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The Noisy and Prolonged Death of Journalism

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the fat-lady-in-the-wings dept.

Google 388

The war of words between the old and the new media is heating up some more. Eric Schmidt has an op-ed in Rupert Murdoch's WSJ (ironic, that) explaining to newspapers how Google wants to, and is trying to, help them. Kara Swisher's BoomTown column translates and deconstructs Schmidt's argument, hilariously. A few days back, the Washington Post's Michael Gerson became the latest journo to bemoan the death of journalism at the hands of the Internet; and investigative blogger Radley Balko quickly called B.S. on Gerson's claim that (all?) bloggers simply steal from (all?) hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists.

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388 comments

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323124)

omgrolf lol lol lol lol first post

Re:first post (2, Interesting)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323520)

Regular journalism has been dead for a long time in my country (France). So called "journalists" just take Reuters & others news and republish them, adding in the process useless rants and made up facts. If that dies, we'll all be better off.

Re:first post (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323582)

Wow, so it's not just the US? That makes me feel a little better; in sort of a misery-loves-company kind of way.

Good riddance. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323142)

This is the radiant dawn. Not without clouds, however.

the real threat will be government intervention (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323160)

seeing an "emergency" someone will step in with government money, more regulation, etc, and it just goes downhill from here.

Democrat Henry Waxman says that our imperial federal government will be involved in shaping the future of journalism in this country. He claims that it is "essential to U.S. democracy." John Leibowitz, the Chairman of the FTC says, "News is a public good ... We should be willing to take action if necessary to preserve the news that is vital to democracy."

See one story at http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9CAJBQ80&show_article=1 [breitbart.com]

I am far less worried about big media companies and the like. I am more than inclined to fear the Federal Government getting involved. Worse, they will twist the meaning to lay claim that any press other than "printed" is not covered "exactly" by the Constitution thereby allowing them to "help" out by providing some regulation. Very similar to how they exploit the fact that Radio isn't specifically listed in the Constitution/BOR and therefor they have a right to affect them. Sad is how many cheer it on who don't like AM talk radio without understanding that giving the government a foot in the door opens all to the affect.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (3, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323314)

The little bit of journalistic integrity left will be destroyed if the government starts picking up the tab. Newspapers will have a vested interest in getting funding so support of one candidate or another will be rewarded with money, instead of just interviews, questions at press conferences, and leaked memos.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323438)

Just like the BBC, that depraved pit of corruption and bias.

Err, wait: I misspelled FOX.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (-1, Flamebait)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323574)

You seem to be confusing an institution in the UK with what would happen in the US. There is nothing that Parliament can do that cannot be made worse by Congress. Just remember that old saw: to err is human; to really screw up takes an act of Congress.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (2, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323490)

The little bit of journalistic integrity left will be destroyed if the government starts picking up the tab. Newspapers will have a vested interest in getting funding so support of one candidate or another will be rewarded with money, instead of just interviews, questions at press conferences, and leaked memos.

This was actually an issue in Boston recently, when the city gave a small minority paper a loan to stay in business:
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/07/17/menino_offers_loan_to_keep_banner_afloat/ [boston.com]

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323504)

The little bit of journalistic integrity left will be destroyed if the government starts picking up the tab. Newspapers will have a vested interest in getting funding so support of one candidate or another will be rewarded with money, instead of just interviews, questions at press conferences, and leaked memos.

As much as I hate to say it, it's that way now. NBC and it's sister stations are all owned by GE (at least until they sell to Comcast soon). This includes MSNBC. MSNBC is a very left-of-center network. While it has been shown that all media was biased toward Obama in the last election (yes [forbes.com], even Fox News [journalism.org]... numbers don't lie), MSNBC went above and beyond the call of duty and by far the biggest Obama supporter of all the major media networks.

Now what does this have to do with GE? Who do you think would give more for green programs, Obama or McCain? Obviously Obama. Who stands to make a fortune off green programs? GE! GE makes the wind generators for wind farms, CFL and LED light bulbs and are well invested in other "green" areas. While it's great that GE is taking such a stance to greenify our world, it's not so great that they use their media subsidiaries to shape public opinion toward favoring one political party over the other to help their bottom line.

However, you are correct that it would get much worse if the government were paying the bills. You could expect that whichever presidential candidate or political party that promised to increased funding to the press outlets would get the more favorable treatment.

With that said, there should be some kind of oversight to prevent the corporations that own the press from using it to drive agendas with the purpose of increasing profits. For that matter, the press shouldn't be driving agendas at all!

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323834)

Now what does this have to do with GE? Who do you think would give more for green programs, Obama or McCain? Obviously Obama. Who stands to make a fortune off green programs? GE! GE makes the wind generators for wind farms, CFL and LED light bulbs and are well invested in other "green" areas.

GE also makes jet engines, for example, which military aircraft use. I think they would have been fine with either candidate.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (5, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323564)

I take it by your "government is always worse than private sector" bias that you're most likely american.

Here in Sweden the general consensus seems to be that SVT ("Sveriges Television" lit. "The swedish television") is the most reliable broadcaster while private ones are considered a lot less reliable by most people except for the extreme right who insist on SVT being "communist", "leftist" and "government controlled", they even use these descriptions now even though we currently have a right-wing coalition government.

What's important is that there is separation between government-funded media outlets and the government that funds them, not that governments shouldn't fund media outlets (SVT has a lot of advantages over privately funded television networks, such as how they can broadcast shows that only appeal to a fairly small subset of the population while the private networks prefer constantly going for the least common denominator).

/Mikael

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323428)

i would fear any organization where not every member of it knows the others on a first name basis.

especially one where oneself have no say in who runs the show...

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323494)

Translation from minitruespeak.
            " Democrat(Socialist) Henry Waxman says that our imperial federal government will be involved in shaping the future of journalism(retaining control by preserving disinformation institutions) in this country. He claims that it is "essential to U.S. democracy."(essential to rule of the many by a minority) John Leibowitz, the Chairman of the FTC says, "News is a public good ... We should be willing to take action if necessary to preserve the news that is vital to democracy(We will use the people tax money against them to retain the power to rule them)"
Doubleunplussgood. Quack!

