×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Your Opinion Counts At CNN — But Should It?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-no-no-no-no dept.

The Media 383

theodp writes "Some people love how CNN employs Twitter to engage its audience. Not Steve Dahl. 'I am not interested in the take of @stinky on the Fort Hood shootings or any other current events,' complains Dahl of the access the media gives to Internet know-it-alls. 'I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

383 comments

Yeah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072154)

I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion

Yeah! That is slashdot's job!!

Re:Yeah! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072256)

I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion

Yeah! That is slashdot's job!!

I use DSL you insensitive clod!

Re:Yeah! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072282)

That's what I was thinking as I read the blurb.

If I want solid information I head over to a site like PhysOrg. If I want to see what others are thinking I head to Slashdot.

News services have become such an opinion mill that it's starting to make it hard to take them seriously. There is a time and place for people to banter on but I don't want it from a news outlet.

I've seen far too many people around here armed with little more than a high school education think that they have a better understanding of the universe than engineers who are in the field. I know the public opinion on just about anything is 10 times worse. We already have a half a million forums for these people to spout their crap on. Do we really need another?

Re:Yeah! (1, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072458)

Ironically enough, CNN's "opinion" section offers the chance for "registered members" to discuss/counterpoint the opinion columns. The only problem is that previously they've required moderators to "approve" each individual response (which never happened since their "moderators" were either too busy or too lazy, and articles were automatically flagged to "topic closed" after about 12 hours anyways), and since the site redesign they instead have someone "patrolling" as well as automatic deletion of any comment flagged by other users as supposedly "abusive."

The end result has been a copy of Slashdot's mod system but on steroids, or perhaps of Digg's "Bury Brigades": almost no comment disagreeing with a columnist ever has a shred of a chance of remaining. It's very similar to what happens here - Slashdot's system could be greatly improved by shifting to a 10-point positive scale and eliminating the mod-down option (thus getting rid of the "bury brigade" phenomenon entirely).

The other option is a "see how many positives and negatives a response has without burying anything" format, similar to Slate's forums (although Slate's forums require you to click an extra link in the article just to see responses, so they don't work too well either).

Re:Yeah! (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072640)

Getting rid of downmods on Slashdot sounds great in theory but it would just result in GNAA posts lingering at 1 (or 2 if the guy doing it has good karma). Which means I'd have to set my threshhold even higher to avoid seeing them, which would bury comments that are actually useful.

The Slashdot moderation system has its flaws, but it seems to work better than most of the alternatives out there.

Re:Yeah! (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072792)

Getting rid of downmods on Slashdot sounds great in theory but it would just result in GNAA posts lingering at 1 (or 2 if the guy doing it has good karma).

So browse at 3 or 4. If we went to a 10-point scale and simply allowed downmods, you'd have the same effect Slashdot tries for (let the best comments rise to the top for easier browsing) while not needing the "OMG THEY SAID SOMETHING I DONT AGREE WITH KILL IT KILL IT" downmod crap that passes for "moderation" these days.

As for the karma thing, alter karma to suit. Make Karma decrease by attrition (old points expire over time) or something. GNAA-types wouldn't have enough karma to stay up because nobody sane would upmod them anyways.

The Slashdot moderation system has one major flaw. Why not fix the flaw, and make the system better?

Re:Yeah! (2, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072788)

Sort of random:
I read at 0 because I have found that this gives me the best overview. Things seem to only end up at -1 if they really deserve it (copy paste stuff), however things will sit at 0 even though they are reasonable comments, or at least as reasonable as some of the +5, insightful stuff. So I don't think that the slashdot system is bad, just that you need to read at 0 to get the best use out of it, after all, every so often AC says something worth reading, which is why we are supposed to focus on modding things up instead of down.

Re:Yeah! (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072894)

So I don't think that the slashdot system is bad, just that you need to read at 0 to get the best use out of it, after all, every so often AC says something worth reading, which is why we are supposed to focus on modding things up instead of down

If you're supposed to focus on modding things up, why have a downmod at all? All the downmod allows for is for hacks and jerks who happen to get points in the modpoint lottery to go on an attacking spree. I know, I'm sure I'm on a few enemies lists - I've seen month-old posts suddenly drop by 2-3 points when some of these people "happened" to get mod points. I've seen the game of hunting down someone they don't like, and dinging down 5 posts back by 1 each to go after someone's karma.

