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Investigative Journalism Being Reborn Through the Web?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the i-don't-want-to-go-on-the-cart dept.

The Media 265

Combating the stigma that investigative journalism is dead or dying, the Huffington Post has just launched a new venture to bankroll a group of investigative journalists to take a look into stories about the nation's economy. "The popular Web site is collaborating with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other donors to launch the Huffington Post Investigative Fund with an initial budget of $1.75 million. That should be enough for 10 staff journalists who will primarily coordinate stories with freelancers, said Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. Work that the journalists produce will be available for any publication or Web site to use at the same time it is posted on The Huffington Post, she said. The Huffington Post Web site is a collection of opinionated blog entries and breaking news. It has seven staff reporters. Huffington said she and the donors were concerned that layoffs at newspapers were hurting investigative journalism at a time the nation's institutions need to be watched closely. She hopes to draw from the ranks of laid-off journalists for the venture."

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Hi. (0, Offtopic)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392301)

Welcome to the internet.

Re:Hi. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392321)

Welcome to /b/

Re:Hi. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393101)

There's some great investigative journalism done online at this site [goat.cx] . Click and give it a read.

The Huffington Post? (4, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392313)

You can't take the Huff seriously. IT's a political shill site.

Re:The Huffington Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392383)

You can't take the Huff seriously. IT's a political shill site.

One can't take your post seriously. IT's a bullshitical shill post.

Re:The Huffington Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392435)

Arianna, is that you?

Re:The Huffington Post? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392459)

You can't take the Huff seriously. IT's a political shill site.

One can't take your post seriously. IT's a bullshitical shill post.

One can't take your critique seriously. IT's a bullshit shill critique.

Re:The Huffington Post? (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392423)

And what are you? You're a right-wing-know-nothing with a dumb name and a wife that would look at home in Nazi Germany guarding prisoners.

Just thought that everyone should know who is calling the Huffman Post a political shill site, you hypocrite.

Re:The Huffington Post? (1, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392555)

My grandfather died in a Concentration Camp you insensitive clod.

He fell out of the guard tower.

Re:The Huffington Post? (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392795)

And what are you? You're a right-wing-know-nothing with a dumb name and a wife that would look at home in Nazi Germany guarding prisoners.

Oh be quiet you Godless backstabbing traitor to America. You should be happy that your liberal backstabbing friends have finally ruined the United States to pave the road to your socialist plots. Some day we will have you up against the wall for your perfidy, but until then, enjoy the ruin that you have created, you jap car driving traitor.

Re:The Huffington Post? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392433)

You can't take the Huff seriously. IT's a political shill site.

By that criteria, you can't take ANY site seriously.

The trick is to sample a large number of sites across the political spectrum, and try to distill the most truthy explanation of current events.

In other words:

You take the good
You take the bad
You have 'em both
And there ya have...
The facts (of life).

Re:The Huffington Post? (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392619)

I represent the estate of Alan Thicke. You owe $0.07 USD for use of his intellectual property in your post on Slashdot.Com. Kindly remit these funds at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Goldfarb, Goldblum, Goldfrappe, Goldstein, and Horrific Ethnic Stereotype, LLC, Inc.

Re:The Huffington Post? (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392791)

Horrific Ethnic Stereotype

Sounds Swedish; what's he doing at a law firm?

Re:The Huffington Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392957)

You owe $0.07 USD for use of his intellectual property in your post on Slashdot.Com.

So, does Red win on a technicality then?

Re:The Huffington Post? (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393217)

Dammit.

Re:The Huffington Post? (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393265)

Goldfarb, Goldblum, Goldfrappe, Goldstein, and Horrific Ethnic Stereotype, LLC, Inc.

You better pay these guys, I hear they win more cases than Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe!

Re:The Huffington Post? (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392547)

And slashdot is a pro-tech, pro-netneutrality, pro-science blog. Fox news has investigative journalists. No reason the left shouldn't. No reason Slashdot shouldn't. No reason why anyone with an agenda shouldn't be generating content. And at least you understand the bias when you read huffington post. It doesn't attempt to hide behind any veil like a certain other news organization.

The problem isn't whether or not there is bias it's whether or not the reader knows the bias and filters appropriately.

Re:The Huffington Post? (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392709)

And slashdot is a pro-tech, pro-netneutrality, pro-science blog. Fox news has investigative journalists. No reason the left shouldn't. No reason Slashdot shouldn't. No reason why anyone with an agenda shouldn't be generating content. And at least you understand the bias when you read huffington post. It doesn't attempt to hide behind any veil like a certain other news organization.

The problem isn't whether or not there is bias it's whether or not the reader knows the bias and filters appropriately.

Actually, the left does have their investigative journalists. They work for every other outlet other than Fox News (and CNN to a much lesser extent).

Re:The Huffington Post? (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392767)

"Fox news has investigative journalists."

Well, they do if "investigative journalists" means "people who make stuff up".

Re:The Huffington Post? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392873)

"Fox news has investigative journalists."

Well, they do if "investigative journalists" means "people who make stuff up".

No, that's the New York Times you are thinking of (google Jayson Blair, Walter Duranty).

there it is... (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393243)

The problem isn't whether or not there is bias it's whether or not the reader knows the bias and filters appropriately.

Awareness...

...no longer just a philosophical or scientific dialogue.

but of course i am biased...

Re:The Huffington Post? (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392657)

Mod parent up. This is not a troll, this is a personal statement of difference.

