Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Whimpers of Dinosaurs

What does a wild eyed writer of politics from Georgia and a biologist from North Carolina have in common?

We both have a strange fascination with a particular species of journalist noted for its ceaseless caterwauling about the damned dirty bloggers.

From Coturnix:
Some guy named Mulshine, who is apparently an ancient journalist (remember: generation is mindset, not age), penned one of those idiotic pieces for Wall Street Journal, willingly exposing his out-datedness and blindness to the world - read it yourself and chuckle: All I Wanted for Christmas Was a Newspaper.
An example of Mulshine's keen insight:
Anyone can duplicate a long and tedious report. And anyone can highlight one passage from that report and either praise or denounce it. But it takes both talent and willpower to analyze the report in its entirety and put it in a context comprehensible to the casual reader.
Really? It makes one wonder if reporters are bathed in magical waters when they first enter the great shrines of soothsaying such as the East Greater Bumpkinville Daily Register Picayune Observer. How is it possible we the unwashed can't see the obvious truth that we do not have the special talents required to keep subjects and predicates straight, much less string many of them together to form something comprehensible!

Frank Wilson nails the black of the target Mulshine doesn't even know exists.
Actually, the people in a given school district are likely to be very interested in and willing to sit through such meetings and read such reports very carefully, since they are interested parties, more interested, apparently, than a cub reporter trying to keep himself awake during the proceedings "by employing trance-inducing techniques"
What makes Mulshine's argument more comical is his world is surely divesting itself of the local coverage he holds so holy while those he castigates are not only taking up the slack but doing it well.

In nature, niches are filled. Species adapt or die. It's tooth and claw time. The peddlers of the written word can either wail in the wallow of the tar pits with the Mulshines or keep moving towards the next horizon.

21 comments:

rptrcub said...

Speaking as a former reporter, and being one who got out of the dying newspaper business at 26, I can tell you that this smug attitude comes from middle-aged, grumpy, cynical and technologically challenged individuals (not all are like this but some are) who have developed some kind of doctor-like God complex.

Just because you know where the bodies are buried does not make you the end-all and be-all of journalism. Granted, we need your experience and I understand the argument for interpretation and meta-level analysis. But you are not God. There is no professional licensing board to be a reporter. Anyone can do it, and dammit, they need to adjust to this new reality or shovel off, doing something else.

And I have news for those entering the PR world: you cannot avoid technology there, either. You must adapt or die.

beachmom said...

I am not sure it is that simple. I think the writer does have a point that for someone to truly have a "beat", which would probably require enormous amounts of time, one would either need to be independently wealthy or ... paid. The truth is, Grift, you are feeding on the Dinosaur. You link to Wooten and other newspaper articles, then add your own often witty analysis. The truth is, most investigative journalism is not done by amateurs. Not even original straight news items are done by blogs.

I think the best example of the Brave New World (and therefore hope for American journalism) is probably Talking Points Memo. Josh Marshall, who actually was a print journalist, struck out on his own into blogging. Now he has built a site that actually does have paid investigative journalists (and hiring two new reporters -- one covering the White House, one covering Congress) that actually out-scooped the Big Fish during the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal. I would also add that Five Thirty Eight had top rate analysis of polling data, with only MSNBC's Chuck Todd coming anywhere near close.

But make no mistake, we are going to be entering a time where there will be a gap: newspapers will die and nothing will be replacing them in covering local stories (ah, it goes without saying how useless local news is). Now pundits are a dime a dozen, but not beat reporters. The loss has already started with the cutting of budgets at newspapers. Their "product" has continued to get worse and worse, causing their downward spiral to accelerate, and frankly, I have to agree with the WSJ writer then there isn't a stampede of bloggers who are covering local meetings.

So, I am not celebrating the demise of newspapers, even while I agree the quality of their journalism has gone down over the years.

griftdrift said...

Beachmom, I'm going to have to disagree.

But let me say this first. I believe there is a place for people trained in the craft. They do have a skill set which provides value, particularly as you say in investigative journalism. When I talk about this to people I usually use the term parallel track. Both can exists and both can add value.

Where Mulshine and those like him err is their recalcitrant disbelief that blog and new media add any value. It's simply not true and his shoddy research into the area (pundint? really?) shows that he would rather by into dated myth than actually discover the truth. And he seriously wants us to see his medium as the paragon of reporting when his own writing is not honest?

Now about feeding on those dinosaurs. That's true. And I believe most blogs would acknowledge this fact. I think we would also admit that without traditional media priming the pump we wouldn't have exploded.

