TIME: Bloggers are random lunatics riffing in their underwear

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TIME MAGAZINE : People are getting their understanding of the world from random lunatics riffing in their underwear, rather than professional journalists with standards and passports.

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Also on page 2 of that article:

Quote:
So are we doomed to get our news from some acned 12-year-old in his parents' basement recycling rumors from the Internet echo chamber?

Comments

The problem is that

The problem is that newspapers and the rest of the news media are not doing thier job. They refuse to ask hard hitting, but intelligent questions. They refuse to keep after those they ask until they get a real answer. They refuse to tell us why the news is important. Instead they report sound bites, and fluff. No wonder blogs are catching on, the 12 year old blogger ain't getting any answers out of the politicians either but at least he's asking interesting questions.

Hell the American news media is killing itself, in fact, doing what Excite, AV and Lycos did: pulling the plug on the one useful asset they ever had - in this case the ability to report _real_ news.

Okay, Brad, you're hired.

Okay, Brad, you're hired. :)

Just joking, but you're telling it straight. Our mainstream television news seems to be mostly a matter of looking good and uttering brief sound bites only. That's okay <wink> but don't be upset if someone else picks up the ball and runs with it.

The existence of the Web must be a thorn in their side.

yes, it's funny watching the

yes, it's funny watching the US news (total propaganda) and then watching the BBC (10 times more informative), and then reading stuff on the internet both news services were afraid/didn't want to report.

Who says journalists don't

Who says journalists don't riff in their pants anyhow?

I like reading stories like

I like reading stories like that - the fact that they even take time to write them is a clear indication that they're worried.

Time is partially correct.

Problem with a lot of bloggers is that they don’t give a shit about the truth and they’re unaware of the risks they run with defamation. At least the mainstream makes some effort sometimes to back up and verify what they write.

Mainstream Shmainstream

At least the mainstream makes some effort sometimes to back up and verify what they write.

I would like to see the research data that proves this statement to be true:

"Meanwhile, there is the blog terror: people are getting their understanding of the world from random lunatics riffing in their underwear, rather than professional journalists with standards and passports."

I think the journalist who

I think the journalist who pushed that garbage would do well to research the following resources:
http://www.foxbghsuit.com/
http://www.outfoxed.org/
http://www.thecorporation.com/
Manufacturing Consent

the Tribune Company is exploring options to increase shareholder value. Why?

The real issue is not that bloggers do or don't fact check...the real issues are that

  • most mainstream media is afraid of being biased outside of the biases necessary to maintain their business model / advertisement relationships
  • attention is a finite commodity, and after the local monopolies have competition, most people would rather read things they agree with or are passionate about rather than just taking whatever programming or text people throw at them

On a related note, I have no underwear on right now...who cares?

TMI Aaron!

Quote:
On a related note, I have no underwear on right now...who cares?

Underwear?

What's that?

SlyOldDog: If you compared

SlyOldDog: If you compared BBC reporting to actual events around the time of the American 9/11 events and the invasion of Iraq, you would have seen quite a crafted presentation. Shortly thereafter BBC news was syndicated in the US, and replaced the 9:00 am radio news in New York City (Bloomburg radio... as in New York City's Mayor Bloomburg).

State media in any nation is a problem IMHO.

As for blogging, if Fox is good enough for TV news, I am good enough to blog the news.

can I add to this

>>The real issue is not that bloggers do or don't fact check...the real issues are that

  • the real issue is that people have the attention span of gnats and the media have been dumbing down to keep them watching for years
  • What Gurtie said

    We get the media we deserve.

    Michael Kinsley is actually an interesting guy, and his main point is a fair one - can traditional media afford to invest in quality given the expectation of free news, and if it could would it given the consolidation of media outlets into profit driven conglomerates? The blogger thing is mostly just a throwaway.

    He doesn't come at the online thing from a position of ignorance. He was the editor of Slate - I think even the founding editor - so he has dealt with online content, albeit in a model that tries to emulate the print world as best it can.

    If he had looked seriously at the blogosphere versus traditional media, he might actually be smart enough to give the blogosphere its due. The edge of the blogosphere is the wisdom of crowds effect - get one photo editor looking at a photo from Lebanon, for example, and even though he is a highly trained professional he misses that giveaway signs that it has been photoshopped; get enough different folks from the blogosphere looking at it and they catch it. Your local blog may not have a Baghdad bureau, but the blogosphere can offer an outlet for a guy living in Baghdad during a war to get his viewpoint out. The blogosphere gives the audience a feedback loop that helps correct errors and facilitates diverse voices that help correct for biases. As small independent publishers, some bloggers can pursue important issues in a way the newspapers no longer bother to (e.g., The Daily Muck). It's different, but it's not necessarily worse.

    In the end, it all depends on the audience. That the blogosphere and the mainstream media all mostly suck reflects that sad reality that we mostly suck.

