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"Henry Luce, o Editor-Chefe"

Ricardo Lombardi

24 de abril de 2010 | 11h36

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O New York Times já tinha dedicado espaço ao assunto na semana passada, mas você sabe como são os chefes: Bill Keller, editor-executivo do jornal (cargo mais alto da redação) também quis morder a pauta e escreveu um texto para o jornal de amanhã sobre a biografia de Henry Luce, “The Publisher”. Destaco o trecho inicial, no original — os grifos são meus:

“Of all the arguments under way these days at the noisy crossroads of the news business, none is quite so basic as the debate over journalistic authority — who has it, and what it is worth.

On one side, to oversimplify just a little, is a view that the democratizing power of the Internet has rendered traditional forms and values of journalism obsolete, and with them, not incidentally, the idea that people should pay for news. Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian of London, observed recently that the old world in which journalists were trusted to filter and prioritize the news is now in tension with “a world in which many (but not all) readers want to have the ability to make their own judgments; express their own priorities; create their own content; articulate their own views; learn from peers as much as from traditional sources of authority.” Among the more utopian partisans of this wisdom-of-the-crowd view, the reliance on professional journalists is seen as elitist and stifling.

On the other side is a conviction that a significant population of serious people feel the need for someone with training, experience and standards — reporters and editors — to help them dig up and sort through the news, identify what’s important and make sense of it. That in no way precludes enlisting the audience as commentators, as contributors and as collaborators. (Witness the splendid hybrid of professional and amateur journalism that has kept alive the stream of news from Iran.) But in this view — which I share — the authority of professional journalists is both a valuable convenience for readers without the time or inclination to manage a tsunami of information on their own, and a civic good, in that a democracy needs a shared base of trustworthy information upon which to make its judgments.

Henry R. Luce can be considered a founding father of the authority school — for better and for worse.”