The point is that the "max 5" scale is insufficient, and that "bury brigade" behavior is something far more dangerous than GNAA-style trolling. I've seen incredibly insightful posts stuck at -1 permanently (despite plenty of upmods as well!) because someone dared to offer an opposing viewpoint to the established hacks that make up the bury brigade.

Put it this way: Upmodding is a positive tool, meant to encourage good posting. Downmodding, in the eyes of the hacks, is a weapon meant to kill anyone who doesn't agree with them. We can keep the tool, but eliminate the weapon, and Slashdot's discussions will be better for it.

Re:Yeah! (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072952)

Addendum: the other thing that eliminating downmodding would do is allow us to eliminate the "Fatal Choice" of Slashdot currently: that people have to decide "do I post or do I moderate" when they see a discussion. The mod-trolls who see downmodding as a weapon have spare accounts to burn (as well as to play the modpoint lottery more often), so they don't care.

Eliminate downmodding, and the "worry" of the mod system - that someone would use downmodding to attack people who replied to them - goes away. Feel free to upmod the guy who responded to you if he was insightful!

Re:Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072558)

Has to be the first thought that pops into the head of any /.er

OTOH other media outlets (CBC radio and TV eg) have long had a listener feedback segment but that is moderated not twitted... so you actually have to take the time to think about what you are saying and express it in a way that gets the message across.

Wot an old fart I am.

Ironic Question (4, Insightful)

MacroSlopp (1662147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072168)

This question on a site like this seems incredibly ironic.

Re:Ironic Question (-1, Redundant)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072292)

This part?

"I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion."

Yes, that's Slashdot's job.

Re:Ironic Question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072860)

way to repeat the first post

DOH!

Comments (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072172)

While I mostly love Slashdot for its comments and the talks between members, it just doesn't work everywhere. If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals, not from some mommy who is twittering without understanding any of the issues behind specific things.

Re:Comments (5, Insightful)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072276)

If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals

Yes, but unfortunately that's not what you are getting most of the time. CNN is better than most IMO, but what we tend to see is entertainment, not news. How many times do we see these channels making news rather than reporting the news? I'm so sick of seeing this kind of behavior.

A great example was on Fox recently where they were asking people on the street what they thought of Sharon Osbourne's comments on Susan Boyle. Most people hadn't heard it, as it happened on an Sirius radio show, but Fox was constantly reporting on it. Then Fox tracked down Susan Boyle at the airport (at the same time as Entertainment Tonight and a few other programs) and asked her how she felt. This isn't reporting the news, this is making the news.

News organizations should be held to reporting the news, being fair about what they are reporting, and being held to a standard. They are worried about ratings, and unfortunately that affects content.

Re:Comments (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072498)

I just saw this on NBC this morning, where they received a lot of comments about a girl who had a repetitive sneezing problem. The comments went like this:

- wash out her nose with salt water
- tell her to see a chiropractor to get rebalanced
- make her jump rope and she'll stop
- feed her lots of vitamin A, just short of an overdose!

And so on. I came to the conclusion that most people are incredibly stupid, and I think NBC should have ignored these opinions, and covered something else instead, like why Obama is asking people for donations to the U.S. Treasury. (That's all I know so far, but it sounds like a story worth covering, not wasting time of dumb emailed suggestions.)

Re:Comments (1, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072706)

No, that's reporting the "news", not reporting the news. Who gives a fuck what the wife of a washed up singer thinks of a new singer?

Manufacturing the news is a completely different animal and we really haven't seen it since the heyday of yellow journalism in the late 19th/early 20th century. Even the recent tea party marches don't qualify, as Fox wasn't the organization that started them, they just helped get the word out about what other people were doing (eg, reporting the news).

Re:Comments (1)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072956)

I don't totally agree, but I see what you are getting at.

My point was that Fox took an event that had passed and was basically unknown except for the listeners of that radio show and then created controversy, thus creating a story based on that controversy. There was no controversy, no people demonstrating against Sharon Osbourne or even really talking about. I believe Fox was the first to report on this (and we'll say they are for this example); since they basically manufactured this controversy by bringing the segment to light, playing it for people and getting their responses, and even talking to Susan Boyle, IMO they made news rather than reporting on it.

It's a blurry line, and I totally see where you are coming from with yellow journalism. It's too damn close for my liking.

