Repeat: We do not have to run dumb surveys
Here’s a thought for the new year: Let’s give up publishing articles about stupid and unsound surveys.
Go over to HeadsUp and watch as fev methodically anatomizes a fatuous article about how dishonest teenagers have become. (Those damn kids!) It turns out, you’ll be surprised, that the survey on which the article is based is of questionable reliability and that the article credulously repeats and amplifies the conclusions. (Mr. Barnum’s maxim lives! This way to the egress!)
If your publication gave any credence to this thing, for shame. And if you had an opportunity to question it and object to its publication, doubly shamed. Those of you who function as editors ought not to bow reverently at “experts say” or “studies” from the Munchausen Institute for Simulated Validity or “verification” by the holder of the Ferdinand Waldo Demara Chair of Advanced Mendacity at the Piltdown Academy. Part of the reason you collect wages is to be skeptical, not credulous.
Also, while there may still be time, do whatever is necessary — interpose your person if you must — to prevent your publication from running that asinine annual feature on how much it would cost today to duplicate the gifts enumerated in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
If print journalism is indeed shipping water and starting to heel over, let’s at least go down while publishing something worth reading.