Re:The Huffington Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392745)

This is not a troll

Of course it's a troll.

this is a personal statement of difference.

That doesn't make it not a troll.

Perhaps if the poster had provided some facts as to why they believe what they do, then it might not be a troll. (Note the word "might".) But to state an inflammatory opinion with no reasoning behind it is definitely trolling.

Parent is true (5, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392851)

Parent is not flamebait as the Huffington Post actively works to censor comments [nationofcriminals.com] it doesn't like [blogspot.com] and then outright bans [wordpress.com] the user [youtube.com] .

So yes, the Huffington Post does appear to be be a shill site [amazon.com] and this attempt at investigative journalism should not be taken seriously [democratic...ground.com] .

Re:Parent is true (3, Informative)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393025)

Glad to see there's some common sense left here. I'm as left-wing as the next left-wing-conspirator, but one of the concepts of 'journalism' is being un-biased.

Anyone who claims HuffPost isn't 'biased' is themselves nicely biased.

Mod parent up! Unfair, opinion moderation (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392961)

You can't take the Huff seriously. IT's a political shill site.

He's not the only one who feels that way. Allow me to quote Wikipedia:

The Huffington Post (often referred to on the Internet as HuffPost or HuffPo) is an American liberal[1] news website and aggregated weblog founded by Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer, featuring various news sources and columnists. The site covers a wide range of topics, including sections devoted to politics, entertainment, media, living, business, and the green movement.

Please read the bold part. Parent stated fact and was downmodded for it.

Mods based on opinion have no place on slashdot and are against the moderator guidelines. The Mod should have posted a reply if he/she disagreed rather abusing moderator power.

Re:Mod parent up! Unfair, opinion moderation (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393279)

Please read the bold part. Parent stated fact and was downmodded for it.

I didn't even condemn them for being a liberal shill site, just a shill site. Of course conservatives have their shill sites. But, you still have to have some honesty and say that's what they are.

Mods based on opinion have no place on slashdot and are against the moderator guidelines. The Mod should have posted a reply if he/she disagreed rather abusing moderator power.

Mods based on opinion are a fact of life on slashdot. When the conservative mods who are on slashdot mod my post, it will go back up. Generally conservative leaning or seemingly conservative leaning posts get modded down right away, then gradually go back up after hours. Also, if you trash Europe in a post, that will usually bounce up right away if you do it when Europe is asleep, and then becomes a good troll when Europe wakes up.

2nd post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392325)

in honor of #2, I just dropped a big fat obama in the mens room 2nd stall. Feel free to feat on it, you fucking ass burglars.

Investigative? (1, Flamebait)

geek (5680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392329)

HuffPo is an extreme left-wing wannabe news outlet. By investigate, what they really mean is "smear machine."

They did a bang-up job investigating when they posted the John Gibson remarks which were obviously fake and it only took them the better part of a week to retract, grudgingly so.

If HuffPo is what passes for investigative reporting then it's truly the end of journalism as we know it.

Re:Investigative? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392403)

Seems to me this new investment directly addresses your problem with them. Hiring investigative reporters is the best way to become more fact-based.

Re:Investigative? (5, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392875)

Seems to me this new investment directly addresses your problem with them. Hiring investigative reporters is the best way to become more fact-based.

That depends on what they choose to investigate and the angle they take. They might take the angle that the Bush twins are party-girl lushes and with a straight face, claim that Biden's daughter "has an addiction problem" with cocaine.

OK, here's a better example: Did the recession start under Bush's watch or did it start when Democrats took over congress? Both are true. How do you report it? Looking at Huff-Po's record of distortion and hatred, I don't have high hopes for honest, non-biased reporting.

Re:Investigative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393113)

Considering it's Congress that ultimately holds the purse strings, I think the answer to the question of who started the recession is pretty cut and dry.

Re:Investigative? (3, Insightful)

Touvan (868256) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392531)

Is it left-biased, or reality biased? It seems a lot of people that smear the current American left, have been living in the right wing bubble for the last few decades, and can't fess up to the reality bias that reality has.

Only in American can I consider myself, a centrist progressive. The state of politics here is severely depressing, so anything that pulls us out of the childish, conservative, backward looking rut we've been in, is a plus in my book.

Re:Investigative? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392605)

Is it left-biased, or reality biased? It seems a lot of people that smear the current American left, have been living in the right wing bubble for the last few decades, and can't fess up to the reality bias that reality has.

Only in American can I consider myself, a centrist progressive. The state of politics here is severely depressing, so anything that pulls us out of the childish, conservative, backward looking rut we've been in, is a plus in my book.

No, it's left based. They are willing to lie and fabricate anything to make "the right" look bad. Even when caught in a complete, out and out lie, it took them a full week to retract it, while they 'verified' that it wasn't true (something they obviously didn't take time verifying its veracity in the first place).

This "reality has a liberal bias" meme is bullshit and needs to die. Reality doesn't have a bias. The Republicans and Democrats are both equally full of shit, and the more people only pile on one party, the more I don't bother listening to them.

Re:Investigative? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392731)

Exactly
Even if it did have a liberal bias, why would you ever mention it.

Reality is defined by the people who make it up, and by definition the average person has an IQ of 100.
Have you ever talked to a person with an IQ of 100?