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (4, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323514)

Sad is how many cheer it on who don't like AM talk radio without understanding that giving the government a foot in the door opens all to the affect.

Isn't that always the case?

When the Bush Admin was grabbing all this power for the Executive branch, those of us that found it disturbing, were called a few things and we didn't understand the necessity of it since we're in a time of war - or some such non-sense.

Now comes the Democrats and the Obama Administration. Do the Republicans get it now? Of course not. The Democrats don't get it either, of course, and if they get their way, the inevitable Republicans that will get back power in some future election, will be able to do that same thing. So, in your AM Radio example, if the folks who want that out of the way, well, we just may see our beloved NPR bite the dust.

Power always flips back and forth - which is a good thing because we'd have a really corrupt government,otherwise - see Venezuela or Iran - if it didn't and I for one welcome the flipping back and forth because in the long run it does limit one sides damage or the others.

But the trouble is, once Government gets power, it doesn't give it up: regardless of who's in power. Just look at how the Obama Administration kept all the executive power that the Bush Admin took.

Change indeed.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (5, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323640)

After Fox News won their argument in Florida establishing there was no need for them to report only the truth or facts, I see lots of room for regulation.

You feel free to believe that a free market can self-regulate, but don't put the media under that umbrella. We all know what sells, what makes money, and its not good unbiased reporting with lots of research and fact checking. Those things were only ever done on the basis of personal or imposed integrity, a sense of honour that seems to be mostly lost.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (1)

footNipple (541325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323902)

After Fox News won their argument in Florida establishing there was no need for them to report only the truth or facts, I see lots of room for regulation.

What case are you referring to here? And are you advocating government regulation of private media BEYOND existing libel laws? If so, what does that regulation specifically address?

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (0, Flamebait)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323980)

Yes, he is advocating exactly that. Note that he leaves CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC out of it because he presumes they wouldn't be negatively affected by regulation. That is because he is an idiot who doesn't understand that giving the government control of anything is counter to the foundations of this country and will only serve to further abuse and erode our freedoms.

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (5, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323804)

seeing an "emergency" someone will step in with government money, more regulation, etc, and it just goes downhill from here.

Just... [exasperated gasp] fuck. How do you Ronald Regan "all government is evil" fan-boys keep coming up with this stuff? I mean, where, exactly, is there any evidence to suggest that "the government" is going to step in and take over the role held by the free press? No, the article you cite is evidence of quite to opposite (that which you claim not to fear nearly as much), the inordinate influence of big media companies in shaping how, when, and where we get access to information. Sure, the government, having been bought and paid for by those interests, will have a role, but it is the electorate's stupidly steadfast refusal to recognize that their "representative government" has been sold to the highest bidder that is to blame, not "the government".

Re:the real threat will be government intervention (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323888)

seeing an "emergency" someone will step in with government money, more regulation, etc, and it just goes downhill from here.

Then how do you explain the BBC? The closest thing we have on this side of the pond is NPR. Any coincidence that the two best pure news sources anywhere both get public funding?

Rupert Murdock... (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323168)

...has been more deadly to the art of journalism than all of the technical innovations in the last 200 years put together.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323392)

Troll?? Really?

Murdock has ushered in the era of factless journalism and pure opinion as news. Right wing slashdotters might not like that, but that's what it looks like from my POV, ergo this isn't a Troll.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323478)

Agreed, Rupert Murdock doesnt like Journalism, so he destroys it. Government Intervention would be his idealistic dream in that journalism will be destroyed 100% at that point.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (1)

Mortice (467747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323482)

A-Team member to media mogul. That's quite a career progression. (I think you meant Rupert Murdoch). Not that I disagree with you. :)

Re:Rupert Murdock... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323510)

If people didn't watch or read it, it wouldn't be relevant, and Murdoch certainly isn't to blame foe what people want.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (3, Insightful)

LS (57954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323710)

People want to see random strangers hung in the streets for witchcraft.

Murdoch is not to be defended.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323732)

I'm not really defending Murdoch, I'm pointing out that the problem is a little more pervasive than the guy who likes to make money from it.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (1, Informative)

Weeksauce (1410753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323576)

Yes, the WSJ, a purely factless and biased media outlet... Just because the guy owns FOX doesn't mean all his organizations are biased, get your facts straight then try again.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (5, Insightful)

MattSausage (940218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324000)

I'll bite the trollbait. The WSJ has been embarrassingly lowbrow since Murdoch took over. Constant spewing ridiculous articles about the left and/or the President. And when that doesn't fill enough space, they might as well be friggin TeenScene: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125980303001573939.html [wsj.com]

The Wall Street Journal is an example of what happens to a proper and respected news outlet when owned by Rupert Murdoch. No one is suggesting the WSJ is factless other than yourself in your sarcasm. And strawmen such as that is EXACTLY what Fox News is known for.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (3, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323600)

You made an emotionally charged comment that was designed to illicit a response. That's a classic troll.

I understand it's not always avoidable; I do it myself from time to time. And when I get modded Troll because of it, I might be momentarily upset by it but I generally don't whine about it in a subsequent post. Because that's another classic troll technique.

Try to provide something more substantive to the conversation, and when those times occur when you just can't then don't whine about how others view your opinion.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (2, Informative)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324014)

You made an emotionally charged comment that was designed to illicit a response. That's a classic troll.

Not quite. It's one thing to make an emotionally charged comment in the middle of a discussion and another to make an emotionally charged comment to, as you state, illicit a response. Only the latter is trolling. Intent is the main factor in trolling.

I understand it's not always avoidable; I do it myself from time to time. And when I get modded Troll because of it, I might be momentarily upset by it but I generally don't whine about it in a subsequent post. Because that's another classic troll technique.