Re:Comments (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072336)

The only thing infusing the news with twitter comments and real time viewer feedback does for me on television is anger me by having the typical mouth-breathing idiot's opinion spewed from their trailer to the rest of the world on a massive broadcast when I'd rather just be getting news. I just want to know what events are right now. I don't need to hear @bootycakes (a real twitter name I saw on CNN once) have their uninformed opinion in 65 characters parroted by Don Lemon over live TV.

CNN was the last news I bothered to watch on TV and I haven't even really watched that since just after the election. I'm a bit of a news-hound and a political junkie, but too much of this "ireport" and "udecide" and "twitter" and "facebook" and "call in and share your opinion" and "youtube the news" crap has kind of driven me away entirely. I'll just grab the headlines from google news and skip the commentary.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072394)

not from some mommy who is twittering without understanding any of the issues behind specific things.

Hey, uncalled for, leave Jenny McCarthy out of this.

Re:Comments (4, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072462)

Most web commenting is pretty ridiculous amateur-hour nonsense. Its housewives and teens giving us their "wisdom." Web forums have been politicized by partisans. Fringe nutters have turned everything into their own PR outlets.

Slashdot is slightly better than the youtube/twitter rabble because its a site focused on technology (usually) and has a moderation system. A general news site with any sort of moderation? Madness. I can tolerate slashdot, metafilter, and most of reddit. Everything else is so terrible it makes you realize that crap like "OMG Ghost hunters is the REALZ" or "Vaccines cause autism!!!" is how a lot of people think and critical thinking and a little literacy are the exception, not the norm.

Dahl is right. While the media needs a check agaisnt bias and poor reporting, I doubt these twitter comments are helping. Looks like they are just lowing the signal to noise ratio even more. I guess anything to help make Wolf Blitzer look smart. I guess Neil Postman has finally been proved right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death [wikipedia.org]

Re:Comments (1, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072888)

The lack of critical thinking and overall intelligence these days is just astounding. And the news media knows this, and latches on to some of the most innane and minor things, blowing them up into ridiculous proportions. I was talking to a pre-med student at a fairly prestigious University on the east coast recently about Swine Flu. He told me that he doesn't intend to get a flu vaccine, because he saw this news report about a girl that got a vaccine and developed dystonia [youtube.com] , causing her to not be able to walk properly and all that. One would think that someone studying to be pre-med would realize that the odds of something like this are pretty astronomical, and that 99.9% of people getting flu vaccines don't have these problems,... But nonetheless, the news media's "scare tactics" won out, and this report somehow was mistaken for some legitimate "education",... Frightening, really,...

&nbsp:

Re:Comments (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072962)

Just look at FARK. I can't read the artcle comments there any more because they're so amazingly depressing.

Re:Comments (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072536)

If I'm watching [...] TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals,

I think I found your problem.

CNN is in 4th place right now. They are desperate. Last month, they were not in the list of the 30 most watched cable channels for the first time.

They're all terrible. Mostly it's simple facts: there isn't 2 hours of news most days, let alone 24. If you had really good reporters digging for weeks you could get some good content, but that would be really expensive. It's easier reporting on a 5 car crash on a freeway somewhere for 2 hours and asking various "professional" panelists "Could this be some kind of terrorist attack?"

Re:Comments (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072614)

While I mostly love Slashdot for its comments and the talks between members, it just doesn't work everywhere. If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals

My wife was complaining about CNN weather (German/International version) the other day, she didn't like the fact that they showed some maps using Google earth (sometimes you could even see the mouse hand). She said "if I want to look at google earth I would go at my computer". Our guess is that CNN is cutting costs going for the free tool. But yeah, it looks a bit less professional.

Re:Comments (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072620)

If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals,

That's why I stopped watching CNN on TV. The news/fluff ratio is just above that on E!

Re:Comments (1)

mbrod (19122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072696)

I can't believe we are seeing people on Slashdot post this about the Corporate News sites.

They are not about facts, news or being intelligent. Did you see CNN's coverage of the balloon boy fiasco?

The Corporate News is about entertainment, giving the viewers what they want to see and making money.

There is your problem ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072764)

If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professional

You are probably new at that tv watching business.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072800)

yeah, those mommies are almost as bad as their 25 year old sons living in the basement.

obspam: vote ron paul!

Who's Steve Dahl (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072178)

and why should I care...?

Re:Who's Steve Dahl (2, Informative)

Ground0 (63349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072238)

Long time Chicago DJ and part of the radio team that blew up part of the Chicago White Sox basefield to protest disco - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition [wikipedia.org]

Do ya think I'm disco... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072490)

'cause I spend so much time blow-dryin' out my hair?