Re:Investigative? (3, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392691)

I'm sure many right wing type people will dismiss your remark out of hand without considering it for a moment, but consider:

1) Which nation did this huge economic disaster start? America, a country that had been under complete Republican rule for 6 of the last 8 years and had undergone many deregulations over the past three decades which directly contributed to this crisis.

2) Which European countries have most felt the economic fallout of this? Iceland and Ireland, the two most free-wheeling democracies in Europe. For years Republicans would use Ireland as an example for us to follow since they had the lowest commercial tax rates in the world. Since Ireland's economy has been in free-fall I haven't heard Republicans mention them at all (I wonder why?).

3) Which European countries have been effected least? Spain and France due to their more conservative banking regulations and greater safety net for people living there.

So take a serious look at the mirror and consider the possibility that Touvan is actually correct--reality really does, in fact, have a left-wing bias (at least in terms of economic policy). The first top economic adviser to Bush 43 resigned shortly into Bush's first term because he was simply ignored and believed their economic policy would be disastrous (paying for wars with tax cuts was an extremely bad idea). It's hard to argue that he was wrong now (it really was even then...).

Re:Investigative? (5, Informative)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392819)

So why did Obama keep on so many of Bush's economic team? Geithner for example got a promotion from Goldman-Sachs to Bush's TARP administrator to Obama's Treasury Secretary. I'd suggest that there are not quite as many differences between the two parties as many on both sides like to pretend there are. Both are in favor of crony capitalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism [wikipedia.org] Your (and since you're just repeating the party line here your party's) attempts to place blame on a fantasy deregulation straw man are... unconvincing to those who do more than accept your play on class warfare chords. Both sides are to blame for allowing so many unproductive ventures to survive for so long on the backs of the productive members of society. One of my favorite pieces on the framework for the current crisis (over last 30 years) is this one: http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/11/11/The-End-of-Wall-Streets-Boom [portfolio.com]

Re:Investigative? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392907)

Geithner never worked for Goldman Sachs. If you are insinuating that Goldman Sachs runs the New York Fed, well, you should just come right out and say it, as next to no one here is going to get the reference.

Re:Investigative? (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392971)

Where did I say anything about Democrats? I was using Europe purposefully since countries like France and Spain are unquestionably farther to the left than we are, especially in economic and social policy. My argument would be that the Democrat party as a whole certainly is not as far to the left as they should be.

Re:Investigative? (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393199)

I'm also not seeing how I'm using a straw man argument (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man [wikipedia.org] )

I made a statement of fact in point one, followed by two that are technically opinions but if not correct nearly so (both economic and social pressure can be more qualitative than quantitative when using 'affected most/least').

As for Bush's economic adviser I based my remarks on his own remarks on the recent Frontline episode which interviewed him.

How the heck is that a straw man argument?

You're also mistaken about Geithner--as a sibling poster mentioned he never worked for Goldman-Sachs (his previous job was being the president of the Federal Reserve bank at New York City). Geithner's pick was a very non-controversial pick (and a fairly obvious one) due to his intimate knowledge of the financial crisis and the respect he has from many financial experts.

There is no question that with more regulation of companies like AIG (who were essentially acting like banks without the regulations banks must follow) they could not have overextended themselves to the degree that they did. There is also no question that there are more financial regulations in France et. al than here.

Re:Investigative? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392925)

3) Which European countries have been effected least? Spain and France due to their more conservative banking regulations and greater safety net for people living there.

Have you seen the news out of France lately? The country is being wracked by strikes and rioting.

Re:Investigative? (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393033)

France has strikes all the time, year after year as far back as I can remember. Strikes are somewhat part of the culture there.

You can lose your job there and not face losing your medical insurance or going hungry. There's a huge difference in terms of the human cost of this financial disaster between France and the US in addition to the differences in growth/shrinkage of GDP.

Re:Investigative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393145)

You're argument is that there was no government to prevent people from acting stupidly, but the government (Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are part of the government, right?) did sign off on some bad ideas (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) which directly led to our current situation. And, the situation would have been avoidable despite the government if not for the greed of the common man.

Blame Bush. You people love to do that. Clearly, he was the only person with any power to prevent this entire crisis. Fits very nicely into your world view.

The idea that more government will solve anything is ridiculous. You need to re-read 1984 and Brave New World, but this time don't look to the right-wing to find Big Brother. Look to the left.

Re:Investigative? (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393255)

Then why is France and others in far better financial shape than we are (heck, even China is in a better position)? Are they running huge deficits? Nope. Do they have massive federal debts? Nope. Do they have problems with getting everyone insurance? Nope. People living there also have about twice as many vacation days as we do in America.

Sure, they pay more in taxes but they also get a lot in return (like superior infrastructure, transit, health care, etc) and a more stable economy to boot. It's nothing like 1984 and A Brave New World (try going over there to see for yourself).

Re:Investigative? (2, Insightful)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393185)

Which nation did this huge economic disaster start? America, a country that had been under complete Republican rule for 6 of the last 8 years and had undergone many deregulations over the past three decades which directly contributed to this crisis.

First, if you think that the economic "disaster" can be attributed to a specific political party, then you a playing the part written for you quite nicely.

Second, true free markets are not guaranteed to be always upward moving; failures and downturns are part of the natural process. And there is really nothing wrong with that. When a government gets in the way of the natural progression, it is no longer a free market.

Third, the die was cast for the downturn to become a disaster when big business realized that the Federal government considered them "too big to fail". At that point, they had no reason NOT to take huge risks because they knew that they could socialize the risks and privatize the rewards.

