The Chronicle‘s MeMo is an endless source of amusement. On Tuesday, Memo delved into the world of blogs vs. Big Media:
Someday this blogger would love to do a serious piece about the rise of the “citizen journalist,” which is a term Drudge made popular to distinguish himself from the lackeys of Big Media such as, presumably, us. The issue really does deserve much more space, but when did journalists with real jobs become separated out — in the public mind and maybe in some cases beyond that — from their chief role, which is to be the eyes and ears of the public? This is, believe it or no, the principal reason most people we know got into the Land of Bad Pay and Bad Hours that is journalism — because they were idealists (and not idealogues).
Ah! we could go on and on, about journalistic ethics, about fatcat Beltway and Manhattan pundits being conflated with everyday news people, about liberal vs. conservative. But another time.
That’s an interesting idea she brings up, though – that journalists are idealists.
My handy little (online) 2001 Merriam Webster defines an idealist as “one that places ideals before practical considerations.” And ideal is defined as “a standard of beauty, perfection or excellence. An object or aim of endeavor.”
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (who hasn’t taken that personality test?) has this to say about idealists:
The Idealist’s Motivation
Wanting to uncover meaning and significance in the world, and trying to understand what they believe is the real nature of life and relationships, Idealist thought and speech tends to be interpretive, which means they frequently comment how one thing is really something else.
Idealists are naturally inductive in their thought and speech, which is to say that they move quickly from the part to the whole, from a few particulars to sweeping generalizations, from the smallest sign of something to its entirety.
At the very least, Idealists are the best suited of all the types to read between the lines, or to have a sixth sense about people, and they do indeed follow their hunches, heed their feelings, and insist they “just know” what people are really up to, or what they really mean. Even with complicated issues NF’s [idealists] need hear only the first words of an explanation to feel they understand the subject fully, jumping from telling details to larger meanings.