Re:Who's Steve Dahl (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072670)

He failed. Disco never died-out. It was replaced with freestyle, then dance-rap in the 90s, and now we have Rhianna and Lady Gaga creating songs that sound very similar to the old 70s stuff, just with better synthesizers.

No it should not matter. (5, Informative)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072188)

I agree. News in America is dead. It turned into entertainment a long time ago. It isn't so much about news anymore as it is about yellow journalism or picking a station that validate one's political views. I stopped watching American news when I discovered BBC news.

I would say that Edward R Murrow is rolling in his grave, but he was cremated.

Re:No it should not matter. (3, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072358)

picking a station that validate one's political views

This is pretty much the crux of it. People actively seek out the information sources (radio, TV, internet) that support the opinions they already hold. Accuracy of information and facts run a distant second, and meaningful analysis runs an even more distant third.

Re:No it should not matter. (3, Funny)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072414)

Agreed. I tell my 12 year old to question all news, and more importantly, to realize that "to yell is to sell", [fear that is]. I turned my TV off after the Nov election. I watch movies and foxnews.com. The only reason I choose Fox is because I don't like the lock CNN has in the airports. I travel every week and it isn't fair that I am forced to watch CNN. Hey slashdot, someone write a map app showing "quiet" spots in airports. Thats where I sit.

Up to 30k [wikispeedia.org]

Re:No it should not matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072710)

Agreed. I tell my 12 year old to question all news, and more importantly, to realize that "to yell is to sell", [fear that is]. I turned my TV off after the Nov election. I watch movies and foxnews.com. The only reason I choose Fox is because I don't like the lock CNN has in the airports. I travel every week and it isn't fair that I am forced to watch CNN. Hey slashdot, someone write a map app showing "quiet" spots in airports. Thats where I sit.

Up to 30k [wikispeedia.org]

So you resent that the owners of the airport have the ability to control the stations on the TV's they bought and provide on their property? Interesting...

Re:No it should not matter. (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072726)

>>>I stopped watching American news when I discovered BBC news.

I have a local station that plays news from all over the world, Russia, NHK (China or Korea - I forget which), Deutsche Welle, some French news show, and of course BBC. I don't see any difference between these shows and the 6:30 ABC, CBS, NBC broadcasts. They all follow pretty much the same format.

I've quit watching Headline News because of this (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072202)

Ted Turner is right, they need to put him back in charge.

A simple solution (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072214)

Don't like it, don't read it. Christ, the only reason why I read user comments on CNN, or Amazon reviews, or anything else where the wisdom of the masses extrudes itself is an urge to rubberneck. It isn't as if they're touting these commentaries as fact-- it's just a poorly moderated scribble board, and it says so on the flap.

Re:A simple solution (5, Insightful)

vondo (303621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072410)

CNN, not CNN.com. They put these comments on the air all the time. When they should be, you know, reporting the news. Or better yet, investigating the news.

Re:A simple solution (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072810)

Um...

Don't like it, don't [watch] it.

That wasn't really outside the scope of your imagination, now was it?

As to what they 'should' be doing, that's for them and their advertisers to decide. Until they're the only game in town, I fail to see the conflict here.

Re:A simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072918)

We don't watch it. But you didn't say "don't like it, shut the fuck up." Which would obviously be absurd.

The ironing is delicious (5, Insightful)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072224)

How funny is that: A guy airing his opinion on a public medium about how other people's opinions shouldn't be aired on public media...

We need a CNN story on this (complete with tweets) to bring things full circle.

-b

Re:The ironing is delicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072442)

No, its not ironic. This is about the appropriate channel to display public opionions.

Re:The ironing is delicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072446)

yes, by my posting about YOUR posting on a guy posting about a guy posting about...

Re:The ironing is delicious (2, Insightful)

asylumx (881307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072674)

The Chicago Tribune is a public medium? I'm pretty sure you can't just send them a column and expect them to print it, but let me know if you find otherwise.

f*ck your voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072226)

Great thing about cnn is the HLN's "your voice" where they display a graphic of some kind of cellphone bars or audio bars or something in the shape of a hand flicking you off and the great thing about it is that its animated to make it look like its flicking you off over and over again.

Breaking News (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072228)

I'm about to take a shit.

Just call me dumple stillskin.

CNN Fake war coverage (2, Informative)

nickmalthus (972450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072230)

CNN will do anything to boost ratings, even fake war coverage [youtube.com] Who would want to watch a news channel that puts corporate profit above journalistic integrity? These guys are right up there with faux news.

