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Arment Dietrich

Are Journalists Spin Meisters?

By: Arment Dietrich | May 20, 2007 | 
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Spin is often seen as a dirty word in PR but it’s now making appearances in all different types of media. As a college journalism student, I’ve learned that spin isn’t just for PR professionals; spin is supposed to be a reporter’s best friend.  Yes, a lot of my classes are designed to teach writing styles and strengthen your abilities as a reporter but it’s really all about learning how to manipulate the details to appeal to readers. Newspapers are less popular than they were in the past and have fewer readers. It’s the reporter’s job to bring in new subscribers and make people want to read newspapers. I may learn a lot about writing from my professors but what I’m really getting is a lesson in spin. My professors give us information and tell us to write short articles but during class discussions our articles our judged on how well we manipulated the story to attract attention from readers. How does your article appeal to people? What details did you use? How well did you spin the information? Are people going to want to read your article or just walk right past it? How can you change it to compel people to pick up the newspaper?

Spin is becoming more popular among the media and is now a common tool in offices and newsrooms. College classes are creating a generation of spin journalists. In fact, as journalists become more focused on popularity the dependency on spin only increases. News loses its value and people stop getting the truth. Societies become bubbles for people to live in and reality is a term from the past. College classrooms need to become more about writing well than about spinning the information well. — Taylor Krugman

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Daniel P
Daniel P

I'm happy to see that Taylor Krugman is being honest about all of this. We need people like Taylor in journalism. I've become progressively cynical seeing how so many people take at face value what they learn from the news, and without scrutiny or homework.

Don't give up. Never give in. Always seek the truth.