A more appropriate reason, IMHO, to not respond is because it's pointless to try to defend your intentions with statements about your intentions, especially to people who have already decided how they wish to interpret your statements. The one general exception is a miscommunication, but that involves rewording what one says, usually.

Try to provide something more substantive to the conversation, and when those times occur when you just can't then don't whine about how others view your opinion.

Providing some substantive to the conversation and how people view you aren't necessarily related. Consider how people would view Charles Manson's comments in a discussion of manipulation of others. Quite simply, emotion tends to override the better judgment of many people, regardless of how relevant or insightful comments are. It really doesn't matter how politely you state what should be said. Of course, I agree that whining doesn't interject anything useful.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (2, Interesting)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323634)

Murdoch?? Really?

And I thought the utter failure of journalists to report on the subjects that interest the broad population was the reason. Something along these lines: http://hillbuzz.org/2009/12/03/climategate-will-be-looked-back-on-as-one-of-the-last-nails-in-journalisms-coffin/ [hillbuzz.org]

Or maybe these: http://whiskeys-place.blogspot.com/2009/06/failure-of-media-part-two-lingering.html [blogspot.com]

Now that we know the real root of the problem, thanks to your highly-moderated comment. Now if only we could stop Murdoch from running CNN, LAT and NYT...

Re:Rupert Murdock... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323648)

Troll, yeah. Murdock was hardly alone. He's just the bogeyman put forth by blubbering ideologues who lap up a different flavor of unreality.

And, no, I'm not right wing, but I'm sure in the monochrome nanoverse which is all your blinkered mind can bear to perceive I'm some drooling FoxNooz fanboy.

Re:Rupert Murdock... (1)

malkien (1024487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324050)

I can tell that you, sir, are not currently living in Italy.
To us Murdock is now a beacon of freedom and independent journalism!
Really!!

Re:Rupert Murdock... (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323620)

Bad writing has don its damage as well. TFA was BORING. I read maybe the first four paragraphs and almost fell asleep. The guy writes as if he's being paid by the word.

When a blog is informative and readable, and the newspaper article reads like the writer didn't really want to write it but slogged though it for the money, why would I read the paper?

Re:Rupert Murdock... (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323736)

Well, he's trying to be another William Randolph Hearst, only not yet as big and bad as Hearst (who is credited for singlehandedly inventing yellow journalism, and, through his "Remember the Maine!" slogan, for starting the Spanish American War).

Hearst had an easier time of it than Murdock, since when Hearst created his empire, he only had to contend with newspaper and telegraph technology: he bought control of the former outright, but found he could sufficiently disrupt opposition use of the telegraph network with small bribes to low level technicians, or flooding the system with junk messages at strategic times. Murdock has found to his chagrin that buying his way into control of the news is not as easy any more. And disrupting the Internet through bribery, spam floods, and DOS attacks isn't as effective as tying up telegraph connections between Washington DC and New York City with multipage transmissions from Websters Dictionary (all for the sake of assuring that the Hearst papers would be able to publish the breaking news hours before any other newspaper could get the story out).

Murdock maybe should look for some other hero to emulate, maybe some superhero character of Ayn Rand.

Imploding markets (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323180)

Sometimes whole thriving markets disappear because of technological advances. Journalism might be such a disappearing market. As a software developer, I look forward to the day when copyrights are abolished and the software sales market disappears.

However, the lack of a working market doesn't mean the society doesn't want to do something. Thus, we have governments and private sponsors funding scientific research and culture. Some countries are already taxing citizens to fund journalism, TV and radio. A similar model should be eventually be applied to software development, popular music, movies and books as well.

Re:Imploding markets (1)

ProblemWithAmerica (1693012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323316)

See, this is the problem with America these days. Everyone is a gosh darned Pirate, you expect everything to be free on the Internet. The only solution these liberals can come up with is to tax, tax, and spend!

Fear is the problem. (4, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324092)

Pants-shitting cowards afraid of gay marriage, pot, change and any boogeyman they learn about so long as it can be 'fought' by the military. The boogeyman of climate change is of course not real because tanks and guns cannot stop it in any way.

Liberals won't cut social spending for fear of Americans starving because they have no money for food conservatives won't cut military spending for fear of attacks by groups against which traditional military is fairly useless.

It's all fear. We need to harden the fuck up as a country.

VLAD FARTED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323518)

On a throne of feces surrounded by a diarrhea moat, Vlad rules over his kingdom of filth. LEAVE THE BABY MARTICOCK ALONE AND go #$#^ yourself lockwood

Kara who? Boomwhat? (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323196)

Well, I guess whoring your own clumsily written anti-aggregator OpEd to an aggregator site is one way to get traffic and survive in the Google age.

Re:Kara who? Boomwhat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323718)

Well, I guess whoring your own clumsily written anti-aggregator OpEd to an aggregator site is one way to get traffic and survive in the Google age.

Read much? You can disagree with style and opinions (though I didn't interpret hers same way as you), but a random Slashdotter using "Kara who?" to belittle one of the best known, respected and influential journalists and bloggers covering the Internet and tech for decades is beyond ironic.

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

They ignored "The Third Wave" to their peril. (5, Insightful)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323206)

I think in retrospect, the mainstream media should have heeded the warning of one Alvin Toffler, who wrote in The Third Wave in 1980 that as communication technologies improves, the days of the the mass media controlling media distribution will come to an end.

With cable TV, small-dish satellite TV and the public Internet, Toffler's warning has become 2009 reality. The only survivors will be those who can quickly embrace taking full advantage of today's communication technologies, and Time, Inc.'s recent "fantasy demo" of an electronic edition of Sports Illustrated designed to take full advantage to future tablet computers (such as the much-rumored Apple tablet) is proof there are some in the mainstream media who understand they must change with the times (pun not intended :-) ).

