Journalists say it over and over: journalism is the opposite
of public relations. We're supposed to be afflicting the comfortable,
comforting the afflicted, puncturing holes in the smooth stories played
out by politicians, corporations, churches. I came to journalism by way on nonprofit, good-cause PR, and try to remember that the hallmarks of good PR – super-clear stories with
exact endings, data that all point the same way – and suggesting that
they don't make good journalism.
But we're in an era where PR masking as journalism has defined our politics, with sometimes tragic results. So how do we interact with power, when they've learned how to do what we do?