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On the Responsibility of Journalism to Self-Respect with Christian Sorensen


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/06/21

Christian is a Philosopher that comes from Belgium. What identifies him the most and above all is simplicity, for everything is better with “vanilla flavour.” Perhaps, for this reason, his intellectual passion is criticism and irony, in the sense of trying to reveal what “hides behind the mask,” and give birth to the true. For him, ignorance and knowledge never “cross paths.” What he likes the most in his leisure time, is to go for a walk with his wife.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When I reflect on journalism as an enterprise, in many ways, I view the work as something akin to a relinquishing of the formalities of Communication Theory and Information Theory and brought down to the ordinary level, even ordinary interviews and data-collection can be a source of insight into the human condition at a profound level. Without the formalities of Communication Theory and Information Theory, we have the basic idea of the transmission of non-general information in the sense of human-to-human communication as the emitter and the receiver, and vice versa, for a conversation or a dialogue: a human brain, a human diaphragm, and a human vocal system, and another human brain, another human diaphragm, and another human vocal system. All with variations in the quality of transmission plus the ‘noise’ in between all of this. Journalism, in popular culture, seems almost akin to art, like painting or poetry, but its operations seem much more precise and non-general, and general, in a number of ways. Precise in working within the narrow band of human communication; non-general in the information transmitted is not understood much by non-human animals and in various qualities by human animals; and, general, when taken in the context of its intended emitters and receivers, in its capacity to speak of a large string of things about and within the universe — far beyond the contexts of ancestral environments. What is the purpose of journalism to you?

Christian Sorensen: I consider that “journalism’s artistic character” is one of its “fundamental values,” since through this it achieves “an effective and meaningful communication,” both by being able to “read events from within,” and by interpreting them from “a unique angle,” while simultaneously “empathizing” with the “audience needs and sensitivities,” and this last in turn claims its “right” to be “adequately and timely informed,” in order to feel through this way “correctly interpreted” in its most profound desire.

Jacobsen: What are some other appropriate analyses of journalism to you?

Sorensen: A “journalism,” that together with having the ability to “visualize deeply” the “facts from within,” is besides “rigorously descriptive” in such a way, that “its history” conforms “as objectively” as possible “to reality” of what actually has occurred.

Jacobsen: How is journalism failing in some of the modern societies now?

Sorensen: Through “rhetorical sensationalism fixation” with “forms,” to “fund detriment,” and through “journalistic prostitution” or said in a subtler way, by kneeling down towards “exchanging favours,” for leaving aside all “kinds of ethics” and the “commitment” to “truth search,” in compensation for some sort of “economic and political” benefits.

Jacobsen: How is journalism succeeding in some of the modern societies now?

Sorensen: Insofar as it has been “independent journalism,” and has committed to defending “human rights.”

Jacobsen: Should there be any limits on journalism? If so, what? If not, why not?

Sorensen: I consider that “its limits” are related to the duty of “respecting and promoting human dignity” in all possible ways, and likewise with “freedom,” in the sense of protecting “people’s rights” regarding their “individual intimacy” and access to “reliable information.”

Jacobsen: How will journalism function after this onslaught against the truth, veracity, and empiricism over the 2010s?

Sorensen: I hope that “journalism” works with “greater reality sense,” and a “truer awareness” regarding “inalienable needs,” such as those concerning to the “search for truth,” so as to achieve in that way superior “reliability degrees,” and the attachment with “empiricism” in order to arrive at “successful objectivizations” regarding phenomena.

Jacobsen: Who are some admirable journalists to you?

Sorensen: Raymond Aron and Laurent Joffrin.

Jacobsen: Why do autocratic governments kill journalists, murder them?

Sorensen: Because “autocratic governments,” deep down “don’t tolerate” the “search for truth,” nor the “defence of human rights,” or “critical judgments” which are proper to “contestatory” speeches.

Jacobsen: Why should we respect or disrespect journalism as a field for democratic societies?

Sorensen: We “do not have” any duty “for respecting journalism,” since it’s rather they themselves who are the ones who first of all “must learn how to respect themselves,” and therefore the former would be “consequence” of the aforementioned, and not the other way round as is commonly believed, due to the fact that by “being loyal” towards their “proper role,” then they will “self-enable” to “fully comply” in democratic societies, their “mediating function” so that “communication” may exist within them.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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