Currently, the disaster is well on its way to a depression, mainly because this country did not use the "good" times to prepare adequately for the bad (thanks President Bush) and are taking steps that, in the long run, will have a negative impact on our economy (thanks President Obama).

The first top economic adviser to Bush 43 resigned shortly into Bush's first term because he was simply ignored and believed their economic policy would be disastrous (paying for wars with tax cuts was an extremely bad idea). It's hard to argue that he was wrong now (it really was even then...).

I call your O'Neill and Lindsey and raise you a Richardson and Gregg. At least O'Neill and Lindsey almost made it to President Bush's third year in office (roughly half-way through his first term, which is a little more than "shortly"); President Obama's choices barely made it three weeks, if that.

Re:Investigative? (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393209)

I'm sure many right wing type people will dismiss your remark out of hand without considering it for a moment, but consider:

1) Which nation did this huge economic disaster start? America, a country that had been under complete Republican rule for 6 of the last 8 years and had undergone many deregulations over the past three decades which directly contributed to this crisis.

BZZZTTTT! Wrong! First, Republicans never really controlled anything. Remember "Jumping" Jim Jeffords? He was the Republican who turned Independent to give control of the Senate back to the Democrats after the first Congressional election of Bush's term. Even the next election when Republicans took control of both houses, they only did by a couple of votes and couldn't pass anything without Democrats filibustering it. The next election, Democrats took over congress right about the time the economy tanked. You could just as easily blame congress as the President. Seeing that Congress writes and passes the budget, I think they should take more of the blame, if blaming someone is your goal.

As for deregulation, where did the problems start? Banking? Sure. Who was in charge of the Banking committee when the banks started failing. I'll give you a hint. It rhymes Dodd and Frank [dailyworld.com] (neither of which are Republican).

2) Which European countries have most felt the economic fallout of this? Iceland and Ireland, the two most free-wheeling democracies in Europe. For years Republicans would use Ireland as an example for us to follow since they had the lowest commercial tax rates in the world. Since Ireland's economy has been in free-fall I haven't heard Republicans mention them at all (I wonder why?).

Does Bush run the Irish economy as well? I had no idea. It would appear to me that the problem is that economies grow and shrink naturally. We are in a shrinking trend right now.

3) Which European countries have been effected least? Spain and France due to their more conservative banking regulations and greater safety net for people living there.

Spain and France were in the tank long before this recession hit. You could say that they led the pack.

The first top economic adviser to Bush 43 resigned shortly into Bush's first term because he was simply ignored and believed their economic policy would be disastrous (paying for wars with tax cuts was an extremely bad idea). It's hard to argue that he was wrong now (it really was even then...).

First, the economy did very VERY well during Bush's first six years (minus the 9-11 recession and the recession he inherited). As for paying with wars with tax cuts, national receipts went UP after tax cuts. If the economy sucked, how do the feds raise receipts after a tax cut? Hmmm... Seems as if the facts disagree with you. Maybe you should get away from the mirror and go back and retake Intro to Economics. You might also want to brush up on recent history as well.

Here [heritage.org] is a chart that proves what I just said. You will clearly not a drop in tax receipts ending around 2002 and then a sharp increase of government revenue AFTER BUSH'S TAX CUTS!

So please, tell me genius, if the economy sucked during Bush's eight years, as you stated, how was there an increase in tax revenue when taxes were cut? I LAFF [wikipedia.org] at your ignorance of how economies work.

Re:Investigative? (1)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393241)

3) Which European countries have been effected least? Spain and France due to their more conservative banking regulations and greater safety net for people living there.

That's not really a fair comparison. Whereas the US chooses to prop up failing automakers will ill-advised "loans", France just increases demand [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Investigative? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392707)

I never understood the "reality has a liberal bias" line. What is that supposed to mean? That reality thinks that universal health care is good? That taxing is generally the best solution instead of cutting programs? Can someone explain this to me?

I personally think that reality has a half libertarian bias. People want to be free and left to their own, except when they have the opportunity to mess with someone else's life.

Re:Investigative? (3, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392799)

That reality thinks that universal health care is good?

Umm. That's correct. Or is the rest of the world not proof enough for you? You know, the world in which everyone else spends less, per capita, on healthcare than the US while covering more people?

That taxing is generally the best solution instead of cutting programs?

When did that become an either-or decision?

Can someone explain this to me?

Okay, let's see, examples:

1) Evolution is real and happens, creationism is bollocks.
2) Sex education is good, abstinence-only education does not, and has never, worked.
3) Government involvement in industry (regulations for safety, to avoid systemic risk, etc) is, in fact, sometimes a good thing.
4) Government *can* provide useful services that private industry cannot, or cannot offer cheaply and effectively (healthcare and related social safety nets, various infrastructure development, etc).

That's just a few off the top of my head. I'm sure you can come up with others if you just think about it for a few moments.

Re:Investigative? (1)

ZFox (860519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393201)

You know, the world in which everyone else spends less, per capita, on healthcare than the US while covering more people?

You know, we could give every person in the US a $1 medical voucher and easily fix this problem.

Seriously, though, this statistic of yours is meaningless.

Re:Investigative? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392885)

Yeah history shows us that reality has a liberal bias sorry. Yes taxing and healthcare are good things. Sorry.

