Jay Rosen has a typically thoughtful piece on the “reporters have rediscovered their spines” thesis that has been winding its way through the papers. I argued that that was a dumb way to look at it, and several readers agreed and offered other interpretations — such as that normally detatched reporters had been moved to outrage after rediscovering empathy, or that reporters were behaving like toddlers throwing a tantrum at the federal government.
Rosen argues that it doesn’t matter whether reporters are outraged, ashamed, empathetic or courageous — what’s important is that they think:
Spine is always good, outrage is sometimes needed, and empathy can often reveal the story. But there is no substitute for being able to think, and act journalistically on your conclusions. What is the difference between a