But using this as a criticism is a fallacy.

Let me give you the challenge I gave Blake Aued. The next time you find a paper published without the use of AP or Reuters, let me know. What's even more dishonest with this argument is that a paper will use a staff writer to rewrite certain sections of an AP story. Now they do appropriately attribute AP as a source. But let me ask you an additional question. Which is more transparent: my linking directly to Jim's original content or a story followed by "AP contributed to this report" leaving the reader with no idea where the local writer's work begins and ends?

And it may not be a stampede but there are local bloggers covering local meetings. Heck, last year Dorablog scooped everyone on the firing of Police Chief King. You know why? Because they have someone at every meeting. I can point to a dozen original journalistic stories on Georgia just this past year.

It is true it doesn't happen as often as some may like but it is on the increase. But small doses does not mean non-existent which is what Mulshine is arguing.

Also, the most frustrating sin Mulshine commits is emulating the record industry. When technology created an easy way for users to access music, instead of adapting the technology to move forward the RIAA bemoaned that downloading was killing the music industry all the while ignoring the fact that for a decade they had been pouring garbage no one wanted to buy into overpriced packages. Now Mulshine is advocating the same type of stance for the media industry.

But where I think you are right is the Josh Marshall example. The future is a hybrid where traditional and new work side by side and at times even merge. Fortunately, I've met many traditional journalist in the last six months that have "seen the light".

So ultimately I think the future is very bright. It's just not going to have room for the Mulshines. But he seems to care more about whining than learning, so I'll continue to point to him a utter a sad laugh.

Anonymous said...

This old argument again.

"The next time you find a paper published without the use of AP or Reuters, let me know."

Actually, you're probably going to see than happen within the next couple of years. Newspapers are beginning to view expensive wire services as a luxury they can't afford, like the old Atlanta and D.C. bureaus, especially with the current hyper-local trend.

I don't think hyper-local is the way to go anymore. For smaller papers, the argument used to be that people only care about what goes on in their own neighborhoods, and if they're curious about the wider world they can read the AJC or the Times. With the bigger papers pulling back on circulation, that logic no longer applies, and the astonishing interest in the election shows that our readers are not the self-centered provincials we took them to be.

Anyway. Look, the bottom line is that good beat reporting requires experience and a full-time commitment. Bloggers rarely do it, but if they want to, that's great. However, I don't think the role of watchdog should be reserved for those who have the wealth and time to work 50 hours a week for free, or those who try to squeeze in a little punditry after picking up the kids from school.

We need professionals. It's the old saying, "You get what you pay for." People are about to find out what they get for free on the Internet, and I mean really free, not the last vestiges of a multibillion news infrastructure that's giving away its product. The answer is going to be, not much.

Whether it's blogs or dead trees or some combination of both, we need to come up with a model where people can actually make money doing something they love and something society desperately needs more of - journalism. If anyone figures it out, let me know.

Blake Aued

P.S. I don't know any journalists who hate new technology. Most of us love it, but some of us are still figuring how best to use it. And remember, for every cutting-edge reader on Twitter there are, believe it or not, hundreds who don't even own a computer.

griftdrift said...

I speak and he appears!

Blake I'm not sure where to begin.

First of all just because you may not use it in the future does not answer my question. How can you honestly use the criticism that bloggers crib from news articles when the exact same thing is done by newspaper's every day? And do you dare answer my question about transparency?

Second, you don't know any journalist who hates technology? Did you actually read Mulshine's piece? He actually reels in the years to the 70's when video cameras first came on the scene and poo-poos the revolution they could bring. He actually writes this as CNN is constantly running iReports from people with videocameras. This isn't being myopic, this is being blind.

And I agree that beat reporters are absolutely necessary. I believe I've said it repeatedly that those trained in the craft are essential. And there are people working on models where they can get paid. Those are the people would should listening to. Not the luddites like Mulshine.

And speaking of Ludditism (is that a word), I'm going to get a little rough with you here, Blake.

"People are about to find out what they get for free on the Internet, and I mean really free, not the last vestiges of a multibillion news infrastructure that's giving away its product. The answer is going to be, not much."

That is exactly the kind of arrogant bullshit statement that does not move the conversation forward. It pisses us off worse than rain on cats. And when both sides get pissed off nothing gets accomplished.

And worst of all it's not true. I could go on as I have before citing the many things of value the web has produced. But why should I, Blake? It's obvious you don't care to hear.

