Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of the conservative website RedState and a Fox News contributor, criticised the conservative media for “failing to advance stories and ideas.”
In a post on RedState, Erickson opined that the conservative media is trying too hard “to highlight controversies” and ignoring the basic tenets of journalism. He said later in his post that RedState will be hiring reporters.
I think conservative media is failing to advance ideas and stories. Certainly part of that is because the general media has an ideological bias against conservatives, which makes it harder for the media to take our views seriously. But many conservatives are, instead of working doubly hard to overcome that bias, just yelling louder about the same things. The echo in the chamber has gotten so loud it is not well understood outside the echo chamber in the mainstream press and in the public. It translates only as anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of persuasion.
Conservatives are trying so hard to highlight controversies, no matter how trivial, we have forgotten the basics of reporting: W5 + H as I learned in grade school, also known as who, what, where, when, why, and how. I think conservatives need to reset some of their reportorial resources to tell the stories that need to be told by focusing on the facts at hand in a world view of the right. We need to establish a baseline for integrity in reporting that then allows us to highlight the truly outrageous. That baseline must be the basics of who, what, where, when, why, and how and it must be set before taking the next step into analysis of motivation and its implications.
As an example, Erickson cited the controversy of the “Obamaphone” during the 2012 campaign, a moniker that came out of a program started under the Reagan administration.
“Conservatives must start telling stories, not just producing white papers and peddling daily outrage,” Erickson writes.
Erickson doesn’t specifically mention a recent controversy, but his column comes the week after the conservative website Breitbart was criticised for inaccurately reporting that newly confirmed Secretary of defence Chuck Hagel had ties to a group called “Friends of Hamas.” The group does not exist, and a New York Daily News reporter blamed an inadvertent joke for starting the rumour.
Erickson’s column was cheered by, among others, MSNBC’s conservative host Joe Scarborough:
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 27, 2013
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