Kurt Andersen: Journalism faces a lot of challenges. I’m not sure that what are seen each day as the great challenges, the death of the newspaper, for instance, or it’s being supplanted by online media, is the greatest challenge.
I think that there being a set of facts that we can all agree on is the great challenge of journalism, at least in the near median term – that journalism doesn’t entirely evolve to the left-wing version of facts, or the right-wing version of facts or the Islamic version of facts, and the western version of facts. There will always be the left, the right, the different cultures, different sensibilities who have their own little journalistic silos of their version of the truth. And while we can never get back – I’m not sure we went to get back – to the pre-Internet, pre-cable table version where there were three networks and New York Times, and they told us the truth from on high, I do think, and I do hope that we can maintain some shared sense of “here are the facts” and we here in some little place are engaged in a good faith search for the truth.
The “the truth,” as a thing, has gotten a kind of bad reputation from various sides by virtue of various critiques over the last 30 years. But I still think that that is what needs to power and drive journalists. And I hope that the institutions that allow that to happen in a robust way will figure out a way to maintain themselves, by whatever economic model.
Recorded: July 5, 2007.