Re:Investigative? (4, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393047)

I never understood the "reality has a liberal bias" line. What is that supposed to mean? That reality thinks that universal health care is good? That taxing is generally the best solution instead of cutting programs? Can someone explain this to me?

I don't have a source, but I always assumed the line "reality has a liberal bias" was a satirical reference to the phrase "reality-based community", which entered the popular lexicon via a Ron Suskind article entitled Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush [nytimes.com] . The relevant grafs:

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

Whenever someone tells me that they think the phrase "reality-based community" is an example of the smug and snide attitude of liberals, I direct them to that article.

Re:Investigative? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392729)

It has an unashamed left wing perspective. Perhaps that isn't the same thing as a bias, but if you don't think it has a left wing perspective, well, forest, trees, etc..

Re:Investigative? (1)

grassy_knoll (412409) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392739)

When you say "reality biased" do you mean "based on measurable events, peer-reviewed science, or statistics for which source data is freely available" or do you mean "agrees with my preconceived notions"?

Because so often when I hear people speak of "reality biased" they seem to mean the latter rather than the former.

Re:Investigative? (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392781)

Is it left-biased, or reality biased? It seems a lot of people that smear the current American left, have been living in the right wing bubble for the last few decades, and can't fess up to the reality bias that reality has.

Only in American can I consider myself, a centrist progressive. The state of politics here is severely depressing, so anything that pulls us out of the childish, conservative, backward looking rut we've been in, is a plus in my book.

Reality is how you spin it. Sure, MSNBC can interview two documentary producers to appear non-biased, but treat them both very differently. HERE [newsbusters.org] is an example.

Yes, NewsBusters is a "right-wing" site, however, they do post the entire transcript so you can make up your own mind.

Additionally, Hall offered almost no tough questions, instead tossing softballs such as "What is your observation, having been [to Afghanistan] recently, regarding the Obama administration's plans?" Uninterrupted, Greenwald was allowed to later assert, "Well, again, remember that many people there believe that troops are not the answer. Troops contribute to the problem." He also instructed that the U.S. should send 17,000 teachers instead of soldiers. At the close of the interview, he complained, "But, I think we all get trapped in, as one of my friends in Afghanistan said, 'Shoot first. Think later.'"

In contrast, on January 9, when MSNBC host David Shuster interviewed John Ziegler about his movie on the media's treatment of Sarah Palin, the anchor got into a heated argument with the filmmaker, repeatedly challenging the "conservative documentary's" thesis and deriding, "John, you and Sarah Palin can't take any responsibility for the fact that she wasn't prepared to run for vice president."

Is it really a journalists job to state as fact that Sarah Palin wasn't prepared to run for VP? Regardless of your "opinion" of Sarah Palin, it's just that, an OPINION, and JOURNALISTS shouldn't be spouting theirs. It's not their job.

Re:Investigative? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393063)

Is it really a journalists job to state as fact that Sarah Palin wasn't prepared to run for VP? Regardless of your "opinion" of Sarah Palin, it's just that, an OPINION, and JOURNALISTS shouldn't be spouting theirs. It's not their job.

I think you are confusing news reporting with interviewing. It is the responsibility of interviewers to probe the interviewees. If that requires making statements to prompt a response from the interviewee, then so be it. Let me suggest that you watch the ORIGINAL Frost/Nixon interviews and imagine what they would be like if Frost had not challenged Nixon by offering his (Frost's) own interpretation of events.

The role of journalists is to report and interpret events. Interpretation can't happen in a vacuum and will naturally be affected by journalists' pre-conceived notions. I think it is only in the USA where there is the fiction of the unbiased newsroom. Other countries expect some level of bias and think it more important to understand the reporters' biases.

Re:Investigative? (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392621)

HuffPo is an extreme left-wing wannabe news outlet. By investigate, what they really mean is "smear machine."

I think that whether you like the Huffington Post is beside the point: they're going to pay investigative reporters. For a little while now, lots of people have been concerned about the fact that newspapers are dying off and have asked the question, "How will get get our news now?"

The reason lots of people have said that sites like the Huffington Post can't be considered "replacements" for newspapers is that they don't have investigative reporters that actually find and generate news stories. What they do is more like aggregate news and op-ed pieces, so if newspapers die, they'll have nothing to aggregate. And that's a valid complaint.

However, if these sites start getting big enough to employ their own reporters and they start actually doing their own investigations, then the death of newspapers becomes less of a scary prospect. Right now, the Huffington Post is just one example of people trying to find a business model that allows for real journalism without the need of an actual printed newspaper. If some successful business models are found, then we might just be ok.

But you're pointing out that the Huffington Post has a slant, and that's a fair thing to note. However, print newspapers also each have their own slant, so it's not really anything new.

Re:Investigative? (1)

agrestic (1434457) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392639)

"...the end of journalism as we know it..." HuffPo / investigative journalism? God forgive us. You'd get better quality from an egalitarian rag like the atlanta journal constitution.

Re:Investigative? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392755)

This may come as a surprise to you, but there actually isn't any such thing as an "objective journalist". The Huffington Post has an obvious agenda, but so do all journalists... including the investigative kind. With the whole concept of the advertiser-supported news organization on a collision course with oblivion, one of the few chances for investigative journalism of any kind to survive is through patron-supported efforts like this. (Pro Publica is another.) As time goes on, you'll (hopefully) find other people with money sponsoring their own news organizations, and with enough of them (kind of like it works now with both conservative and liberal old-media organizations) we'll get enough sides of the story to get an idea of the truth. The ones that do a bad job of it should receive enough bad publicity from that to lose credibility.