IMO (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072236)

In my opinion, *MY* opinion should *always* count.

But that's just my opinion.

Get Off Your Own Lawn Old Timer (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072300)

This isn't a story, this is one cranky old guy being cranky because he 'did six hour shifts at Podunk in a small newspaper' and his opinion should count more than Joe SixPack with a Computer and a Modem (we've got cable and fiber these days dude!). Well, the point of the matter is that CNN and others who use the typed in opinions of others gets perhaps a chance to get a different perspective than that given by Cranky Chicago pundit who doesn't get to be the wise old pundit any longer. Shooting at Fort Hood? Indeed I think I would like to hear the insights of people who I don't know, - actually have been to Fort Hood or who are more familiar with the potential situation than the idiots/ex military pundits they normally bring to ponder and muse over 'how far the PX is from the baseball fields' as seen for the first time by them by looking at the Google Map. You know, especially on those breaking situations where Wolf Blitzer is trying to put the scariest and most ominous slant on every bit of information, a chance to hear the words of actual real people instead of just the usual crowd of Emotional Vampires we usually get is refreshing. And old dude who resents that the guy who is stationed at Fort Hood and who texts in an opinion, well get over yourself, it's a Brave New World after all where the old ways are being changed and remade.

Re:Get Off Your Own Lawn Old Timer (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072928)

I agree with you in principle, the problem is that they are not POSTING just opinions from people who are relevantly related to the stories at hand. And isn't it the media's JOB to seek these people out and vet them and interview them properly? Call me old fashioned.

IT'S NOT NEWS (ANYMORE), IT'S ENTERTAINMENT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072348)

Gone are the days of dry Toria Tolley, now it's the opinionated presenter of the teleprompter !! It's all crap. The twits are just the next step. It won't be the last.

As usual, Python has already been there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072354)

any bonehead with...a half-baked opinion.

You Americans. You love to talk.
You love to say 'Let me tell ya something' and
'Here's what I think about that'.
Well, shut the fuck up.

              -Death in "The Meaning of Life"

Vox populi ... (1)

Kiliani (816330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072356)

The Germans have a nice saying for that phenomenon: "Vox populi, vox Rindvieh.", which loosely translates to "the voice of the people is the voice of idiots." (more precisely, the voice of stupid cows).

Filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072360)

Of course CNN filters any comments that don't match it's agenda so how would you ever get any thought provoking comments?

It's the economy stupid (1)

voislav98 (1004117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072370)

It's a way to cover airtime without any extra cost. Anyone watching BBC and CNN can really see the difference in reporting style, CNN will beat a single story to death, spending a better part of the hour discussing it, while BBC will spend at most 10 minutes on any one story, provide the information and move one. CNN is really infotainment, where it doesn't matter what the news is.

Re:It's the economy stupid (4, Insightful)

cluke (30394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072560)

To be fair, the BBC are prime offenders at this vox populi crap too. Quite apart from the prime idiocy on display on their "Have Your Say" comments pages, they practically plead for viewers to text or email their views which they then proceed to display and read out live on air. Obivously this is driven by their need for content, any content to fill airtime on their 24-hour news channel, but it is ridiculous that they stoop to parroting some randomly selected half-wit's opinion on complex issues.

Irony or hypocracy? (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072408)

I find it amusing that there's an opinion piece that's against opinion pieces. What's Dahl's claim to lipping off "you aren't allowed to lip off?"

This was a gem (emphasis mine): "I was held accountable by management, listeners and, most important, advertisers."

That's the ugly of a Dahl editorial and the beauty of a slashdot comment -- you can voice your opinion here without anybody threatening to fire you because you spoke out against the status quo.

"When did public opinion merit the same amount of airtime as the actual story?"

When we got the internet. It used to be that only the rich could use the freedom of the press, because you had to actually own a press to have freedom of it. Now we, the people, have freedom of the press, too. The rich and the corporatti don't like us unwashed masses having a voice one bit.

Re:Irony or hypocracy? (1)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072896)

While I completely agree that the internet, as cranky as it makes me, is a tremendous boon for freedom of the press and a platform for those that wouldn't otherwise have access to one, some context for the bit you quoted is needed:

Everybody is a know-it-all these days. I blame the Internet. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and I'm not afraid to step up to a microphone or keyboard and do a little "truth screaming." Audience reaction, specifically ratings, determined whether I was allowed to continue such a practice. I was held accountable by management, listeners and, most important, advertisers.