    >>>That the blogosphere and

    >>>That the blogosphere and the mainstream media all mostly suck reflects that sad reality that we mostly suck.

    Now that is just flat out depressing.

    >> That the blogosphere and

    >> That the blogosphere and the mainstream media all mostly suck reflects that sad reality that we mostly suck.

    I don't entirely agree. I believe that mainstream media has ultimately suffered hugely from going corporate.

    Too many decisions and too much power lies with exectutives whose primary motivations are to do with maximising corporate profits to enhance their share options, rather than producing quality news. Those attitudes filter down, and even at the lowest levels, everyone knows their job is more about making money that anything else.

    And in a way, that's fine : the free market will find a way. If the corporate newsies are too fixated on profit to do as much journalism as they used to, others will do it for them, the bloggers.

    Ask yourself this : if the traditional news outlets were producing the best news, how many blogs would have ANY readership?

    Truth....

    >> if the traditional news outlets were producing the best news, how many blogs would have ANY readership?

    The readers aren't always the best judges of what is the best news.
    Sensational claims always seem to win out with veracity being the first casualty.

    verifying facts

    Does anyone here know any 12 year old bloggers? Where is he getting this information from? Talk about verifying your stories...

    Why waste the ink if it wasn't a threat

    Perhaps the 12 year old's are asking more hard questions than Time Magazine?

    In esssance Traditional Media is under a threat of epic proportions. When anyone can setup a blog, and if marketed, SEO'ed and the content is good.. can compete with Time Magazine..

    I guess the fear is that there is an industry change taking place.. and the change is allowing people that otherwise would not have a voice... to have a voice.

    When someone posts something on a blog... and it expresses a vaild point.. something that TIME for example tried to sweep under a rug.. that is generally when the traditional Media get's worried.

    'Hey this wasn't supposed to be the topic.. this was' ....

    But the problem is... the point the blogger was making was the one that everyone was intrested in... hence the only reason Time had to issue such an attack is because of their failures in reporting and their lack of quality of work.

    Meaning now it's up to the 12 year old to fix their problem.

    wait..

    Arent we part of the dumb blogosphere.. .rofl..

    Hey, if the freaking major news networks would do as much research as some of the boxer wearing people do.. then maybe they wouldnt be in their position. These reporters (or the lack there of) suck.... heck, they already concede to Drudge that his one page website is better than their newspapers. lol

    Yes -- and pretty much all

    Yes -- and pretty much all Drudge is doing is linking to pages on other sites.

    Drudge

    Correct.. he is linking to others... agreed...

    But that isn't what makes it intresting.. it's how he links to them..

    He takes something that is in the middle of the article... something that is like huh?? and links to the article with the anchor text being the part that is alittle shocking...

    It's like he focuses their article on the part that he want's focused on rather than what the writing initally intended to be the focus..

    The entire concept is unsettling to the magazine and newspaper writers..

    If the article was about how good potato chips taste (because one of the major ad buyers is a potato chip company)... and he links to the story with the anchor text being 'potato chips linked to heart attacks' because there was one line in 2400 line story saying that, the focus of the article isn't 'how good they taste' but now it's 'they cause heart attacks' .

    The entire nature of the article is changed... just by how he links to it.

    the Traditional Media doesn't want others to have that sort of power.. to change the entire focus of their article to something that wasn't supposed to be the focus.

    tada

    >> The entire nature of the article is changed... just by how he links to it.

    Brilliant observation Watson! I never thought of it that way.

    You are right, Founder. It's

    You are right, Founder.

    It's just that traditional media should have seen this coming. Now they're trying to invalidate anyone else who has an opinion.

    We get the media we deserve.

    Good one, raycam. That goes in my file of quotes.

    "People are getting their

    "People are getting their understanding of the world from random lunatics riffing in their underwear, rather than professional journalists with standards and passports."

    The problem with this "terrible crisis" is that people get their understanding of the world from their parents, teachers, friends, co-workers, and other random lunatics whom they happen to know and trust. No one get's their world view from journalists and they never have. People interpret the news as reported by journalists (or bloggers) according to the preconceived notions they already have.

    I mean really, if you watch a news story that's favorable to Bush (but you happen to hate Bush) are you going to change your mind about him? No, you're going to say, this journalist is an idiot and go right on hating Bush. Same goes for bloggers, except that they have a greater ability to build relationships with their readers and become a trusted source of info (which is why the mainstream media is screwed because they have to focus on a mass audience).

    I don't buy the argument that we're all morons who just blindly accept everything we see and read. When journalists say, "you need us to tell you what is true or not true" they are really saying, "You're an idiot." Turns out, the situation is quite the opposite...

    The entire nature of the

    Quote:
    The entire nature of the article is changed... just by how he links to it.

    Or rather the context within which is was framed by the person who aimed the audience at it. Big difference.