Re:Investigative? (1, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392857)

I don't see why this is flamebait. At all.

Look at pretty much any "bias" ranking thing, even skewz.com [skewz.com] .

Or, just visit the site for yourself. Let's see. Headlines show bias pretty quickly...

"Obamas Are Personally Paying For White House Renovations"
Just what I needed to read about. One of those very important things. Up there with the White House garden.

"WATCH Weekend Late Night Round-Up: Sarah Palin, Obama's Rabid Questioner, And Octomom"
They are STILL talking about Palin. And apparently, Obama's questioner has problems.

"WATCH: Steele Discusses Hard-Partying Past, Getting Kicked Out Of College"
Definitely one of those big news items. I wonder what would happen if Fox News started reporting on Biden's college years? Incidentally, I'm conservative and I don't even really like Steele... but something is fishy. I don't see any democratic leader stories on here...

"Lawyer Peddling Alleged Biden Daughter Cocaine Tape Withdraws"
It's a good thing he withdrew, I suppose? If he has a real tape, what's the problem with him "selling" it and if it's not a real tape, then it's obviously not going to be Ashley Biden, so what's the big deal? Seems it'd be better to just get the tape and see if it's real or not? Oh, but family members should be off limits. Like Huffington Post left Palin's daughter alone. [huffingtonpost.com] (they even covered the daughter/boyfriend breakup.)

"Obama Calls For Global Unity In FT Interview"
Well good for him. He does a lot of calling. It'd be nice to see HP criticize Obama at least ONCE somewhere. I don't think anyone but the most deluded think that Obama has actually made no mistakes and has acted perfectly since he's been in office, do they?

They even call out a Republican and only a republican on some stupid remark during a Senate debate. Strangely enough, a search for a flat out mistake (or something) by Pelosi, the house speaker, of saying "500 million" American jobs were lost every month yielded no results on HP except in user comments.

Yeah, sounds "reality biased" to me...

Want to know what gov't healthcare will look like? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392899)

Go wait in line at your local DMV. Also, see Social Security, Medicare, MedicAid, and the home mortgage market. The gov't has done a real bang-up job on those, hasn't it? First will come the inevitable cost overruns because for some reason nobody could predict that more services = more cost. Then will come price controls. Then will come longer waiting periods and denials for once routine procedures. Then will come US citizens fleeing to Mexico for affordable medical care.

BS (2, Interesting)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392343)

it's really in response to propublica.

http://propublica.org/ [propublica.org]

Not as good as the goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392349)

Really! [goatse.fr]

Obama's application to join the GNAA was rejected.

Journalists protection (5, Insightful)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392359)

I believe the big question here is whether the journalists will be provided the protection that the big newspapers could always provide. It is fine to believe in the letter of the constitution but without the backing of a major media conglomerate with deep pockets to go to bat for you when you are sued in indispensible. You may want to say something publicly against corporate America but the fear of repercussions is usually what limits individuals from doing so. So...how would they propose to protect the whistleblowers?

Re:Journalists protection (3, Insightful)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392503)

Submit documents anonymously to Wikileaks, then use Wikileaks documents as a primary source for a report.

Re:Journalists protection (-1, Troll)

geek (5680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392517)

Knowing HuffPo the whistler blowers will just be made up. Seriously, I don't understand how people can condemn big oil companies when they finance energy research and in the same breathe condone extreme partisan journalists who claim to finance "investigative journalism."

If anyone thinks for a second that the investigations will be honest and non-partisan they are fooling themselves. HuffPo is one of the most biased "media" outlets around. It's like saying HotAir (http://hotair.com/) could be trusted to finance and post "investigative" reports.

Re:Journalists protection (2, Insightful)

pileated (53605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392599)

I tend to agree with you but given the populace's ignorance about journalism(see the idiotic replies to the original post that ignore it and instead choose it as a stepping off point for rants of the left and right political persuasion) it's hard to believe that anyone will understand the importance of what you say.

We now seem to have a generation of people who believe that only the web produces anything of importance, that anything of importance can be completely comprehended in the 30 seconds that it takes to read the lengthiest web post, that all information wants to be free, and that this 'free-ness' has no cost to anyone. You're talking about cost and it sure seems to me that the vast majority of people who comment on the press (whether print, broadcast, or web) don't have the slightest idea about COST. It's a nasty little detail that they'd prefer to ignore.

Re:Journalists protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392747)

Google.

Re:Journalists protection (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392845)

...the backing of a major media conglomerate with deep pockets to go to bat for you when you are sued in indispensible. You may want to say something publicly against corporate America but the fear of repercussions is usually what limits individuals from doing so.

What makes you think being the backing of a major media conglomerate makes you more safe when saying something publicly against corporate America? I mean, when you consider the overlap of major media conglomerates and corporate America, it seems like backing real whistleblowers could just as easily be against the media conglomerate's interests.

I think I'd rather have a whole ton of smaller independent operations than a couple humungous umbrella companies that run the whole show.

Re:Journalists protection (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393149)

Don't forget government. Far forabuses of the press have come from government than have come from corporations. If you piss of a company, they can pull their advertisements from your paper, but if you piss of government they can imprison you. Not just in Zimbabwe or Nicaragua, but in the U.S.! People bitch about Bush, but he was a pansy compared some former presidents. Contrary to his angelic image, Lincoln would close down newspapers and jail their editors, without trials.