Re:They ignored "The Third Wave" to their peril. (5, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323788)

I think some of the cyberpunk writers had it right. Has the "information" age made people better equipped with, well, information? Are people more knowledgeable? Or are they retreating further and further into their own private virtual reality bubbles. Are they seeing the infinite shades of gray in this world, or is it all just angels and demons, black and white and us versus them?

And none of this finger pointing at one side or the other. Just aboput everyone is guilty. The moment you start identifying with a political party or an ideological label, or thinking you're better because of your choice of operating system or the car you drive or books you read you have become part of the problem.

All this tech has done is feed into the antiquated tribal mentality that might have served us well 20,000 years ago, but now it's just ripping everything apart. Watch yourselves closely for the next couple of days as news stories appear. See if you catch yourself just making huge, broadly based assumptions about certain people. Question every assumption. Be skeptical about *everything* just for a while.

It's impossible to be an independent thinker any more. If I praise Obama on one thing, I get called a socialist. If I criticize him on another thing, I'm called a right wingnut. There is no correct side here- they are all profoundly effed in the head.

It's not the death of journalism (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323210)

It's just the death of journalism as we know it.

Print, TV, and radio news outlets are going to have to decide if they are in the print/tv/radio news or if they are in the business of news.

If it's the former, they will die. If its the latter, they can survive if they pay attention.

Re:It's not the death of journalism (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323262)

I think that centralized media will survive in any case, even if the government has to fund them to keep them afloat. Besides being a pretty good advertisement platform, newspapers and TV are also very useful as tools of propaganda. We'll just have to see if they are useful enough in that role to justify upkeep, or our overlords (the old ones) will invent a find of tricks to do the same job without TV/newspapers.

Re:It's not the death of journalism (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323412)

It's the same mistake railway companies did. They thought AND insisted that they were in the business of trains and railroads instead of a CARRIER, or cargo transport. Now Fedex, UPS, airlines, cars, et al, have taken over the business of "transportation," something that was once a monopoly for the rail systems in the industrial era.

Disclaimer: I have worked in the newsroom for a mid-size newspaper.

Likewise, journalism is the business of gathering and disseminating news (supported by ad revenue). Old schoolers are still tied-up to the medium which they see as an investment, and who can blame them since they poured millions for new printing presses in the 80s'; full computer infrastructure changeover in the 90s', all of which should be done paying for itself off by now. And only now this is when they can sit back and relax, and let the machines and its people work itself to make profit for the owner, similar to a landlord. But nope, the internet is here and they need to change everything again. They can either whine and cry to congress, or get on with the times.

Another astoundingly stupid move by the newspapers is undercharging ad rates for online editions. They thought because internet is so "new" with so few readers, and afraid the advertisers wouldn't buy this "virtual" space which doesn't use ink (but does use electricity and CPU cycles, however....), they could "experiment" with charging $50 for 100x100px space for a month, whereas a business card size ads on newsprint would cost $150 for two weeks. Newspapers have really shot themselves in the foot with this introductory rate which has lasted for several years, whereas the smart organizations know their true online operational costs, and these late old-timers will have an uphill battle convincing advertisers that their online space rate is worth the same or greater than their print spaces.

I, for one will not miss newspapers. I will miss journalism.

People want to participate (4, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323424)

We used to yell at the TV, complain at the breakfast table to our spouse, hit the steering wheel. If we were really engaged, we'd write a letter to the editor or call the radio station. There was no option for TV, except being in the right place at the right time (the tornado hit my trailer). Now, we can respond within seconds of an article being published, vent anger or correct mistakes. Add insight and expand the story. I find the comments more interesting than the story a surprising amount of the time.

Re:People want to participate (1)

Toze (1668155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324052)

The problem is that on a site like /. a lot of the news readers/commenters are informed, generally, in the field. There's a lot of stupid comments, but a lot of good comments are made by professionals in robotics, or server admins, or programmers. In other words, we're not The Masses but a specific subset. When The Masses have access to comment fields, you get YouTube comments. This isn't to say that all people are stupid, but /. has a concentration of people in the field it reports on, while general news or local news or national news doesn't. So yes, we can respond within seconds, but since the vast majority of "us" commenting on an article have no idea what we're talking about, the signal to noise ratio goes all pear-shaped.

EXTRA: towncriers out of work due to printingpress (4, Insightful)

emptybody (12341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323220)

The internet does not replace the journalists aka reporters.

it is merely changing the distribution.

The town crier was replaced by the paper boy but journalism, gathering the facts, reporting on events, has lived on.

it is not the printing press that makes a journalist.

My big wish is that factual reporting would regain its place ABOVE the opinionated offerings seen on places such as FOXnews.

FOX News is indeed the best choice (3, Funny)

us7892 (655683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323742)

My big wish is that factual reporting would regain its place ABOVE the opinionated offerings seen on places such as FOXnews

FOX News is better than all the other news channels. Certainly leaning right, no doubt about it. But, overall, a much better window to view our blathering leaders and crumbling nation through.

MSNBC is a disaster. CNN is scrambling, trying to retreat, if only modestly, from its left-lean. ABC is trying to claw its way back off the ledge. CBS has simply given up.

Some of my favorite people from other networks are joining FOX. I love it.

Not the Death of Journalism ... (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323226)

The Noisy and Prolonged Death of Journalism

In Schmidt's piece, he used the word 'journalism' once:

I believe it also requires a change of tone in the debate, a recognition that we all have to work together to fulfill the promise of journalism in the digital age.

Don't ever kid yourself that journalism will die. It's certainly changing but the thing that might die is the old model of power structures and funding around journalism. Journalists will still do reporting and writing for a monetary sum. The channels where that money comes from are rapidly changing ('rapidly' is relative to how historically slow change has been in this world). This friction is creating the death throes of (most) companies involved as money makers in the traditional channels.

It's change, it's probably for the better (as Schmidt notes) but one thing's for sure: it's unavoidable. Adapt or die.