Anonymous said...

And here we go.

Hey, hyperlinks are great, and they are transparent. The difference is that newspapers pay AP thousands, in some cases millions, of dollars to use its material. In fact, AP is a collective owned by its members. And the members send their best stories to AP every day for use in other newspapers. It is a financial and legal contract. Blogs, on the other hand, do not seek permission or pay when they link to or otherwise use material from newspapers.

If it pisses you off that I said you get what you pay for, well, it pisses me off for you to so graciously allow that there is "a place" for me and the profession I love and believe is vital to democracy and all that other high-minded B.S.

Obviously, I like blogs. I write one and read them every day. There is, as you'd say, a place for them. But I can't rely on you, Flack, Erick, etc., for my news. Maybe blogs will become as comprehensive, consistent and reliable as newspapers. I hope they do. Until they do, or if they don't, we need newspapers.

Blake

griftdrift said...

So it comes down to money. Fine. Would you agree that we both rely on the work of others to generate our content with the difference being you pay directly and I do not?

And I piss you off because I actually have the temerity to say you are still relevant? Well, hell, if kindness gets me that reaction, I might as well become one of the true radicals and say screw you all, you get what you deserve.

But I don't. And what I really find puzzling is that you take my defense of my medium from a scurrilous attack from an individual in your profession and interpret it as an attack on your medium.

I don't want papers replaced. I want papers to survive. You are right, Blake. There are things you do better. It is the rare blog that can do actual beat reporting. Rarer still one that could do a full bore investigation. We don't want to replace you.

We don't want to own the vital table. We would just like a place at the table. Or if that is just too much can it at least be acknowledged we sometimes are in the same room as the table?

You get pissed off when we admit that you still matter yet when one of yours refuses to even acknowledge we're in the same atmosphere, we're supposed to smile, say okay and go on our way? Give me a break.

Exactly how are we supposed to act when someone says "if you want a car or a job, go to the Internet"?

I do want papers to survive. I want them to find a place in the new world. There is plenty of room for us all. We just have to find it together but continuing the myths that content found on the internet is useless does not help that journey.

And here is what I will not abide. This medium will not be a scapegoat for those who seem intent to remain in one place.

If you and yours choose self-immolation, me and mine will not shoulder the blame.

Not anyone said...

I just have a few points.

The next time you find a paper published without the use of AP or Reuters, let me know. What's even more dishonest with this argument is that a paper will use a staff writer to rewrite certain sections of an AP story. Now they do appropriately attribute AP as a source. But let me ask you an additional question. Which is more transparent: my linking directly to Jim's original content or a story followed by "AP contributed to this report" leaving the reader with no idea where the local writer's work begins and ends?"

I don't think that matters at all. Before I go on, I'm going to ask if maybe I've missed a previous argument against that practice


"That is exactly the kind of arrogant bullshit statement that does not move the conversation forward."

I think it may very well be the truth. There probably isn't anywhere else to take the conversation.

"Would you agree that we both rely on the work of others to generate our content with the difference being you pay directly and I do not?"

I think Blake adequately discussed this but that is a HUGE point. The terms of using the AP require large contracts. No pay, no use.

I teh <3 navel gazing so I'm happy to keep this going.

lazermike said...

OK, I'll hop in.

First of all, let me say at the outset that I agree with Grift that many in the traditional media have been either slow to embrace blogs or quick to criticize them for what they are not, whether real or imagined. Some of this may arise out of frustration or fear, or just that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see someone accomplish something with apparent ease that you've been working really hard on for years.

That said, too many new-media types, this blog included, have been too quick to take offense at any criticism of blogs and blogging. I understand that you're sick of hearing the same complaints over and over, but those comments come with the territory. I was a journalist before, and a lawyer now, and in both professions I get slapped with negative generalizations. I mean, Grift, you jumped all over Blake ("It's obvious you don't care to hear.") after what I thought was a polite, respectful comment. And this summer, when I made a comment (which of course everyone is welcome to disagree with) that all things being equal, a known source is more trustworthy than an anonymous one, I was roundly attacked for slamming all bloggers and failing to understand the new media and all that jazz.

