January 17, 2003

We Canít Take Any Moore, Says Berkeley

Michael Moore, the "Bowling for Columbine" mockumentarian whose nose for audacity is exceeded only by the one on his face, isn't enough of a journalist to give a commencement address, the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism has decided.

A student's proposal that Moore speak at graduation ceremonies caused faculty sphincters to tighten with the thought, as one instructor put it in an email, that "it would make us the laughingstock of serious Journalism Schools."

The reporters for the East Bay Express (it was not disclosed if any or all of them went to Serious Journalism Schools) looked into Moore's background and found that, indeed, he had worked as a journalist for an alternative paper in Michigan and for Mother Jones magazine as editor-in-chief.

Invoking the basic reporting adage "When in Doubt, Check it Out," the Express looked up "journalist" in the dictionary, and found this definition: "A writer who aims at a mass audience," especially "a writer or editor for a news medium."

Sounds like Moore fits the bill. Even if he doesn't, so what? As the student who originally posed the idea said in an email: "I never said he was a journalist, but I thought he would make a fine candidate. He asks provocative questions that journalists should be asking."

Now that seems like something you should learn in a Serious Journalism School.

[ Via Instapundit ]

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Posted by Tim Porter at January 17, 2003 08:15 AM
Comments

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Posted by: tim on January 18, 2003 01:03 PM

I grew up near Flint, Mich. and call tell you that beyond its audacity, Roger & Me was potent, and fully truthful, account of what happened there. I think Moore is an excellent journalist. Not only is he asking the bold questions, even better, he's presenting the answers in a way that connects with people.
Those Serious Journalism Schools are slow to understand, embrace and teach innovative story-telling styles. I went to one of them recently -- and we were still using levers and pulleys to stack the stones of the inverted pyramid.

Posted by: Meg on January 18, 2003 11:40 PM
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