    Your local paper seeks a monopoly on print news. As soon as it has that distributon monopoly, it becomes a political tool. A second major daily disrupts that, but if you look at the alliances in print daily's today in the major cities, you might be surprised at how non-independent they really are.

    The audience wants good + independent news sources. Nobody's delivering. Bloggers are trying, so they win the audience.

    Might Want to Clip and File the Original

    In a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve - Alexis de Tocqueville.

    As for the argument that it is profit seeking that leads to terrible journalism - that train stops one stop short of the end of the line. Money is made by giving people what they want. Sensationalistic and celebrity driven journalism sells because that's what people want to buy. The blame, sad to say, belongs not with Rupert Murdoch but with those of us who buy what he's selling.

    >> Sensationalistic and

    >> Sensationalistic and celebrity driven journalism sells because that's what people want to buy. The blame, sad to say, belongs not with Rupert Murdoch but with those of us who buy what he's selling.

    Almost true. Celeb journalism sells at least in part BECAUSE IT'S BEING OFFERED. Do you think there would be a true public outcry if all the tabloids and celeb mags decided to shut their doors one day? I really doubt it.

    People don't really want that - but it's easier than thinking, and reading well researched stories that don't assume the reader has a room tempature IQ, and a 15 second attention span.

    If there were no demand for quality journalism, there would be no blogs, I submit. The demand hasn't disappeared, just dissipated a bit in the WWW, and mutated some

    Same Same

    >>Do you think there would be a true public outcry if all the tabloids and celeb mags decided to shut their doors one day? I really doubt it.

    Same could be said of blogs...

    >> Same could be said of

    >> Same could be said of blogs...

    LOL, yup. But every blog in the world disappearing wouldn't stop the demand for the service they are currently providing : it would just move elsewhere, maybe back into print.

    I'm NOT convinced that anybody would be moved to replicate celeb mags in another medium if they all disappeared, but I do think that the current function of blogs would be taken up in a different way

    --

    I think blogs work because people can interact. Shouting at an image of Dan Rather on the tube isn't very satisfying. Leaving a scathing comment on some pundit's blog can be very satisfying.

    And suddenly, the common man has a voice, and can immediately reach others that share his opinion, or argue with people that have different opinions. People don't want facts, they want Op-Ed. Even more, they want to create their own Op-Ed.

    Blogs work BECAUSE THEY'RE BEING OFFERED. (sorry tall Troll) ;)

    >> Blogs work BECAUSE

    >> Blogs work BECAUSE THEY'RE BEING OFFERED.

    Absolutely, but not in the same way. People are still finding things to do with blogs, the medium is still evolving, and it's being driven by a desire amongst the readers and bloggers to do something that the mainstream media isn't.

    Celeb mags are driven by a need for profit in large corporate media concerns. People buy them because they're there, not because anybody really gives a shit about Britney, or Kerry, or Jordan. It's just mildly amusing to watch these human train wrecks self destruct in front of you.

    If the mags stopped, so would our interest. I don't think the same can be said of blogs, in this context. We would still have a need for "serious" journalism, and it's clear that the mainstream is drifting away from that

    >> professional journalists with standards

    That's a lot less true than it used to be. These days, the journalists want to be sending in footage of themselves under fire from the front line somwhere - not to demonstrate the horro of war, or mans inhumanity to man, but to demonstrate just how great they are in front of a camera, and how MUCH they deserve an award....

    They don't want to cover the local stories, or deep, long-running stories on things that'll matter to people over the long run.

    Obviously, there are still several exceptions, but they become fewer over time

    > If the mags stopped, so would our interest

    People buy them because they're there, not because anybody really gives a shit about Britney, or Kerry, or Jordan.

    as much as i admire where you're coming from, TallTroll, i've gotta disagree with you.

    there WOULD be an outcry in the absence of celebrity journalism. celebrity journalism is just one manifestation of a kind of communication that satisfies a basic human need.

    people love talking shit about other people's scandalous lives. in the absence of actual scandal, apparently even manufactured scandal is acceptable, e.g. reality TV shows. or soap operas.

    they all feed off of feelings of jealously, scorn, transference, a smattering of schadenfreude and a bunch of other ugly human emotions that won't be going out of style any time soon.

    people have, and always will, love talking shit about one another. and celebrity journalism actually makes the process tidier, as it allows us to satisfy these tendencies at a distance - we can talk shit about britney spears becoming all white-trashy with our neighbor. even though we secretly consider our neighbor to be white-trashy. which is ultimately easier than talking shit about our white-trashy neighbor to their face.

    is it ugly? you bet. the starting gun went off 50,000 years ago - welcome to the human race ;)

    there's quite a few of us

    not that sit somewhere between blogging and 'real news' - Muncie Free Press is my little contribution to the ongoing media revolution. Any other 'place bloggers' out there in ThreadWatch land?

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