The fact is, I think the disappearing newspaper is a huge crisis. Anyone who reads the AJC (anyone still read the AJC?) has seen an enormous drop-off in both the quality of the quantity of local coverage in recent years, and the near-total absence of coverage of national and international stories through an Atlanta prism. I recognize that a number of local blogs are filling that gap, and I admire them (and read them). But a lot of stuff simply is not getting covered, and much of what is covered is not getting out to the public at large. Decaturguy may do a great job covering Decatur, but only the AJC can put it on the front page for hundreds of thousands of people across the metro area when the story deserves it. I recognize that a network of blogs may be able to accomplish the same thing, but not always. And when I started at the AJC, they had a "Southern Desk," with experienced reporters based around the region in Miami, New Orleans, North Carolina, Jackson, etc., and they were given the time to write long enterprise stories of general interest from their areas. They're gone now, and frankly, it won't be replaced by any number of local blogs. If those stories aren't in the New York Times, they probably don't appear anywhere.

When I worked at school newspapers, there were people who wanted to sign up we derisively called "columnists." These were the people who didn't want to do any of the hard work of reporting -- attending faculty or budget meetings, going through campus police reports, following the wrestling team, or getting to know a beat. They wanted to review the albums they liked, or write their opinions about the NFL playoffs, or comment on campus life in general. Frankly, we didn't have much use for them, because we needed people willing to treat the newspaper like a real job, in which you sometimes have to do things that require effort and that maybe you don't feel like doing. Because the fact is, we needed someone at every game, at every meeting, at every campus event, and we need people to actually look for and write about news. And we needed to fill up the paper every day.

My worry is that the mass of the blogosphere -- with, as you note, many, many exceptions -- are columnists. Some are very good ones. But in my experience, the ratio of ones who do reporting versus commentary isn't good. And the ones who report generally only have to report on what they want to report. If no one is interested in the Henry County school board or the Cherokee County Water Authority, it doesn't get covered. Or the blogger who has taken it on herself to do so just doesn't want to go that day. (How many blogs have you read where the author posts about how he is too busy or tired or sick to post for a while?) When I was a police writer at the AJC, we covered every homicide and every fatal wreck because it was the rule. Same with every meeting of this board or that council or whatever. There's something to be said for relying on someone with a responsibility versus just an interest, no matter how strong.

Maybe I'm just being bitter. I spent four years of school learning to be a reporter, plus years at dinkyshit weeklies and 18 months as a part-timer before I got hired to the lowest possible full-time metro reporting job at the AJC, night police reporter. I mean, it's always tough when someone who believes he's paid some dues reads something that seems to devalue his experience (like how in law school, people who thought grades were meaningless were usually people who didn't get good ones). If that's the reason I feel this way, I apologize.

Regardless, I'm not here to defend Mulshine. But I do believe that we've already lost quite a lot with the decline of the newspaper, and the sort of gleeful grave-dancing you see at places like dailykos scares me. I agree with Blake that if local papers disappear, we're not going to be happy with what's left.

P.S. One thought on the AP argument: I think it's silly. There simply is no similarity between a blog link and a wire story in the newspaper. Newspapers subscribe to the AP because it is inefficient for every news organization to cover everything independently; the newspapers also contribute their own articles to the wire service. Everybody's reporting goes into a pool that others can draw from. Linking to a story doesn't put anything back into the pot.

griftdrift said...

" I mean, Grift, you jumped all over Blake ("It's obvious you don't care to hear.")"

Blake and I have had this discussion before.

The disappearing newspaper is a crisis. I've made that argument many times. Includingly obliquely in this thread. What I object to is this festering sore that the new media is responsible. It's an insult to your readers. It is insult to the good work that is done in new media. And it's an insult to yourself because it is dishonest. You and Blake make my arguments for me. Is it really new media's fault that the AJC is in decline? When as you point out they have been eviscerating their own news coverage for years?

And you're right. I don't want to cover every wreck and every homicide. Did it ever occur to you that maybe newsreaders don't either? You know what the lead on Channel 46 was the other night? Another tragic death of a teen in Cherokee County. Was there a public safety issue here? No. Some greater good to be accomplished? No. All there was was the vampiric need to put tragedy on a camera.

But that's probably a bad analogy. I've heard many times what the newpaper people think of the TV people.

But I do hope things like the Henry County Water Board are covered. I hope that a way is found so beat reporting survives. Actually I think it will and here is where the fundamental difference lies.

In one year I've gone from attending a forum where a reporter stated flatly they would never use anything on a blog to a room full of reporters nodding their heads at the idea of including blogs on the same page as their straight stories.

I recognize the progress that is being made in traditional media and I encourage and I applaud.

But the street is rarely two way if ever.

