrative – because of my interest in your view of this story.

    I didn’t/don’t practice journalism – but have an appreciation for the instruction you cited concerning the reporter’s responsibilities to eliminate fact errors and properly attribute material.

    Thanks for the podcast.
    George Crone
    BS JM UF ’81

  16. Very nice short report. You’re right of course, today’s media has forgotten basic journalism methodology. Not only the specifics you give, but even worse, offering opinions as facts.

  17. Ms. Attkisson — if only your perspective was the mainstream. I wholeheartedly agree with the points you make and it’s what I’ve been alerting my kids to for years (ages 21 and 18). Beyond the propagandists (on ALL sides) who deftly use the “established” media to carry their water, we are all victims of a news media that is ruled by the almighty dollar as surely as any of the oft-castigated Wall Street barons. Sensationalism and conflict drives ratings, ratings are highest for those who are first with a juicy story, high ratings drive profits, ergo, Big Media. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, mix in the blinding passion of many in the press to find something, anything, to justify their crystal clear disdain of President Trump, and you have an information machine that is truly toxic. I don’t know how we recover from this, save producing more professionals like you. You need to become Dean of an influential journalism school — please! Thumbs up for the podcasts, “professional” or otherwise.

  18. We need you to speak more often on daily news. I can’t find any balanced centrist journalism except you, Tim Pool, Mollie Hemingway and Ben Shapiro. Keep it up, we need you Sharyl.

  19. Agree, however, the problem that most of us that read and listen to news reporting has to do with sources. If the source must remain anonymous then it is up to the reporter to qualify the source. Too many stories are publish using anonymous sources which most of the time are providing gossip or water cooler talk and they are not a credible source…thus fiction or fake news. I believe this all started with the Nixon investigation. The rporters were fortunate to have an inside source, that was credible. Now the use of anonymous sources has become a joke. Thus I would suggest that any reporter getting a story before publishing or airing should require that the source if necessary be disclosed. End of problem.

  20. Well Said! I learned these things in my high school journalism class more than 50 years ago. I often wonder what they are teaching in journalism classes these days.

  21. It seems clear that academic standards are all but non-existent at this point. Moral relativism serves to reduce the value of objective truth. The term “Justice” is then substituted for “truth”, and a growing swath of society – journalists, academics, and the entertainment industry, bows to whatever is subjectively called justice. Simmer for a generation or two, and the leaders in those areas no longer recognize the value of truth, as they’ve been educated without considering it in a rigorous and consistent manner. Thank you for your work. Are you mentoring any young journalists?

  22. Please continue and go formal. Can’t too many journalistic high integrity, high ethics, and absolute duty to report and follow the truth.

  23. Facebook needs you to help them determine ,if not fake news,fairly reported news—with transparent definition of same

  24. Sounds spot on to me. I’m no journalist but I see that type of mistake all the time. It’s mainly a common sense thing.

  25. I have noticed everywhere a persistent, downward trend among Americans in their (lack of) regard for the once widely accepted and practiced rules of the English language. Could this particular ‘weakness’ of ours be among those that propagandists use to exploit their audiences in all different varieties of media?

    The example you cite in this podcast suggests as much, at least to me. Applying the most basic linguistic tools to discern either the existence or absence of facts, to arrive at the truth, is apparently worth the effort only rarely, anymore.

    Your analysis and commentaries are always so rational and clearly delivered. They speak volumes about your character and commitment to unwavering professionalism. Thank you.

  26. Podcasting is the future. We can listen when we want and pick the best. You will pick up steam very fast. Society really needs this… Please keep them going!!

  27. I loved this. I truly did. It didn’t work with Pilate, though. (to switch venues):

    “However, the chief priests of the Jews began to say to Pilate: “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered: “What I have written I have written.” John 19:21

  28. Thank you for explaining, in a understandable way, what’s happening with the dissemination of fake news by agenda driven interests.

  29. It’s not sloppiness, it’s an intentional act by CNN, MSNBC, and others in the mainstream media to have an excuse to print unverified rumors. Their hope is not to be held accountable if the rumors turn out to be false.

    Jake Tapper claimed that it was made a legitimate story after the White House commented on it.

    I doubt Jake would look at it the same way if Buzzfeed claimed it was told by law enforcement that Jake Tapper committed a crime and every other news outlet said, “If true, Tapper is facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.”

