Because that's how we make better journalism -- with sensible talk. Our ability to report is only as good as our ability to perceive, and our perceptions are best informed by both our senses and our understanding of facts.
When journalism is working well, good reporting flows from facts to conclusion to action, giving citizens the tools to build a better society.
Journalism fails readers when it regurgitates ideology, from publishers or from sources, instead of exploring facts. Just as political leaders fail the public when they do the same. Unfortunately, the past decade has seen too much of both in the United States.
I've built this website as a community for journalists who want to speak truth to power, and for readers who want to do the same. That's why I call the site "analysis from the reality-based world."
I'll be interviewing people who are working to make journalism better -- entrepreneurs trying new ways to expand coverage to under-served communities, both physical and virtual; educators changing how they train journalism students; and reporters using new techniques, influenced by social science research, to improve the accuracy and endurance of their reporting. I've also included Statistics Every Writer Should Know, the introductory math tutorial I wrote for journalists several years ago, because numbers are never fuzzy -- they always have a story to tell.
In addition, I will be talking with people engaged in politics, from office-holders to activists, discussing ways that readers, collectively, can help ensure that better reporting leads to better public policy.
My wife, Laurie, is on board, too. A professional journalist and website publisher herself, she'll be helping with the editing of the site, as well as posting her own observations from time to time.
We hope that you will join the talk, too.
See or hear something outrageous or inspiring? Click the "Write Journal" link in the upper left corner of the page to start your own journal on SensibleTalk.com. Media, politics, business, arts, science, technology? It's all fair game for discussion on the site. Need help with a project or your website? Want to spread the word about notable work you've done at your publication? Do the same.
Anyone can respond to a journal entry, so your submissions can provide the beginning of an informative discussion among Sensible Talk readers.
If you are not ready yet to join the conversation with your own writing, I hope that you'll continue to follow SensibleTalk.com as a reader. Please sign up for our e-mail newsletter, or subscribe to our RSS feed. (If you are on Facebook, you can become a fan of us there, too.) We will have fresh journal entries on the site every weekday.
Thank you for reading, and for supporting, Sensible Talk.
Robert Niles also can be found at http://www.themeparkinsider.com
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