The problem is too often there are people on the other side who do not recognize that our medium has also progressed. People like Mulshine and Blake, as long as he keeps using phrases like "you get what you pay for", either see new media as at best quaint avenues for the technogeek to at worst sewers leading to snopes.com.

It's not that we don't want to be criticized. Hell, the harshest criticism of blogs around is from other blogs. Did we circles the wagons around Andre Walker? The fallacy is we don't want criticism. The truth is we want it to be fair. As long as it is continually wrapped in myths and misconceptions then your goddamned right we are going to bristle.

The only way all of this gets solved is to continue the conversation. Hell, I think there's a lot of good stuff in this very discussion. But until we get past some of this nonsense nothing will be accomplished.

P.S. I'm rightly tired of this AP conversation. No one seems to understand the context was in response to the frequent criticism that blogs only copy and paste other people's work. Maybe this will help. Link

And Mike if you think links are valueless then no, you don't undestand the new media jazz.

Anonymous said...

Lazermike articulated my thoughts better than I did.

One last thought: blogs like this one (unique, well-written, owner-operated) are a welcome addition. Drifting Through The Grift is not a threat to daily newspapers any more than Creative Loafing. It's just a different genre. And I am emphatically not a person who doesn't trust or looks down on bloggers. I admire people who do good work regardless of the medium.

Aggregators, though, are helping to kill traditional media. When the business model is to steal content or "hire" writers who are willing work for free, how can more scrupulous publications compete? That's what I meant by "you get what you pay for."

And I would agree with your point about over-emphasizing crime and wrecks, except that those are always among our most-read articles, so apparently people want it.

Blake

Anonymous said...

P.S.

One last thing. I should point out at the ABH we're all about some new media. Blogs, video, podcasts. We've been doing it for years. And sometimes it seems like more people read my blog than my articles.

Blake

Amber Rhea said...

I am staying out of this discussion for the most part, but I just wanted to mention one thing wrt lazermike's comment:

And this summer, when I made a comment (which of course everyone is welcome to disagree with) that all things being equal, a known source is more trustworthy than an anonymous one, I was roundly attacked for slamming all bloggers and failing to understand the new media and all that jazz.

I think the point of contention w/ that conversation was not whether or not a known source is considered more trustworthy, but what the definitions are of "known source" and "anonymous." Many people were arguing that using one's full legal name is what confers a special status of "known source" onto a writer. What GriftDrift and several other bloggers were pointing out was that that's a *major* over-simplification, reductive, and unrealistic.

Just look at what happened w/ Andre Walker, where Ken Edelstein and other traditional media proponents had a fit about "credibility of blogs" - Andre used his full legal name, and guess what, he fucked up big time! People know who the person behind the name "GriftDrift" is. He has been writing for several years and engaging in conversations w/ people, he has made his views known... really anyone with a basic bullshit detector can read someone's writings if they have enough of a digital paper trail (to coin a somewhat contradictory phrase) and make up their minds as to whether this person is credible. People have been using pen name for years/decades/centuries, before blogs or the internet were even thought of. They often had very valid, dire reasons for doing so (e.g. fear of political persecution) or just wanted a name that was more unique or just different. In all cases what mattered was the content and substance of their writing, not whether the name attached to it was their full legal name or not.

lazermike said...

Grift, I never said blogs were responsible for the downfall of the newspaper. I don't believe that at all. Free on-line content -- from craigslist to the papers themselves -- is partly to blame, but I don't think that's a bad thing, it's just a consequence. I mean, clearly online classifieds have killed a major revenue source for newspapers, but that's no reason not to have them. Even a big commie like me believes in the free market that much.

And to the point about homicides and wrecks: It has nothing to do with the "bleeds and leads" issue with TV coverage. (People used to always tell me that I was covering a crime "to sell papers." In fact, with the sole exception of New York and maybe Boston, the day's news has almost nothing to do with sales. The best way to boost sales of an edition is to have an election or to have the local team win the Super Bowl -- nothing we can do about it.) Most of the crimes ended up as news briefs deep in the local section. But we did it because we were the paper of record, and we believed that when something happened, it should be in the paper. I agree with that. And besides, you can't always tell what's newsworthy until you do a little reporting. One of my earliest stories began as a little news brief about a guy shot in his car at a notorious drug corner in Vine City. It took some work to uncover the Little B story -- one that undeniably had broader social implications.

I like links, by the way. I just don't think it's reporting.

Not anyone said...

I'll weigh in on credibility of anonymous sources vs. named sources (briefly).