Re:Journalists protection (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393251)

Considering that a Civil War was going on, I don't think you can validly compare the circumstances. Or the people.

the more the merrier (2, Insightful)

wstrucke (876891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392369)

hell, i don't care what their slant is, the more people out there looking at and reporting on the economy and the government, the better. perhaps through all of the crap that comes up we might find a grain of truth

Re:the more the merrier (2, Funny)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392407)

and perhaps the grains of truth will get lost in the haystack of noise to mix as many metaphors as possible.

Err when did it die? (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392393)

I mean apart from in the US where the media appears to have become scared of actually questioning politicians or holding them to account. Journalism in the UK still seems to find the dirt on politicians and companies and deep investigative exercises are still carried out in lots of different areas.

The basic issue in the US is the partisan nature of both politics and the media, why bother to investigate when its all basically just monkeys throwing shit at a wall. Blogs and the internet are unlikely to change that as its just going to be the same partisan stuff with slightly different shit.

When the likes of Jon Stewart are the finest investigative political journalists that your country has then you know you are in trouble.

Re:Err when did it die? (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392527)

When the likes of Jon Stewart are the finest investigative political journalists that your country has then you know you are in trouble.

There's a big difference between an investigative journalist and a talking head.

There are lots of good journalists in the US... they just don't get TV time. And since Americans can't be bothered to digest any news not provided to them in an ADD-friendly 2 minute TV blurb (or a scrolling text bar at the bottom of their TV screen), the good journalists are ignored by the public. Since they're mostly ignored, those journalists aren't paying the bills at their place of employment, so they get laid off.

Seriously... VERY few investigative journalists are recognized by name in the US, Seymour Hirsch being probably the only prominent counter-example. Since the US culture is largely dominated by celebrity, having no reporters who are celebrities means that no one cares about investigative journalism.

I think it's great the the HuffPo will be employing some of these reporters... I just hope that the editorialization at HuffPo doesn't get in the way of good journalism.

Re:Err when did it die? (3, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392725)

Too long; didn't read.

Sincerly,
An American.

Re:Err when did it die? (0, Redundant)

cornercuttin (1199799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392541)

it did die here in the US. the first 3 months of the Iraq war and the death of Anna Nicole-Smith is great proof in the failings of the US media system.

newspapers are dying because we can get all of our information online now. they are also dying because people are tired of partisan bullshit (i.e. Fox News, MSNBC, as well as several newpapers).

we are all getting the same, regurgitated crap from every source, why not get it for free on the internet.

Re:Err when did it die? (4, Informative)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392895)

There's still PBS. Frontline does great investigative reporting all the time with new episodes most weeks.

Re:Err when did it die? (1, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392635)

The basic issue in the US is the partisan nature of both politics and the media

Agreed, and The Huffington Post is widely regarded [washingtonpost.com] as a left leaning blog. I think objective journalism [wikipedia.org] died long before investigative journalism. I would love to see some great, old fashioned, investigative journalism, but I fear it would be extremely biased in today's media outlets.

Re:Err when did it die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27393269)

Every piece of investigative journalism is labeled "extremely biased" by those cast in a negative light.

Shattered Glass (5, Informative)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392439)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0323944/ [imdb.com]

Shattered Glass is a film about how an investigative journalist, Adam Peneberg, working for Forbes.com in 1996, exposed journalist Stephen Glass for plagiarizing nearly every article he wrote for The New Republic, a well trusted and highly respected journalistic publication.

This was considered one of the first major breakthroughs for online journalism and it happened in 1996. Online news has been filled with investigative journalism for a while.

Even wikileaks can be seen as legitimate investigative reporting and whistle blowing. http://www.wikileaks.org/ [wikileaks.org]

 

Re:Shattered Glass (4, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392655)

Shattered Glass is a film about how an investigative journalist, Adam Peneberg, working for Forbes.com in 1996, exposed journalist Stephen Glass for plagiarizing nearly every article he wrote for The New Republic, a well trusted and highly respected journalistic publication.

Stephen Glass wasn't busted for plagiarism, he was busted mostly for making up sources and facts.

A contemporary of his at TNR, Ruth Shalit, was busted (& fired) for plagiarism and factual errors.

Under Peretz (the Editor-in-Chief of TNR), TNR has lost a ton of respect in journalistic circles.

There have been more recent issues with TNR, (google Spiegel, Ackerman, or Beauchamp and The New Republic for details)... lots of factual problems and insufficient editorial oversight.

At any rate, you're correct about investigative journalism on the web... I just find it interesting that the examples you cite (sans wikileaks) deal with 'disproving' traditional print media investigative journalism. I find the web to be a great source for debunking falsehoods, but not as good for primary material... maybe I'm looking in the wrong places :)

Re:Shattered Glass (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392901)

Even wikileaks can be seen as legitimate investigative reporting and whistle blowing.

People always hold wikileaks in such high regrard. Why, just the other day a snake slithered up to me and said:

...your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

Then I heard a story about another couple who read wikileaks.

...their eyes were opened to any more perfect knowledge of good; but only to the unhappy experience of having lost the good of original grace and innocence, and incurred the dreadful evil of sin.

