Setting the Record Straight

, Heather Latham, Leave a comment

There is a lot of truth in the world—“but you have to do a lot of digging to get it… [T]his is the point that” author M. Stanton Evans wanted “to stress most of all to…the younger folk” at the Accuracy in Media (AIM) Reed Irvine Awards during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February. Evans, who won this year’s lifetime achievement award, applied this advice to more than just aspiring journalists. After listing a few careers, he said, “[A] huge amount of work needs to be done on all of this stuff.” He said that “a huge amount of work needs doing on continuing stories.” He argued that the “accepted narrative on almost everything…is wrong because it is generated by people with an agenda who are trying to sell a story that is not necessarily factual, and, in many cases, is not factual at all.”

And so, “what is needed—urgently needed—is not reporters who sit and pull stuff down off the internet and recycle it and try to make a story out of what’s already up there because what’s up there is often already recycled error… You have to get these original, primary sources and not just recycle what’s up there on the internet. And we need young scholars and writers and researchers, academics, journalists who will do this. It ain’t easy. It’s hard work, but it needs doing if the truth is to be told.”

Evans said that this very idea” is the lesson Reed Irvine taught by precept and example. It’s what Reed Irvine did… Reed was a great, great journalist himself. He wouldn’t call himself a journalist, he was not by profession a journalist before he started AIM, but he was a very great journalist—because he did exactly what I’m talking about on a regular basis… [H]e had to write two stories every time that he dug in on one of these issues. He had to write the story of what the major media were saying, and then he had to write the true story. So every issue of the AIM report was the false story that was out there and then the true story that Reed Irvine dug up.”

He said, “Reed Irvine did everything that a good journalist should do and more because he wrote the real story and then he put it up against the wrong story.”

Heather Latham is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.

 

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published