One more thing:

Eric Schmidt has an op-ed in Rupert Murdoch's WSJ (ironic, that)

Never forget that Murdoch still sells eyeballs--at all costs. If it meant betraying a political party or betraying his core values or even displaying another side of the debate, he's here for one thing: money. What we see in the op-ed piece is actually one of the few positive effects of Murdoch's greed. I offer him my rare applause if he had anything to do with this being printed in the WSJ although I'm certain the WSJ printed it to generate revenue and he merely approved of it.

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323360)

It may live but it will certainly need to adapt in ways that it is struggling against right now. It's kinda like a turkey in the rain. It gets hit on the head by a drop of water and looks up. As it looks up water drops run down its nasal passages. It continues this strange curiosity til it drowns.
Right now the news industry is unwilling to make the concessions needed for its own survival. Meanwhile another species is rising.
I suppose you can guess the rest of this tale repeated countless times through history by flora, fauna and industry. Let's not be prematurely optimistic about the subject because it is comfortably familiar and seemed steadfast previous to our lifetime.

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323396)

It's kinda like a turkey in the rain. It gets hit on the head by a drop of water and looks up. As it looks up water drops run down its nasal passages. It continues this strange curiosity til it drowns.

As someone who worked on farms where they raised turkeys I had never noticed large heaps of dead turkey carcasses when it rained. But perhaps this happens with wild turkeys which would make survival in the wild a short experience. So I looked it up.

Of course this anecdote is hilariously false [snopes.com].

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323548)

Still an entertaining analogy for the purpose of illustration. Speaking as a multiple turkey attack survivor and having had my fill of turkey, holidays ago, if they don't drown themselves, let's drop them from helicopters over famine areas to see if they can fly. Everybody wins!

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323760)

They can glide pretty well, even sort of do "flying hops".

(This applies to wild turkeys, domestic ones are probably too fat, or have their wings clipped)

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323988)

All the better. Survival of the fittest. Some will live and repopulate, some will be ready to feed people/animals in famine areas.

         

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (2, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323586)

It's kinda like a turkey in the rain. It gets hit on the head by a drop of water and looks up. As it looks up water drops run down its nasal passages. It continues this strange curiosity til it drowns.

As someone who worked on farms where they raised turkeys I had never noticed large heaps of dead turkey carcasses when it rained. But perhaps this happens with wild turkeys which would make survival in the wild a short experience. So I looked it up.

Of course this anecdote is hilariously false [snopes.com].

Benjamin Franklin would like a word with the original poster.

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324082)

It is pretty hilarious and scary that you included a false anecdote (turkeys drowning) in your post and wrote it in such a way that a reader may think it is true. Managing to pretty much demonstrate the main fear people have of this new style of journalism right in the middle of your argument against the old.

Then again, it may be interesting and instructive if people had to assume every piece of information they hear is possibly bogus. They still have logic and can maybe combine multiple sources and determine what is actually true...

Re:Not the Death of Journalism ... (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323762)

Journalists will still do reporting and writing for a monetary sum.

They sure will; and that's what's important to realize. I often don't like the way the news industry operates but there is a real need for talented, paid journalists to write informed articles. The model by which the revenue is generated and distributed to the journalists will need to change but the journalists themselves will remain the core of the news.

As wonderful as user-generated-content is, it isn't a replacement for years of training in journalism. Many bloggers are very talented writers, but generally lack the time and credentials to truly investigate stories. User-submitted stories are great, but only if they reference or can be verified by an independent source with some journalist credentials. The term "blogger" just isn't relevant. A "blogger" with proper journalist credentials who investigates stories is a journalist, a "blogger" who doesn't is an opinion columnist. The fact the the medium is the Internet changes nothing about the content

The other key element is the editors. I suspect that in a new news model it would be the editors who aggregate user input, assign journalists to investigate and keep the stories well-written and well-informed. To cite an example of where this is being done very effectively (from my own sphere of interest, of course) is Ars Technica. They do an excellent job of providing well-written, research and occasionally even balanced articles on issues within the scope of Tech News. I think many news sites could follow that model to provide, high quality news in niche areas (a niche may local news for a city or national politics, for example).

Less control (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323258)

If all journalism comes from blogging instead of professional newspapers by professional journalists, the news people read will be much less controlled, and probably have much more varied opinions. Which of both is best? You decide.

hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323260)

Who exactly are they referring to?

- Political journalists, who help their sources insult people and ruin careers anonymously? Or do what Stephen Colbert pointed out was "the White House tells you what to write, you write it down, and print it."
- Sports journalists, who basically are professional sports fans, desperately clinging to rumor, conjecture, and hearsay?
- Business journalists, who often act as cheerleaders for a company's stock more than anything else?
- Slashdot editors? (enough said)

These are not the days of Bernstein, Woodward, Hersch, etc.

Re:hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323524)

At least with Slashdot editors, we know exactly what we're getting.

The large majority of people reading the 3 other kinds you mentionned, do not realize, and thus, get manipulated.

Re:hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323594)

perfect example is the congressman from california a few years ago who was thought to have had an intern killed that he was supposed to have an affair with. the media "alleged" he was guilty before he was even arrested

Re:hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323686)

Don't kid yourself that there was ever a time when ethical journalists were the norm. There's a reason the most highly coveted prize in journalism is named for a notorious muckraker and yellow journalist.

Re:hard-working, honest, ethical print journalists (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323882)

You've mostly listed people who would be considered opinion columnists. What about people who actually just report on general current events by going to locations and interviewing the people who were witness to them. There is no such thing as balanced journalism, but the majority of journalists come very close; they honestly try to present a balanced viewpoint and usually do a good job. My frame of reference is Canadian news sources which, I think, tend to do a very good job in most situations. It may be a bit different in the U.S. (I do get American TV and, yeah, the news is brutally sensationalist but you can distill real information from it).

It's not the journalists that are the problem, it's that the distributors haven't adapted to the new media that are now available. If you think that user-content can be more fair and balanced than most journalists, I ask of you: have you read slashdot?

