Archive for the ‘journalism’ tag
Nothing I’d never heard and considered at least a little bit before, but this little piece about stories was a nice reminder.
The preponderance of narrative approaches lauded by the Pulitzer committee last week in the work of The Boston Globe, The Center for Public Integrity, and The Gazette, among others, demonstrates that our craving and connection to story is so much more than a haphazard preference.
Your brain on story is different than your brain when it is receiving any other form of information, including straight facts and data. There are proven intersections between neuroscience, biology, and story we cannot ignore. The threads of stories that we read, hear, watch, and click on affect us intrinsically. And tempt us as well.
It also reminded me of this old post where Tyler Cowen talks about stories making us dumber.
Jay Rosen asked himself some questions (over a year ago) about an idea he’s trying to spread about the American journalistic style:
In pro journalism, American style, the View from Nowhere is a bid for trust that advertises the viewlessness of the news producer. Frequently it places the journalist between polarized extremes, and calls that neither-nor position “impartial.”
The initial idea is good, but the fleshing-out is worth sticking around for.
(via Chairman Gruber)
It’s not the nature of the errors that so amazing, it’s their sheer number. I thought we were supposed to value print for soberness and fact checking the internet doesn’t provide:
An appraisal on Saturday about Walter Cronkite’s career included a number of errors. In some copies, it misstated the date that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and referred incorrectly to Mr. Cronkite’s coverage of D-Day. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, not April 30. Mr. Cronkite covered the D-Day landing from a warplane; he did not storm the beaches. In addition, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, not July 26. “The CBS Evening News” overtook “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” on NBC in the ratings during the 1967-68 television season, not after Chet Huntley retired in 1970. A communications satellite used to relay correspondents’ reports from around the world was Telstar, not Telestar. Howard K. Smith was not one of the CBS correspondents Mr. Cronkite would turn to for reports from the field after he became anchor of “The CBS Evening News” in 1962; he left CBS before Mr. Cronkite was the anchor. Because of an editing error, the appraisal also misstated the name of the news agency for which Mr. Cronkite was Moscow bureau chief after World War II. At that time it was United Press, not United Press International.
Though much of this piece — a lead essay in a Cato discussion — is stuff we’ve heard Clay Shirkey say before, this analogy struck me:
Because journalism has always been subsidized, and because the public can increasingly get involved in activities too complex for loose groups to take on before the current era, journalism is seeping into the population at large, with the models of subsidy being altered to fit that shift. The transition here is like the spread of the ability to drive, from paid chauffeurs to the whole population. We still pay people to drive, from buses to race cars, and there are more paid drivers today than there were in the days of the chauffeur. Paid drivers are, however, no longer the majority of all drivers.
An interesting fact: The LA Times’s online advertising revenue is now sufficient to fund its entire editorial operation — both print and online.
It’s also worth noting, as Mr. Jarvis does, that the Times newsroom is nearly half the size of its former self.
David Brooks’s Sidney Awards — for the best long-form magazine journalism — are one of the reasons I started this site last year. The 2008 results are solid, if a little too focused for my liking.
I’d buy this:
The newspapers that survive will probably do so with some kind of hybrid content: analysis, interpretation and investigative reporting in a print product that appears less than daily, combined with constant updating and reader interaction on the Web.
But the time for launching this strategy is growing short if it has not already passed.
And I think this is undeniable:
I still believe that a newspaper’s most important product, the product least vulnerable to substitution, is community influence. It gains this influence by being the trusted source for locally produced news, analysis and investigative reporting about public affairs. This influence makes it more attractive to advertisers.
Altogether, a worthy read.
Dexter Filkens, who covered Iraq from 2003 to 2006, has a rather good piece about its impact on him in this week’s New York Times Magazine.
For me, the war sort of flattened things out, flattened things out here and flattened them out there too. Toward the end, when I was still there, so many bombs had gone off so many times that they no longer shocked or even roused; the people screamed in silence and in slow motion. And then I got back to the world, and the weddings and the picnics were the same as everything had been in Iraq, silent and slow and heavy and dead.
For some reason neglecting to mention recent rumors about a CNN-CBS pairing, Troy Patterson says that CBS’s news products are so bad they should just take pity and pull them off the air. His opening barb:
To judge by the ads, the most loyal adherents to CBS’ quasi-journalistic programming are impotent and incontinent. It so happens that they share these afflictions with the network’s actual news division.
I found this Europe.view column completely charming. Here’s how to get the story a big multi-nation summits:
Hanging about in hotel bars late at night is where you get the real story. Advisers to important people tend to be more interesting than the bigshots themselves (particularly if you can get them to show off a bit about what they know).
Find the hotels where the key delegations are staying and head there to make new contacts. The best way is to be audacious: claim acquaintance on the lines of “I saw you at the last NATO summit. Don’t you work for the secretary-general?”
This sort of chat-up line is unlikely to offend anyone, especially when followed by an offer of a drink. Follow up with “I don’t understand—but I bet you do—why….”
Don’t express your own opinions on hot topics until you have a rough idea of what your new friend thinks. Express amazement and gratitude at even the most trivial insight in the hope of getting something better. If stuck with a bore or a nonentity, grasp your phone and pretend to take a non-existent call.