These days, a person only needs a computer to spew opinion across a variety of platforms. Healthy doses of outrage and narcissism are also helpful.

What he was talking about was not placating advertisers. He was saying that he could only get away with a certain amount of straight-out ranting because only a certain amount would be tolerated by everyone. And we all know that advertisers follow "everyone", so if people stop reading, the advertisers pull out.

(Not to say I don't have issues with advertising being associated with news, but there are ways of keeping that from becoming the blight it could be. They just aren't always exercised.)

Re:Irony or hypocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072938)

Hypocracy? What's that? The rule of the sub-standard?

Hypocrisy, on the other hand, makes more sense.

I read the Tribune for the comics and obits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072412)

And yet I have to wade through an entire section called the editorial pages that acts as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with or without a computer and a half-baked opinion.

And frankly, the news section is so status quo. I learn no less from the comics.

Gather the news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072416)

None of the mainstream news sources have done that in 20 years, let alone CNN.

And, I mean, white women just aren't disappearing at the rate they used to. Gotta cover the 24 hours with something.

CNN STOP IT! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072440)

I have to agree. When they first started reading net comments it was OK, but they've taken it too far. Every once in a while if there is a really insightful comments it's fine, but it’s starting to seem like they're crowd sourcing journalism. If they're not just reading something off the internet then their fiddling with their latest data visualization tool. They seem to spend more time mucking about with new technology than they do reporting. Anybody else that hologram they used during the campaign coverage? There is something very wrong with special effects on the news!

pot kettle black (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072448)

The way I see it, Steve Dahl is nothing more than a bonehead with a DS-3 connection. What's the difference other than the number of readers and the username? Isn't Steve Dahl voicing his opinion? Isn't he just a person, and doesn't that mean you or I could post our opinions? What makes him so special?

Sure, there are some brain-dead yokels on both sides of the spectrum. There are the idiots who worship trees and think that trees feel and believe the "global warming" er "global climate change" chant without asking for the evidence and the raw data (okay, I admit I'm a skeptic given the revelation of how temperature sensors are installed now vs. 40 years ago and what the guidelines dictate. Too many are installed over or next to heat sinks). Then, there are those on the right who pick and choose what to believe in Christianity, you know, pick the part about man having dominion over the earth but ignore the part about being good stewards, etc.

Both extremes of the spectrum should be totally ignored. Use your brain people, moonbats and neo-cons alike! We each have the biological equivalent of a cluster of supercomputers in our head for a reason: to use it! THINK! However, that still doesn't mean every moron doesn't have the right to voice an opinion.

That is just the reality of it when you open your news site up to comments. You're going to invite the whole spectrum, and the sad thing is both moonbats and neocons are equally stupid in equally loud ways, so their posts stand out.

Including this post. ;)

Re:pot kettle black (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072958)

I think the complaint is that people are now required to utilize some kind of filter when taking in news. They can't simply absorb it all without thought.

Now they have to judge the individual statements and decide which to accept and which to reject.

For Mr Dahl and others, this is a likely problem because now readers find they have the skills to likewise reject portions of the author's commentary as well. If we went back to the 'old way', readers would be far less selective and much more docile.

Make of it what you will, but a generation that is encouraged (even if only through technology) to freely exchange opinions about everything should result in an excellent, skilled democracy. Maybe not so much a republic, but it is an exciting shift in our culture.

It says NEWS in the title (1)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072472)

Ironing... er irony aside, The news should be just that.... news. If you want to have a 30 minute opinion show that uses twitter, I don't have a problem with that. The problem is that reporters are not trying to find out new information, just giving me any thing but the shallowest facts. Instead of expert analysis, they fill the airwaves from reactions from people who don't have any direct connection to the event at hand. Big events do touch more than the direct participants, but the news channel is not the forum (at least not 24 hours a day).

Re:It says NEWS in the title (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072880)

But... If you disagree with the experts it means the experts are part of the conspiracy. Or they their bias is politically motivated. Because everyone has to be a Democrat or a Republican. There is no way some one can be both Pro-Life and Support tighter regulations on financial companies.

About 1/2 of the Population has below average intelligence. This half has a hard time realizing that people are not always pigeon hole into a group, there are only 2 sides to a problem. Meaning if they disagree with you then you must be their opponent.

everything has its pros and cons (1)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072492)

"If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals, not from some mommy who is twittering without understanding any of the issues behind specific things."