It's a Changing World (4, Interesting)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323272)

The wonders of the internet and the change they have brought about.(sigh)
When Ford mass produced the "A" and "T" a lot of buggy whip mfg., saddle mfg. and liveries went out of business. Hay production declined in favor of food crops.Horse breeders and trainers suffered. You might say a big industry went teats up. We simply didn't need their services or needed limited quantities. Before that Coach services were displaced by Rail services.
        When News, Music and Movie industries cannot adapt to serve the needs/desires of their benefactors , they die like dinosaurs in a glacier. Of course there will be a lot of whining about lost jobs and hyperbole about the affected economy, but all in all, it's for the best and I welcome it. These were industries that were not friendly or really helpful to the benefactors (us) so their passing for something better is to be welcomed with open arms, minds and hearts. As for the displaced...They too will have to adapt. In the words of the Judge Smales character in the Movie Caddyshack " Well, Danny, the world needs ditchdiggers too."

the newspapers screwed up their business model (5, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323320)

for years the model was to sell the newspaper for the cost of print and let advertising cover everything else including the profits. in the late 1990's the newspapers should have bought up Ebay and Craigslist or at the very least started a competitor. instead the trust fund babies who run most of the newspapers allowed their content to be commoditized by Google, they lost the advertising market probably because they thought it was beneath them to go online. and now they are crying. the WSJ was an exception to this for a few years, but there are some good financial bloggers out there now that will give them a lot of competition.

I remember 10 years ago if you wanted to sell your apartment in NYC you had to advertise in the NY Times and pay their ridiculous rates. and the supposedly liberal pro-blue collar newspaper that the NY Times is supposed to be has the snobbiest RE section i've ever seen. on sundays you would see people walking around with a copy of the Real Estate section checking out buildings to buy in. these days the realtors still advertise in the NY Times but it's a generic add with the same properties that probably aren't on the market anymore and the goal is to get people to call the office. not to sell a specific property. all the properties for sale are listed on redfin, craiglist, MLS which is open to everyone now

and there have been so many new immigrants in the NYC area lately that it makes sense to advertise in their ethnic non-english newspapers as well.

Welcome to the real world (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323340)

The idea that if I read about something in a paper I should not be allowed to blog it is absurd. It always has been, only now journalists are having to compete with this new thing called the internet and the value of their service is being driven down.

We see this happening over and over again. You have to adapt, that's all there is to say about it.

Switching from horses to cars... (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323370)

I am sure the "horse manure picker-uppers union workers (HMPUW)" biatched a lot when Henry Ford came up with an efficient and effective way of transportation.

Progress is a bitch; embracing it is the only way to survive....

No Free Lunch (1)

Weeksauce (1410753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323372)

Nice to see an internet executive like this recognize that there is "no free lunch." As much as you hear people bemoan a pay for content system, the fact is journalists require salaries, expenses, etc. The pay per story idea of .01 per story that gets auto deducted or has greater advertising capabilities is great. Yeah, free stuff is great, but what news can you get for free if the journalists aren't around any longer...

good riddance (1)

pydev (1683904) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323378)

Newspapers like the NYT and WSJ deserve to go out of business as far as I'm concerned.

Paradigm shifts (2, Interesting)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323406)

Not the death of journalism, just the end of old-style journalism. Nearly every industry in the world has been forced to change with time, but journalism was pretty much TV, radio, and print for 50 years. Now the web is out there. Deal with it.

Internet killed the Video star (1)

asv108 (141455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323432)

Its funny that Schmidt mentions that "Video didn't kill the radio star." Videos were a good promotion outlet for music, but the Internet effectively killed music videos on television.

Google news is an aggregation of news from various media outlet's websites. Its not going to kill newspapers, but Google news and Internet news in general is conditioning people to expect to get news for free.

In the past, newspapers were subsidized by advertising and subscribers. Unfortunately, Internet advertising is not nearly has effective as print. Sure, ads can be targeted to specific audiences, but they can be blocked, and many savvy Internet users are conditioned to ignore advertisements. Newspaper advertisements are unavoidable, and the randomly placed.

So if people expect to get news for free and the advertising is ineffective, tell me how the Internet and e-readers lead to a promising future for newspapers?

Re:Internet killed the Video star (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323778)

Well, also, there's a revenue problem - right now, a huge chunk of online ad revenue goes to companies like Google, not to the organization providing the content. Part of Schmidt's problem - and he isn't about to admit it - is that in the absence of good content (and no, good content doesn't just happen), Google's search engine isn't worth nearly as much. The search engine is just an ad delivery mechanism - for Google.

He's claiming to be the solution, and that's not an obvious conclusion. Google's arguably a "bad parasite". Google may be the IT version of Wal-mart, both in content and infrastructure. They're trying to drive everyone else out, or squeeze them and keep the revenue all to themselves.

Then again Schmidt wants to profile everyone in enough detail to be able to answer questions like "what career should I choose?" (seriously, he said that in an interview). Rupert looks like a model of sanity and reason compared to that level of creepy / crazy.

Re:Internet killed the Video star (2, Interesting)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324006)

One model I've seen is for a newspaper to provide free access to a pdf of its full print edition. Just like reading the old-fashioned newspaper, print ads and all. Nice thing for the newspaper, the reader can't block the ads so they can charge regular print advertising rates and the distribution costs are lower. Nice thing for the reader, it doesn't cost anything and is just there on the computer whenever they want it in a form that they are used to.

