Ken Addresses Poynter Institute Leadership Academy


Media writer Ken Auletta told participants in Poynter’s 2004 Leadership Academy last week that humility is essential to journalism, that truth is too often a casualty of competition, and that shame is an underutilized weapon. Auletta, who writes the Annals of Communication column for The New Yorker magazine, delivered the Naughton Lecture at Poynter.

He said the ability to listen is a journalist’s most important attribute.

“And to listen requires humility,” Auletta said. “You’re not Bill O’Reilly, and you’re not one of these talking heads on cable with their certitude, or you’re not George W. Bush with his certitude. And you say, ‘I don’t know what the answer is, and my job is to go out and report, and my job is to understand the person I’m talking to or the argument that is being presented.’ … You can’t do that if you don’t have some humility.”

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Newyorker.comMatt Dellinger