The new age brings with it new trolls.

Except from that - it's not just in the US where news media has seen its best but also in scandinavia ... a good example is a website where you could creat a transfer contract for a soccer player. Several magazines in sweden fell right into that trap and published that a famous player had signed a contract with a club in europe. No one checks facts anymore it seems.

When it comes to user comments on stories it's not always good I do agree on that but it acts as a forum for debate on certain subjects which can be good. Or at least in these cases as long as you need to be a registerd user. Too many times there is no name to connect with the opinions which can cause negative effects in several ways. A forum at my school sufferd from anon usage since there was a hot debate over an election and it got a bit out of hand which led to the debate getting mentioned in several news media which didn't fact check and that in turn lead to a blow towards our schools reputation (one of the leading schools in the country in its area)

So to sum it up, maybe not all stories need to have comments avaliable. That and the news agencies do need to catch up on their fact checking.

"Value add" of a news organization? Editing. (1)

herrlich_98 (267669) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072544)

I understand that 24 hours news sites need to fill a lot of air time or that news web sites would like something new for you to look at each time you refresh but not everyone wants to follow the news as it happens and sort it out themselves.

Do you want to follow the balloon boy story, be fooled and then read about the sorted details as it unfolds... or maybe I just want to read about it a few days later wrapped (mostly) up.

Do you want to read the entire stream of new articles on digg.com when they have 0 diggs or do you only want to read them later when others have dugg them and you can read the cream of the crop?

Why do you read Slashdot? Because the quality of the articles and rated comments is higher than randomly surfing the internet.

seconded (1)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072546)

this will be marked redundant but I completely agree. I was under the (possibly naive) assumption that the job of the news was to inform the public, not to be informed by it.

@stinky isn't going away too quickly. (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072604)

As long as @stinky and people like him bring eyeballs and money to their website.

CNN has become 80% fluff. (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072610)

Their remade web page now puts fluff pieces and human interest stories as the most prominent headlines and images. As I am typing this, the largest headline and photo on us.cnn.com is "Obese kids are coronary time bombs" while stories about the economy and Obama's position on Afghanistan are moved to a small sidebar. The most trusted name in news indeed.

It's about time someone said it (1)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072638)

When CNN started broadcasting twit feeds, it just confirmed that they were desperate to fill up air time with any kind of cheap content they could grab. Bad enough that they were giving air time to uninformed idiots, it was uninformed idiots with a 140 character attention span.

I expect my news to bring me more information than I could get myself in the allotted time. When the attorney general (Canadian here) releases a report, reporters sequester themselves in a room for hours ahead of the press conference to go through it and try to make some sense of a dense lot of information so that the high points can be delivered to me in a five minute news segment. I don't have time or expertise to do that myself, but I still want the information. We can go on about how this means news is all editorialized, but the simple fact is I can't gather, assimilate and analyze everything that happens around me, and I need what are essentially public advisors to help guide me through it.

This is why competition in news is so important (if one outlet consistently skips things for editorial reasons, that will come out), why a well funded public broadcaster is essential (to prevent news from becoming infotainment, always trying to maximize the bottom line), and why we need independent competition in news (to keep the publicly funded sources from becoming Pravda.) It's not a perfect system, but it does pretty well.

Aside from all that, nothing has depressed me about my fellow Canadians more than reading the comments on cbc.ca. At least the Letters to the Editor section of papers filters out the people that can't form complete sentences, and I can go on pretending the citizenry has a certain level of intelligence.

And when I do want uninformed opinion, or want to spew my own, I have plenty of online sources to go to. Let's just not pretend it's news.

CNN very narrow news source (1)

teleriddler (904253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072658)

Honestly I agree with your comment about twitter and other social networking sites being thrown into the coverage. Maybe this is just a video interpretation of the "editorial" section of the newspaper where this discussion usually happens. Problem that I have noticed with a lot of American news stations is that they rarely report on what is happening in the world. I gather most of my news from BBC (I know the UK's equivalent of CNN) and ZDF (Germany). I find that I gain much more information from these sources than CNN. I mean when the most important news is Brittany Spears or a boy caught in a balloon, the world really must have not problems. Just my 2 cents. Feel free to flame at your convenience. --TR

People like yelling at the news. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072664)

I remember my Dad Yelling at the TV for whenever those Darn Democrats did A n y t h i n g . And if the news covered too much positive that those darn Democrats did he would change the channel. Hence why like only watches Fox news now... However with CNN just posting the comments from other people it allows think their views have meaning and they may get 2 seconds of fame if they actually read them on the air. They will probably still stick to the station and watch it.