Original blogger reporting (4, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323476)

  1. WorldNetDaily.com does its own investigative reporting and is always trying to get press credentials to events. Sometimes they get them, and sometimes they don't since they are not "traditional media".
  2. We Are Change is an entire nationwide network of aggressive news gatherers.
  3. One of Alex Jones' early exploits was to crash the Bohemian Grove and report on it.
  4. Many of the armchair bloggers such as myself (when I ran underreported.com from 2002-2004) simply read government websites and scientific literature and report on it. Journalism seems to have this code of ethics that says you have to get a quote from a human being before you can report on it. That's nonsense -- all this stuff is out there on thomas.loc.gov and everywhere else and the traditional media ignores it -- and when they do report on it they don't even bother to link to it.
  5. So much action gets recorded on cell phone videos now. Important stuff gets bid out to the traditional media because they're willing to pay more. After they die, the popular bloggers will take it, or it'll just end up on YouTube and bloggers will link to it there.

Hello, I am a professional journalist (5, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323488)

Let me begin by saying that most comments on /. dealing with traditional journalism quickly turn into a bonfire, cheering the death of traditional journalism and heralding blogs as a bright new dawn with untold promises. I think this is wrongheaded, for reasons I'll get to quickly.

I work for a pretty niche tech magazine as a writer and editor. Much of what I cover is business tech., a lot of venture news and business tech products. It might amuse people how traditionally we do things from a journalistic point of view, since we're frequently writing about the technologies and sites that are changing journalism - editors comb leads and find stories, hand them off to writers who do interviews and then pass the copy back to the editors, who fact-check and rewrite. etc. We have an online component, but we're still very definitely a print publication first.

I think blogging and new journalism has a lot to offer. The distribution method and quick turnaround is great. They can get and exchange news much quicker than I can, although in my particular niche there's not much urgent news, so being a monthly pub. isn't really a problem. But I also think new journalism has a downside, and I think Gerson is right about many of the things he says (never thought I'd say that).

First off, objectivity is not dead. No, you can never be perfectly objective. And objectivity doesn't necessarily mean never expressing an opinion. But it does mean disclosing conflicts of interests (not that traditional journalism has always done a good job of this - it hasn't) and trying to be as honest as possible with your readers. My biggest problem with blogging in general, at least as far as replacing traditional journalism, is that so much of it is done by interested parties. Sure, you can get great info about goings on directly from CEOs and the people involved, but oftentimes it's like hearing about a break-up from only one half of the couple. Business being the way it is, once you're working in an industry, you've got some kind of relationship - however tenuous - with everyone else in it.

I'm not going to name names, but especially in venture and business journalism, many apparently disinterested blogging parties have a history in business themselves, and many are currently engaged in business ventures of their own. There's plenty of people who aren't going to let this cloud their judgment or color their writing, but how can you tell? People talk about new journalism like there's no gatekeepers, but companies and organizations and PR agencies are always going to have gatekeepers. And if it's someone in an industry writing about goings-on in that same industry (which many people see as a big plus for blogging - since, they say, a participant knows more about the situation than an uninvolved third-party journalist), they're going to have a vested interest in not causing too many waves. Sure, some people get big enough or well-read enough that it doesn't matter, and admittedly plenty of lowly traditional journalists have been forbidden from doing a hit piece because they don't have the clout (or their pub. doesn't), but that added conflict of interest certainly can't help matters.

People like to heap scorn on traditional journalism, but there's a very good reason for fact-checking, and there's a very good reason for objectivity. I'm all for new journalism and I read plenty of blogs. I do think that form of journalism is, more or less, the future. But let's not be quite so hasty to discard everything that made traditional journalism what it was (even if it's tarnished, in this day and age), and let's not be quite so quick to put all our faith in blogging. I'm confident that a more concrete code of ethics will develop in blogging, and bloggers who lie and distort will get weeded out just like traditional journalists who've committed the same transgressions tend to be (eventually), but I'm not quite ready to hang up my sad little hat with the press pass or my dreaded red editor's pen just yet.

As a final note, I know a lot of people are going to read this and gnash their teeth and say that traditional journalists are pompous liars with just as many conflicts of interest as the sinister, conniving blogger Mr. Gerson might be imagining. Well, they can be, sure. But they're going to earn the ire of their fellows if they are (just like a blogger will). And an editor, a good editor, is going to shoot down a biased story, if they're doing their job. And even if people haven't been doing such a great job of that lately, I'm glad to have that added layer of abstraction between the writer and the audience.

Re:Hello, I am a professional journalist (4, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323592)

Oh, and another thing... most of the misdeeds people in this comment thread are attributing to journalists are really the work of columnists. A columnist can write about whatever he wants and is probably the closest thing to the stereotypical blogger in traditional journalism. Columnists aren't journalists (although many of them used to be) because they're writing opinion pieces, mostly, instead of proper journalism. Michael Gerson is a columnist. Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann are the cable equivalent of the columnist. Edward R. Murrow was also a columnist, at least in terms of the work people most remember him for. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who broke Watergate, those guys are journalists.

I think it says a lot about the state of media in this company that many people can no longer tell the difference.

Re:Hello, I am a professional journalist (1, Interesting)

svtdragon (917476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323604)

I've one simple question for you:

If any or all of that is true, what justification does any ethical journalist have for taking a job at, say, Fox News?

Re:Hello, I am a professional journalist (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30324072)

I would presume a journalist needs to eat and pay rent, so thus would need some sort of job. Just because the loudest personalities on Fox (or any network for that matter) are clearly unobjective does not mean all the people that work there have no ethics.

Re:Hello, I am a professional journalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323782)

Don't Worry. For every angry Slashdot commenter who thinks that journalism means being able to set up a WordPress blog, there are 10 people who appreciate and recognise the difference between that and an institution with time, contacts and trained writers to produce informative, well researched and readable pieces.

Geeks, like any group spearheading some new wave, think that tomorrow belongs to them [youtube.com]. They judge traditional methods by the worst excesses, whether that is bashing Fox News or whining about how centralisation inevitably means corporate interests are pandered to. This is as wrong as judging the good bloggers by the 99% of personal/PR blogs with no journalistic worth whatsoever.

