Imagine the news without adjectives

Posted4/27/2019 1:00 AM

I suspect the Daily Herald may allow stories it obtains from outside sources, i.e. Associated Press, Washington Post, et. al., to bypass the scrupulous editing it applies to its own reporters. I doubt a local reporter would be allowed to start a news story with "President Donald Trump's support for shifting more power to states on April 10 faded next to his affinity for oil and gas production, as he aimed to make it harder for states to block pipelines and other energy projects due to environmental concerns." That bylined story from The Associated Press on the World & Nation page continues in its argumentative manner.

A byline does not waive the necessity of a news story impartially and dispassionately describing the facts and background, nor excuse the use of loaded words.


A news story should not lead the reader to a conclusion of whether elements of a reported event are good or bad; the reader can decide that for himself.

Stories that violate those standards of neutrality should be placed on the prominently marked Opinion page, not in the news columns.

I sometimes fantasize about a special experiment on a given day when an entire issue of the newspaper has all adjectives removed from the news pages. It might start to rehabilitate the reputation of the media, be a refresher in purely objective reporting for the writers and editors, and be a relief to the readers.

Stan Zegel


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