Michael Calderone of Politico reported on a a group called the “JournoList” which is an “off-the-record” online meeting of left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics.  Here they “get together” to compare notes and talk about stories.

Proof of a vast liberal media conspiracy?

Not at all, says Ezra Klein, the 24-year-old American Prospect blogging wunderkind who formed JournoList in February 2007. “Basically,” he says, “it’s just a list where journalists and policy wonks can discuss issues freely.”

But some of the journalists who participate in the online discussion say — off the record, of course — that it has been a great help in their work. On the record, The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin acknowledged that a Talk of the Town piece — he won’t say which one — got its start in part via a conversation on JournoList. And JLister Eric Alterman, The Nation writer and CUNY professor, said he’s seen discussions that start on the list seep into the world beyond.

“I’m very lazy about writing when I’m not getting paid,” Alterman said. “So if I take the trouble to write something in any detail on the list, I tend to cannibalize it. It doesn’t surprise me when I see things on the list on people’s blogs.”

Last April, criticism of ABC’s handling of a Democratic presidential debate took shape on JList before morphing into an open letter to the network, signed by more than 40 journalists and academics — many of whom are JList members.

And I’m sure they are all “fair and balanced” in their reporting.  John Judis, senior editor at The New Republic (to be fair, they are up front about being liberal) said about members of the J-List, “There is probably general agreement on the stupidity of today’s GOP.”

Well that’s nice.  What do you think is having a group like this inherently wrong for journalists (on the right or the left).  Do you think this becomes a “groupthink” that just ends up perpetuating a political party’s talking points?

HT: William Jacobson

6 comments
  1. It appears to be a 1st amendment, freedom of association issue. The only complaint that I would have is truth in advertising. The MSM typically describes itself as apolitical and objective when they are, in fact, leftward leaning. The NYT will classify typically Republican supporting magazines such as the National Review or the Weekly Standard as “conservative”, but they'll never describe themselves as “liberal”.

  2. 'Journalism' is already so far to the left that I doubt this adds up to much more than a support group for the loons on the list and simply reinforces their neuroses (see:“ There is probably general agreement on the stupidity of today’s GOP.”)

    The upside, however, is that I can now throw this story in the face of all my left-leaning friends whenever they try to tell me that there's no liberal bias in the media.

  3. It appears like journalism is no longer a viable form of information as a whole…they are charged with being unbiased but that has disappeared for the most part which is completely sad. Because then they are nothing but propagandists

  4. I remember reading a story that shared some statements that foreign journalists had made covering the election. One Irish reporter said he was horrified by American journalists giving high fives and the like after Obama had won. He had doubted there was a bias until he saw it first hand on election night.

    I wish I remembered where I read that so I could link to it.

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