1. Are you covering an issue while studiously refusing to use the one term that accurately describes it (autogynephile, jihad, rape gang [rape jihad], taqiyyah, Muslim terrorist, no-go zone, antifa)?

  2. Are there topics you refuse to cover because doing so would make you a pariah among your journalist friends?

  3. Do you maintain years-long Roy Cohn–like dossiers on real or perceived enemies? Does it just eat you up, are you just dying inside if you can’t find an excuse to pull the trigger and publish?

  4. If you’re writing at a print newspaper:

    • How thoroughly and accurately will you quote online-only sources, especially if a topic arose online in the first place? Or did you write a whole story based on a single “tweet”?

    • Would you prefer to write a lazy “hot take” about a single “tweet” instead of writing even one brief story about a longstanding, systemic, even intractable issue (e.g., poverty)?

    • If an issue is new and has been well discussed online, do you feel it is your duty to wait a decorous time, then swoop in and adopt an attitude of “Let’s let the grown-ups handle this, sweetie” that puts the online discussion in what you view is its due place?

    Aren’t all these impulses in direct opposition?

  5. If there are videos (especially somewhere other than YouTube [viz Twitter, Periscope]) categorically disproving an assertion you make in writing, will you act as though written words are always true and supreme while moving images are neither?

    • Corollary: When a Muslim terrorist is caught on video shouting “Allahu akhbar!” or anything remotely Islamic, will you not only pretend that evidence does not exist but report that the attacker’s “motives” are “unknown” (by implication, unknowable)?

    • If you work for a TV station or network, will you carefully edit out such shouting of “Allahu akhbar!” or anything remotely Islamic? Or, irrespective of where you work, will you change “Allah” to “God”?

  6. If a source uses the word “nigger,” will you in turn quote that source without bowdlerization? If a source calls someone a faggot or a cocksucker, will you instead write that the source “used homophobic slurs”?

  7. Is it your job to redress racism against blacks and reconcile yourself with Indians? Is that just the tip of the iceberg of societal ills that it is your job to personally redress?

    • Is it racist not to write “Blacks” (caps in original) and to use any term other than “Indigenous Canadians” (ditto)?

  8. Looking honestly at yourself, whom do you hate or resent or are jealous of, and is that whom you’re writing about?

  9. When covering a subject you hate or resent or are jealous of, will you use fact-checking methods that you know will be insufficient to give the source a fulsome chance to respond? In other words, when you know what you’re writing is a hit piece, will you dash off a single E‑mail right before publication and tell yourself that amounts to responsible fact-checking and true right of reply?

  10. How many restrictions should be placed on your enemies’ free speech, and, deep down, do you wish you had the authority to place them?

  11. If the subject of your coverage died, were ruined, were destroyed, or were wiped off the face of the earth, would your coverage have done its job?

  12. Which groups’ complaints would always prompt an apology? Which other groups’ complaints would always prompt an angry personal pledge to enact revenge?

  13. Are you afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted?

  14. Should your audience trust you? (Are you narrowly defining what “your audience” means to manufacture a response of yes?)

  15. Should your job exist?

  16. Are you in the right line of work?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2017.06.04 14:28. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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