OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

I spent a decade as the editor of a small weekly newspaper and a previous decade as a reporter at a wide variety of local newspapers starting in the 1980s. I understand that the fourth estate has a sacred role to play in democracy; but honestly the skills and training of the average journalist are not much greater than those of the average Internal Revenue Service worker.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

If you have not had to deal with the IRS you will not understand how bad the service provided by this bloated but essential bureaucracy is. One division does not talk to another and yet often multiple divisions handle the same cases. The same can be said of journalists, who are a string of disconnected bobble-heads trained to repeat what they see in print without questioning it.
Unlike the average reporter, the average Democrat is plagued by training at liberal arts colleges where critical thinking is valued. Republicans on the other hand are home schooled in patriarchal environments and take orders without question. When Mark Sanford ran for Congress in North Carolina he used one simple catch phrase that disposed of all his hypocritical behaviour by saying "I'm imperfect, saved by God's grace, and have conviction on doing something about spending in Washington."
Contrast that to the liberal reaction when the story broke about the IRS targeting conservative groups. The knee jerk was deep and relentless self doubt even though it is clear that the entire episode was staged by the 501(c)(4) political action committees, oh excuse me social welfare associations, to distract those who were planning hearings on the massive political spending by the nonprofit organizations funded by undisclosed donors during the 2012 presidential election.
Journalists have one undying urge and that is to find out anything that no one else knows or remembers and to be the first to break the story. It does not really matter who is affected by the release of the information as long as there are no rules broken in releasing the story. When working as an editor I used this rule of thumb to release the names of juvenile offenders even though I knew that those identities are protected by law. I also chose to publish the details of social  services interactions with police because it was on the public record and I had a right to publish it no matter who might be hurt including both the individuals involved and the public service workers.
The U.S Justice Department seized phone records of Associated Press writers and caused an uproar about freedom of the press. The records were phone numbers, not conversations. The National Security Agency (NSA) has the ability to listen to all conversations and don't have to obtain warrants to do so. Now comes New Yorker magazine that reveals a system to protect sources by using open source encryption codes and secure networks to thwart oversight by law enforcement. Of course we can trust a free press to act responsibly and only publish what the public deserves to know. What could possibly go wrong?

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.