Monday, February 02, 2009

What Is A Pundit or Punditry?

One blog I check often is Daily Writing Tips. It's a useful blog everyday, but today's post really grabbed me...

A reader writes:

So, there I was, reading The Other McCain (Robert McCain): ”the conservative movement in general tends to esteem punditry over reporting”

What is the difference between punditry and reporting?

The word pundit entered English in 1672 with the meaning “learned Hindu,” from a Hindi word for “a learned man” or “teacher.” Pundit took on the broader meaning of “expert” in the 19th century.  Now  it seems to mean any self-proclaimed authority with something to say about the news.

Reporting is supposed to be an objective gathering and presentation of the facts. The reader or the listener is presumed to possess the intelligence needed to process the information and arrive at his/her own conclusions.

“Punditry” is ideological opinion masquerading as objective analysis of the news. Punditry assumes that the average reader or listener can’t be trusted to draw the “right” conclusions and must be guided by “pundits.”

The fact that a question can arise regarding the difference between “reporting” and “punditry” is evidence of how much the treatment of news has changed since the days in which straight news reporting and editorial opinion were kept strictly separate.

What Is A Pundit or Punditry?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yep, it would seem that objective reporting--what I would consider "real" journalism--has become the playground of self-ordained pundits.