It may come down to the fact a number of newspapers have very strict rules about quoting anonymous sources, and many strive to use the name of those who are quoted (unless of course, sensitive material is being released obviously). So it may be a "professional bias" of sorts.

Amber Rhea said...

It may come down to the fact a number of newspapers have very strict rules about quoting anonymous sources, and many strive to use the name of those who are quoted (unless of course, sensitive material is being released obviously). So it may be a "professional bias" of sorts.

(Breaking my rule about staying out... just one more thing!)

There are two separate issues here which are often conflated. I completely understand why newspapers strive to use the names of those who are being quoted - that totally makes sense. It's responsible and the right thing to do. (There are always exceptions of course, but you already mentioned that, so I don't feel the need to go off on a tangent about it - hopefully no one latches on and says I'm not considering that.) You need to know who said what, because who they are representing, affiliated with, etc. might color what they say, or they might have inside info most people don't have, or a million other reasons why it's just good practice.

That is a completely different thing that someone writing a blog or any type of publication, regularly, for years, under the same pseudonym. There is nothing that's "anonymous" about that. It isn't just a random person. It is very frustrating the way these two totally separate things get lumped in together, and I think it prevents a lot of progress from being made in these conversations.

Not anyone said...

I completely see where you are coming from and I'll readily admit to maybe not being fully abreast of the terms of debate about this issue (at least from the bloggers' perspective).

Perhaps I just can't articulate what it is about anonymity for the sake of anonymity (and even purposeful anonymity) and the MSM's view on New Media. It's probably just one more thing to hate about blogs (and a thing to hate for the sake of having a thing to hate).

lazermike said...

I'm in the middle of an excellent book that some of you may have read: "The Race Beat," by AJC managing editor Hank Klibinoff. It's about how newspapers and magazines -- both southern and national, segregationist and integrationist, black and white -- shaped the civil rights movement. As with Cronkite and Vietnam, it appears that much of the newspapers' authority came from their universality and at least professed objectivity.

That's something I'm worried about disappearing. Most of what I read online that does not come from mainstream media -- whether blogs or Slate or Salon and their ilk -- are happy to locate themselves somewhere on the political spectrum and thus have mostly niche appeal, even when that niche is fairly large. Even the ones that I presume apply the highest journalistic standards to their reporting still unabashedly assign and approach stories from a particular perspective: Salon has no interest, for example, in running an article about something that puts Bush in a good light (assuming such a thing exists). That's fine, but it limits its ability to speak with authority on a topic and to engage a discussion among diverse groups.

Every day there's a letter to the AJC accusing it of bias because of this or that, but I believe most people in the city recognize that as a whole its goal is to be objective in its news coverage, as with other similar papers. We are losing those objective sources of information and reporting every day with every beat that isn't covered because of staff cutbacks and every assignment that goes to a green reporter because the journalists with experience and institutional knowledge took early retirement. Grift, I know from your comments here and previously that you agree that this is a bad thing. The thing is, I don't really see how, whether now or in the foreseeable future, new media will be able to replace it. Maybe that's just pessimistic or curmugeonly, or maybe it's just one of those inevitable changes, but either way it makes me sad.

Amber Rhea said...

I think objectivity is a nice goal but I think it's often been something for traditional media to hide behind. Not the objectivity itself, I mean, but the *claim* of objectivity. It seems to me that much of what we typically think of as "objective" is in fact not, and I for one welcome more transparency in writers mentioning their own views.

There are some things you obviously can and must be objective on - empirical facts. E.g., Barack Obama is the president elect. Many people are excited about his presidency and many are wary. But I think for *analysis* to occur, you have to go beyond simply stating facts.

Overall, I think the way we've conceived of "objectivity" in American news media is problematic at best and dishonest at worst, and that we shouldn't stick with the status quo just because that's how it's always been done, but challenge the status quo. When more people have the tools to speak their truths, the result, in my view, can be only a positive one.

Sarah J, a blogger who I read often wrote about this a while ago in an excellent post called "Some thoughts on objectivity."

Other good posts on this subject I recommend checking out:

"The myth of objectivity" by Suzie at Echidne of the Snakes, a former MSM journalist.

"Kink.com and Porn Hysteria: The Lie of Unbiased Reporting" by Violet Blue in the San Francisco Chronicle.

DaleC said...

"hit the black on the target" ???

What kind of racist are you ?? haha

Not anyone said...

No where else to put this but you should uninstall Yahoo IM and use meebo in stead.

www.meebo.com