I guess ignorance is bliss.

disconnect. reconnect. abort, retry, ignore. (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392445)

Disconnect. Bad plan, darlings. Journalism is undergoing a paradigm shift right now in the same way graphics design underwent it. Before the 1990s, we had separate jobs for typesetting, graphic artist, layout, etc. All that went out the window when the PC came along and suddenly anyone could make a newsletter using PageMaker. The demand for all that graphic design footwork -- needing to hire a team of people to design it, imploded. What came out of it was the versatile graphic designer -- a jack of all trades. Journalism until recently had many different career paths. With the collapse of the printed media and an entire generation growing up used to the idea of instant access to everything, cross-referenced and streaming on demand -- deadlines have gone from a day to a few minutes. How long does it take to get indexed into google so people can search for your article? That time difference is the new deadline. And audiences aren't local anymore -- they are global.

Reconnect. Our collective knowledge is also heavily slanted to the global and national level now. For example, up here in Minnesota, a recent "local" story has been the flooding near Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN along the Red river. When I asked my friends who would be willing to car pool up with me to help sandbagging efforts last friday (the story had been out for a good week) -- only one of my friends had any knowledge of the event, out of about 15 people I asked. Local news doesn't exist anymore for our generation. Strange, but true. Of course, they ALL knew about major national and global events. Our communities really are losing their geographical ties.

I see the future of journalism being somewhat akin to blogging. Journalists simply pick their own interest and self-direct their energies towards it. Interested parties will, via word of mouth and advertisement, come to know that particular journalist. A one-to-many relationship. The sources for these stories will be the readers of those stories. Slashdot is a decent example of what journalism will come to resemble -- open, online forums that are dedicated to particular communities. But I highly doubt that in the journalism to come that people will simply visit one website for their needs. It'll probably look more like Google news -- RSS feeds that we select and create lists of journalists who are involved in fields we have a mutual interest in.

Journalism will become, much like graphic design, at least half or more self-employed or contract/temp work in the next ten years. And we'll come to know journalists by name, instead of by what network or paper they represent.

Re:disconnect. reconnect. abort, retry, ignore. (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392741)

Good post. Wish I had mod points.

Re:disconnect. reconnect. abort, retry, ignore. (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392771)

only one of my friends had any knowledge of the [flooding in ND/MN], out of about 15 people I asked.

That's just weird, since the flooding has made national news so even if that was their only source they should have heard about it. Are these major national and global events mostly political in nature? If they get their news from politically-focused sources, that might explain it.

Slashdot is a decent example of what journalism will come to resemble

Ugh that made my eyes tear up and some vomit come up my throat.

Journalism will become, much like graphic design, at least half or more self-employed or contract/temp work in the next ten years. And we'll come to know journalists by name, instead of by what network or paper they represent.

Yeah I think that's generally a good prediction. In the meantime, I noticed that your list omitted the "fail" option. That was always my favorite to pick, and honestly the one I think most news outlets and journalists formerly employed by them will end up following. :P

So, um . . . this is news? (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392475)

I guess folks haven't been reading ProPublica, Media Matters or Talking Points Memo.

$175,000 (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392537)

To be a few ticks above a forum moderator?

Nice gig

Re:$175,000 (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392723)

Indeed, they should be able to easily get 25 to 50 people for that amount, not 10.

Why are all the newspapers surprised?? (2, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392575)

I haven't bought a paper in years, and the free ones that get tossed in my driveway go into the recycling bin. I get all my news off free Internet sites.

Welcome to the 21st century Huffington (and NY times, and Washington Post, et. al.) No bailout loans for those that refused to change until it was too late, or changed and couldn't figure out how to make money at it.

Re:Why are all the newspapers surprised?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27392683)

The Jim Jones death cult drank Flavor-Aid, not Kool-Aid. Your cultural reference is as incorrect as your ignorant news-gathering strategy!

Journalism? (3, Funny)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392587)

The Huffington Post is to journalism what an Asian Nike sweatshop is to day care.

Re:Journalism? (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392687)

If I had Mod points....

Re:Journalism? (1)

Evildonald (983517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392735)

So true. So funny. So ultimately depressing. Huffy is so one-eyed, Ulysses tried to poke its eye out.

Re:Journalism? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393205)

So you're saying that in "journalism" the writers get pampered and looked after while the Huffington Post puts them to work?

Or wait, I'm forgetting that sometimes kids get mistreated and abused in day care... So traditional newspapers would be better off if one of their parents were looking after them, but the Huffington Post is run by people with small hands?

Sorry, I'm bad with metaphors.

Re:Journalism? (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393239)

Albeit inflammatory, it's really not as insulting as you think.

Huffington Post is putting Journalists to work.

Asian Nike sweatshops put day care employees to work.

So your analogy is spot on accurate, but the inflammatory choice of subject mater leads me to believe that you have a bias.

-Rick

Mike (1)

imp7 (714746) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392643)

OMG, job postings?

Content Theft (2, Interesting)

TyntTracer (1519461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392825)

The real issue for all online journalists is theft of content. It is difficult to create good content. Therefore it is particularly tough for those that create it if there is no traffic going to their site. Why would they bother?

Newspapers might be dead (2, Insightful)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27392951)

Newspapers (as in "news" printed on paper) may be dead, or dying due to the medium switching to electronic distribution of information, but Journalism is far from dead.
Far from it, in this age when every prepubescent teen with an agenda can slap an opinion blog and consider it news, it is more important than ever to have professionals discovering, editing and presenting information.

Too much astroturfing being sold as (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27393103)

"investigative" reporting :( CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
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