Just like in the old Roman Days right before the collapse lets hide all the problems of the world and give them a good show. As long as they are kept entertained they wont revolt.

Can we go backward...? (1)

Zooperman (1182761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072692)

It's way too late now obviously, but can we get rid of the "24 hour" news cycle and return to the "network news at 6 and 10pm" tradition? You know, before outlets like CNN, Fox etc had to go out and MAKE news because there wasn't enough to report, or have to bring on a bunch of clueless talking heads to fill time with speculation and innuendo that doesn't advance the story one iota? Back in the days when news outlets had enough time to RESEARCH stories, INTERVIEW relevant participants, CHECK their facts, and assemble it all in a format that a news anchor with actual INTEGRITY (i.e. Walter Cronkite, Peter Jennings, Edward R. Murrow, etc) could then present to the public?? Sigh... I guess not...

Seriously! (-1, Troll)

headhot (137860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072732)

If I wanted to know what an idiot thought of the news, I would watch Fox. Leave out the public comment and how about some expert analysis, or broader news.

Propaganda maybe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072762)

Propaganda maybe, but CNN sure isn't a place to learn news.

Want more intelligent comments on the web? (1)

rclandrum (870572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072778)

Only allow people to comment that have provided some kind of verified name and address. It's easy to heckle someone from the cheap seats, but if you are up on center stage, your comments are likely to be much more civil.

There must be real-life social consequences to making an ass of yourself before you see any improvement in the tone of the average comment forum.

That's my 2 cents, and my username is my real name. (admittedly unverified since there is no way I know of to do this currently).

Not really new news . . . (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072824)

Seen the movie Network . . .?
"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." P.T. Barnum

duh-duh-duh dat's all folks!!!!!!

He's right (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072848)

It's a joke. Why the hell would I want to watch a TV newsperson read a web page or twitter feed? It's just dumb. Putting them in front of giant touch displays is also stupid. I don't want to watch someone operate a computer - actually put the damn graphic on the viewer's feed so we can see it straight on without some blow-dried suited idiot in front of it.

Irony (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072854)

CNN seems to have this "child-like wonder" with tech at the moment.

I was somewhat sickened during the recent unrest in Myanmar, because CNN, rather than focus on the actual issue, seemed more obsessed with extolling the virtues of mobile phones and remote Twittering.

That and Christiane Amanpour coaxing people around the world to say "bloody murder" on camera in the name of investigative journalism, which reminded me of the Southpark episode where they used the word "shit" 162 times (complete with counter at the bottom of the screen).

CNN (along with the Beeb) used to be the forefront of news especially for people who tend to travel a lot and live out of hotel rooms, but these days they are becoming Fox for Nerds.

Why they started doing it... (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072866)

I think around the time CNN saw Fox staking out the conservative-centric news angles, and MSNBC staking out the liberal-centric news angles they knew they were somewhat screwed. In at attempt to differentiate themselves they embraced the "let the people own it" mantra and started up all the tweeting crap and the iReporter stuff.

They're trying to find a niche, and not doing a good job of it if you go by the ratings. Unfortunately they have been the closest left to a "neutral" cable news channel. If they go under it will be a somewhat sad day.

Amen (1)

flunfla (8470) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072882)

At least someone at CNN still thinks they're in the news business. Everyone else seems to be thoroughly convinced that it is better to be in the entertainment business. If I want to know what @stinky has to say, i can follow them directly in Twitter.

Bad Expectation (2, Insightful)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30072906)

I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news

That is his first problem right there. They don't gather news, they gather entertainment and they present that entertainment with whatever spin they feel will best cause the effect they're looking for whether that be sympathy, outrage, shock, etc.

Don't get me wrong either, I'm not saying CNN is the only one like this and this isn't a political viewpoint where I'm categorizing news media into good, bad, left, or right. I'm saying all "news" programs are like this and have been this way for a while.

As for the public interaction via Twitter I don't see how that is a bad thing. In fact I think its a great way for them to keep in contact with their audience, live, and get the pulse of the public. I think it's great that someone at CNN is at least making an attempt at keeping up with some current technology trends and have found a way to use it as a possibly useful communication tool.

Fixed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30072920)

"...any SLASHDOTTER with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion."

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...