    1. The greatest illusion today is that we have a free press. The media and government have become one in the same. Both being used to stifle free speech and any opposing view which dares to oppose leftist group “think.”

      Sixty years of leftist pravda propaganda within the media and education/indoctrination system have created a generation of drones who are no longer capable of using logic or reason. Propagandists like Tapper are enslaving their own grandchildren and they don’t seem to care.

      Confirmation bias has become a religion, then repeat a false narrative and keep repeating it until a majority of people accept it as truth.

      “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” -JFK-

  30. Keep em coming Sharyl! Your training as a journalist, and your being singled out as a reporter because you didn’t fall in line is inspiring. It’s not the path most choose. There is a moral compass (principle) that supersedes political differences. Your work is helping shed light on the right path to follow.

  31. I have noticed everywhere a persistent, downward trend among Americans in their (lack of) regard for the once widely accepted and practiced rules of the English language. Could this particular ‘weakness’ of ours be among those that propagandists use to exploit their audiences in all different varieties of media?

    The examples you cite in this podcast suggest as much, at least to me. Applying the most basic linguistic tools to discern either the existence or absence of facts, to arrive at the truth, is apparently worth the effort only rarely, anymore.

    Your analysis and commentaries are always so rational and clearly delivered. They speak volumes about your character, experience and commitment to unwavering professionalism. Thank you.

  32. Superb commentary on media abandoning basic journalistic standards. Missing, however, is what listeners and readers can do about it. The disturbing trend continues unabated; and the proof is a simple look at CNN or CBS or NBC. They have no shame for what they are doing. They do not care because there are no consequences … except for the death of integrity in journalism.

  33. You are one of the few remaining real investigative reporters–hence one of the few I trust implicitly. Keep it up.

  34. Excellent. Need more. I agree I would be tempted to join a monthly subscription if cost is reasonable (see Patrick lacaire above)

  35. Agree with you thoughts completely, but also think this is a part of a much larger problem: reporters relying on anonymous sources for major stories without painting a picture of the motives and positions of these sources. Especially where a narrative is being developed, I want to know a little more than two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the situation. I also think that disclosure of participation of actors such as Fusion GPS as providers of information for articles should be shared. Understanding the context of information provided by anonymous sources would allow evaluation their credibility.

  36. You’ve heard the old saying, Sharyl, ” Opinions are like anuses; everybody has one!” That seems to be more true of the main stream media where they all COMPETE to be the TOP ANUS of the day, week, or year with their opinion rather than doing do diligence to verify their opinion. I have trusted YOUR opinion for many years now because you are very much in the minority, emphasizing accuracy Sharyl, and another old saying comes to mind, “The nail that sticks up GETS HAMMERED DOWN! Sharyl a plane only takes flac when it’s over the target, and you are over the target and have been for some time. I LOVE THAT!!

  37. Sharyl, I want to call out a notice of journalists fate in our neighbor country to the south that President Trump is trying to avert in this nation; because of the Left in our nation, runs the risk of becoming Alta Mexico by not stopping movement from the south. I’ve been following Anabel Hernandez – a brave journalist from Mexico City- for several years as she tries to wake Mexico up to the cliff that looms ahead for them just as your reporting here in America, attempting the same thing with the obstruction by the left. Two sites that emphasize how critical it is that “the invasion” be stopped are:

    Anabel is cut from the same cloth as you, Sharyl, and in the not too distant future could be faced with the same reality. My trusted friend came from Mexico. The father was Hefe de Juciales (Chief of the Plainclothes Detectives) executed along with my friend’s brother and sister by the drug cartel Gurreros Unidos in 2010. The rest of the family, under threat of extermination, fled to America.

    You see, this is serious business allowing open borders for the cartel. We may as well hang a sign on the gateway, “Cartels welcome here!” IF slumbering America in ignorance of your’s and Anabel’s clarion call has no effect at the polls, it will be left to the vigilante minority to answer the call and I don’t personally want to see that here in America to stop the government from taking control of all things.

  38. Thank you for your podcast, I’m so glad you are here. Censorship is getting so bad, honest sources of news and opinion are like gold.

  39. Thank you. It is important for people to know that journalistic integrity still excited. Whether you’re on the left or right, just provide the facts and let people form their own opinion.

  40. Good job, I have read your books and follow you on full measure and your web site. I site your articles often and encourage everyone to follow you as a reliable source.*****

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