Journalistic skill remains not about the medium used to impart information, but about the quality of the information itself. A close relation recently retired as director of the journalism department in a major London University, and he was not worried about the death of journalism as a discipline. Yes, a significant number in the past have chosen to follow The Sun, or The Daily Mail, or Fox News... and these will be the same people who migrate to the entertaining, shallow rants you find in most blogs online. Meanwhile, those who enjoy a newspaper which requires intellectual effort to read will be attracted to similar articles online, and will (and do) choose to pay for electronic subscriptions -- though usually not in preference to the print edition, while it still exists. Again, the geeks underestimate the usability of sheets of paper.

Re:Hello, I am a professional journalist (3, Insightful)

photozz (168291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323852)

I'll address the Objectivity thing. Ok, here's two scenarios:

Print media - Writer and editor let a story slide through with factual errors (IE: most of FOX news). 20 years ago, how would anyone know? Unless we had direct knowledge of the facts, most people would not know the difference. Newspapers at the time were the equivalent of a deaf man on a soapbox yelling at people. One way communication that the majority of people had to take as the truth, regardless of the actual facts.

Online media - Writer and editor let a story slide through with factual errors - The Internet collectively calls bullshit and the writer/editor/blog is discredited. The truth makes it out in the time it takes to type it in. We see it every-single-day. A piece of news becomes a discussion and the truth is generally revealed for all. News is reported, investigated, vetted, buried in peat moss and dug back up before being framed for all to see. This is the advantage of the on-line media and one of the reasons I think print media is scared as hell. They can and have been called out on hidden agendas and sloppy reporting.

Journalism is not dead, just your ability to be the lord high gods of information traffic. I don't mourn it.

Mot of your comments above boil down to "You can't trust bloggers, they might be sleestak, but you can trust us, cause we're not sleestaks."

If all print media disappears tomorrow, thousands of other sources will spring up in it's place. It's time to close up the buggy shop and learn to make cars.

Already tired of these stories (3, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323536)

It's like the newspapers were the last to notice that they were dying. Which _so_ highlights the underlying problem.

Fanboy Purge of 2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323558)

Fanboy Purge of 2010 can't come quickly enough for me.

Are we going to put them all on some sort of ark vessel and shoot them into space, or are we going to have public hangings?

Re:Fanboy Purge of 2010 (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323824)

Well, actually, there are going to be three arks. The first one will have the "middlemen," like telephone sanitizers...

Does the Public Care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323616)

Or is this debate a ruse to drive traffic to blogs?

Let's break it down, shall we? (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323618)

I won't regurgitate most of what Radley Balko said, as his post is probably one of the most insightful I've ever read on this subject, but there are two functions that the papers do or are supposed to do, not one:

-Aggregate news
-Investigative journalism

Very few do investigative journalism anymore. Most of it is just aggregating and writing up some additional filter around press releases and such. The average crime story is no more nuanced and investigative than regurgitating what the police, prosecutor and defense attorney have to say. Most newspapers do so little investigative journalism that they are, quite frankly, as useless and vestigial to our society's continued liberties as tits on a bull.

What most newspapers are upset about is the fact that new media is more efficient at cheaply aggregating raw information and sprucing it up with some additional verbage. It's not like they're losing money because others are stealing the hard work of their investigators.

Re:Let's break it down, shall we? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323764)

And I'd like to clarify something about the original post here. Radley Balko is not just some random blogger. He is an investigative journalist (a damn fine one) for Reason Magazine (a damn fine publication). I believe his official title is "Senior Editor" (How does someone my own age qualify as a senior anything? Total grade inflation).

did they bail out horse and buggy makers too? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323628)

I think it is a bit silly that journalism executives think it is everyone else's responsibility for them to make money.

Re:did they bail out horse and buggy makers too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30323724)

No - but they did bail out car manufacturers - funny that!

Synergy: The Sports Analogy (2, Interesting)

davide marney (231845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323668)

I have yet to see any major newspaper actively recruit and develop the legions of amateur reporters out there armed with a computer. Major league sports has a farm system for developing and identifying talent, and bringing it into play. Newspapers need to embrace what's happening, not compete and complain. They're the experts. They should be leading the exploitation of the Internet for the delivery of news and information.

Truth be told, tiny C-SPAN is far and away the best in the news business at getting this right. Their use of all the means of modern communication -- radio, TV, Internet -- is outstanding. They run contests to develop young reporters. They have blog aggregation pages. They run dedicated news dashboards during special events such as elections. They have call-in shows. They are scrupulously even-handed in their coverage, which is not only the best way to be objective, it makes for a lively and interesting show. Watch and learn, guys. It's not rocket science.

Respect for pulitzer's yellow journalism eulagized (2, Insightful)

cybereal (621599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323694)

Respect for Pulitzer's form of yellow journalism was a eulogy in action for journalism 100 years ago. The fact that journalism still exists is only a testament for the public's continued desire for era-appropriate mild fiction and sensationalism. The fact that we huzzah at the awarding of a prize named after the man considered the inventor of what non-news non-journalist pundits like Bill O, and Sean H thrive on is enough evidence to show that real journalism hasn't been a public concern for a very, very long time.

So don't shed a tear for journalism now. It has already been dead for very nearly a century.

bloggers help journalists (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323744)

most of what bloggers do is "editorial comment". when I write opinion I link to the original source. if a popular blogging site does that, it helps the news organization. One way "the press" is kept in line and alternate viewpoints presented (most news places have a "slant" or agenda to the way political or religious news is presented.

Printed journalism sucks, bad. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323752)

In sweden where i live printed news journalism consists of gossip, Reuters and TT articles. The problem isnt the internet but that the content has become mostly useless entertainment, not news. I cant stand reading a newspaper anymore because its crap. It has absolutely nothing to do with the advent of the internet.

journalism is already dead (3, Interesting)

david_bonn (259998) | more than 4 years ago | (#30323964)

Let's see, the big news stories this week: (1) Tiger Woods gets in a fender bender after he gets in a fight with his wife, and (2) the White House party crashers apparently lied about other stuff, too.

Journalism is already dead.

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  • 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>
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