Every once and a while we get a new peek into the sausage factory that is Big Journalism. This time it comes from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Bill Steigerwald, who is taking an early buyout after 36 years in journalism. In his last column, he goes on to tell us what everyone here already knows:
Like many in my financially and technologically battered business, I went into journalism because I wanted to be a writer. But I also felt a duty to try to right the left-liberal imbalance of the news media, which were even more lopsided in the early 1970s without talk radio, cable TV, Fox News and the Internet.
As a reporter, I've tried my best to be accurate, fair and truthful. I've always been aware of the difference between news and opinion, between balance and bias, and between being a government watchdog and a government lapdog. And I have always known that every journalist and every editor I have ever worked with was helplessly subjective in their politics and in their definition of what news and bias were and were not.
Trust me, big-city daily newspapers don't go out of their way to achieve ideological diversity. About 90 percent of my work mates over the years were either avowed liberal Democrats or didn't know it. Reagan Republicans were virtually nonexistent. Until I got to the Trib, I was always the staff's lonely libertarian.