Intercept: fearless, adversarial journalism


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Perhaps should you also consider adding quotation marks around the “fearless, adversarial journalism” slogan in your blurb’s title.

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noun: adversary; plural noun: adversaries

one's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute.

adjective: adversarial

involving or characterized by conflict or opposition.
"industry and government had an adversarial relationship"

Maybe this is just me, and maybe I’m just something of a stick in the the mud, but doesn’t “adversarial” seem like the wrong quality one should be touting as a journalist?

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I’m getting a 503 error on the link.


I guess when Fox’s tagline is “Fair and Balanced” and most journalists seem to fall into the “lapdog” category, “adversarial” is a fair way to distinguish your product.
I would prefer to see something like “investigational” used…

“Adversarial” is an excellent quality for a journalist to have. It’s one way of differentiating themselves from stenographers.


Exactly the right quality, I would think, and one that has been seriously MIA for about a decade or so, until recently. The vast majority of what I’ve seen in the Western press had been curiously muted regarding the sorts of assaults we’ve been seeing on democratic processes and the rule of law. The most useful function of the press has always been to shine a bright light on dark places. I’m sure that the people who create those dark places and flourish in them are wont to see that as “adversarial”. One might as well wear the term as a badge of honour.


The Intercept - The Intercept
seems to work ok

Links to the articles still don’t work…

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One can be dogged and dedicated to uncovering the truth independent of the statements of others without making oneself into an enemy.

There’s a difference between inquiry and conflict.

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503’d here too right now. I was reading the article on drones when it seemed to start up - I couldn’t get back to the news front page. Server is overloaded, probably.

My problem is that you seem to equate the unambiguously negative “adversarial” with other more positive qualities such as “tenacious”, “inquisitive”, “bold”, and the like.

Only a great fool thinks he has to become an adversary - an enemy, a foe - to be brave, resourceful, or independent.

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You looked up “adversarial,” but “adversarial journalism” is a nearly-lost term in itself. Nearly lost thanks to modern “journalism”.
Greenwald vs Keller - adversarial journalism vs mainstream journalism


Only a very great fool thinks that, if he exposes what a person or group of people is actively trying to hide, that he won’t be seen and treated as an adversary. We’ve seen a lot of that already as the Snowden revelations have continued.

“Adversarial” is like very nearly any other word: the connotations are only negative depending on the context. Ecclesiastes, eh? “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” Some things should be opposed, and one hopes that our journalists have the moral fibre to oppose them.


Except in that article, “adversial” is being used to mean “openly partisan”, or put another way, unabashedly biased.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want bias in my news reports.

When your news organization has an agenda, it falls prey to things like “confirmation bias”. The last thing I want is to be getting my information from a source that is very likely to overvalue evidence that supports what they already believe while undervaluing or ignoring evidence which goes contradicts those same beliefs.

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Since the NSA seems to view any small questioning, or even any release of minutia about their operations as an attack by an enemy, then I would say adversarial is completely appropriate.


Except we’re talking about a news organization branding itself.

They aren’t marketing themselves to the people who oppose them - they’re marketing themselves to the general public, to the people they hope to attract as viewers and readers and consumers of their media.

Consequently, your argument now makes it sound like you and many others are more interested in seeing a news organization start fights and create conflict than you are in their accurately and objectively informing the world about current affairs.

Please see my response to PatRx2 on this point.

I think those are two different things though. Investigational reporting is uncovering facts. Questioning the powers that be in an aggressive way and with a point of view has been Greenwald’s way. He doesn’t simply report the data. He takes the standpoint of a civil rights attorney in his pieces. And that is confrontational, as opposed to others who get facts and quotes, often from both sides of he spectrum, with balance. Some may say that is the job of a dispassionate reporter, but one side may actually weigh more for justice, in the context of legality and fairness.


I already saw it. And Greenwald already has a ‘brand’. He is not out to become the staid AP, just-the-facts-ma’am kind of news person, he wants to poke the bear. Now you might not like that style, but that doesn’t mean that the adjective doesn’t apply.

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Here’s how it works: the president makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home.