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CJR: Does Journalism Need a Rhetoric Beat?

Fascinating essay in the Columbia Journalism Review by Brent Cunningham about  how politically manipulative words make their way, often unchallenged, into the mainstream press and sometimes with dire consequences. Take for example the phrase “war on terror.” Cunningham writes:

The point is that the ready and largely uncritical embrace of the war narrative—in key realms of the public sphere—precluded the possibility of a serious public debate about other options.

Cunningham argues the need for a rhetoric beat. My guess is it will not happen in the mainstream media, especially in an era when we have massive job cuts. Might be too esoteric, but what if enough people interested in language pooled their money to make a rhetoric beat happen. It’s what I am trying to think through at the my Representative Journalism site.

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