I've been in the news biz for quite awhile so I don't think I'm naive.
But could someone please explain to me the value of beat reporters, especially in Washington, DC, "having access" to key players if it doesn't help them, you know, break stories? I keep reading that reporters do what they can to maintain their access but I'm failing to see the benefit to the people they serve. That would be readers.
As usual, Jay Rosen doesn't pull his punches, even when others are. And Jay is not the enemy. Crappy reporting and editing, failure to do our jobs, are the enemy.
Politico wrote this before pulling it later, as Jay notes:
McChrystal, an expert on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, has long been thought to be uniquely qualified to lead in Afghanistan. But he is not known for being media savvy. Hastings, who has covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for two years, according to the magazine, is not well-known within the Defense Department. And as a freelance reporter, Hastings would be considered a bigger risk to be given unfettered access, compared with a beat reporter, who would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal’s remarks.
From Howard Kurtz.