EppsNet Archive: Journalism

Hiding the Facts from Readers Is the Opposite of a Journalist’s Job

 

From the National Review: As you may have heard [I actually didn’t hear, for reasons that will soon become clear], on Friday night there was a mass shooting in Austin, Texas, in the Sixth Street entertainment district. Fourteen people were shot; as of this writing, one has died. This apparently wasn’t one of those loser-shoots-up-his-school mass shootings, but one of the more common shootings involving “some kind of disturbance between two parties,” as the police put it. So the shooter didn’t kill himself or wait around for the police and force them into shooting him. He fled, and the police, naturally, put out a description of him. The Austin American-Statesman, the local daily, refused to publish that description. Instead, it put this editor’s note at the end of its report: Editor’s note: Police have only released a vague description of the suspected shooter as of Saturday morning. The American-Statesman is… Read more →

The Knowledge of What They Really Are

 

Let’s express this as clearly as it can be expressed. Any journalist who treats unverified stories from the CIA or other government agencies as true, without needing any evidence or applying any skepticism, is worthless. Actually, they are worse than worthless: they are toxic influences who deserve pure contempt. Every journalist knows that governments lie constantly and that it is a betrayal of their profession to serve as mindless mouthpieces for these security agencies: that is why they will vehemently deny they do this if you confront them with this accusation. They know it is a shameful thing to do. . . . Even when they learn that they deceived millions of people by uncritically repeating a story that the CIA told them was true, they will — on the very same day that they learn they did this — do exactly the same thing, this time with a one-paragraph… Read more →

An Underwhelming Correction

 

Here’s a pretty underwhelming correction: ?"Trump did not tell the investigator to “find the fraud” or say she would be “a national hero” if she did so."https://t.co/PnQm0aJyOu pic.twitter.com/GEzAJmhWDY — Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) March 15, 2021 As a journalist, either put a goddamn name on the source so we can verify the information, or verify it yourself before publishing, not two months later, after everyone’s already assimilated the original bullshit as truth. Now a question: Why would anyone believe what they read or hear in the media anymore when “news” is attributed to anonymous “sources” and published without knowing, or apparently caring, whether or not it’s true? Read more →

A Positive Human Future?

 

If you were a farmer in Nebraska 100 years ago when the Titanic went down, you wouldn’t have known about that for about six months. Today we’re bombarded with news, almost all of which is bad, and yet people wonder about the epidemic of depression and anxiety. What is journalism’s vision of a positive human future? Where are the people who are being praised for bringing about a positive human future? Where is the news about virtue and heroism in the world? Read more →

The New York Times vs. Trump

 

Slate has published a transcript of what it calls the New York Times “crisis town-hall meeting.” The transcript shows that Times executive editor Dean Baquet seems to fault readers for their failure to understand the Times and its duties in the era of Trump. “They sometimes want us to pretend that he was not elected president, but he was elected president,” Baquet said. “And our job is to figure out why, and how, and to hold the administration to account. If you’re independent, that’s what you do.” This was followed by 75 minutes of Q&A with staffers in which, by my count, every question except one could be summarized as “Why can’t we call Donald Trump a racist more often?” In terms of figuring out why and how Trump was elected, I feel sure that “Can you believe what stupid racists Republican voters are?” moves us further from rather than… Read more →

BuzzFeed Journalists Walked Off the Job — What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind!

 

BuzzFeed journalists just walked off the job in 4 cities. Here’s why. Vox Seriously though, in the absence of BuzzFeed “journalists,” where can I find a quiz to learn if my cat is going to kill me?! Read more →

Sources Say . . .

 

We can never allow our sources to make allegations, contentious statements or vituperative attacks behind a cloak of anonymity. It weakens our credibility and gives the sources an opportunity to benefit at our expense. It is fundamentally unfair to the other party and thus biased. . . . If a source wants to make a vituperative attack on an individual, organisation, company or country he or she must speak on the record. — Reuters Handbook of Journalism Read more →

Thomas Jefferson: Jim Acosta vs. Ernie Pyle

 

My fellow Americans – I see that journalists are now positioning themselves as putting their lives on the line for America. Some poor fool at CNN was afraid of being murdered when he showed up at a Trump rally and people chanted “CNN sucks!” He’s not exactly Ernie Pyle, is he? A CNN reporter at a Trump rally is like a guy wearing a Yankees jersey to a Red Sox game. “You suck” doesn’t mean “I want to murder you.” I have never heard anyone advocating violence against journalists except other journalists. It’s all they talk about. There’s going to be violence against journalists! Our lives are in jeopardy! In the event of violence against journalists, no one will happier than journalists, because they will blame it on President Trump. Meanwhile, in a journalistic spirit of peace and rapprochement, the New York Times has just added a woman to its… Read more →

Every Male Journalist Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes

 

Either for a sex-related termination or for botching another “bombshell” Trump story . . . Read more →

A Fake News Taxonomy: 7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation

 

First Draft makes an interesting effort to classify different types of misinformation (the inadvertent sharing of false information) and disinformation (the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false), based on the type of content, the motivations of those who create the content and the ways that content is disseminated Here are the categories they came up with, in descending order of intent to deceive: Fabricated Content: New content that is 100% false Manipulated Content: Genuine information or imagery is manipulated Imposter Content: Impersonation of genuine sources False Context: Genuine content is shared with false contextual information Misleading Content: Misleading use of information to frame an issue/individual False Connection: Headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content Satire or Parody: No intention to cause harm but potential to fool We used to have the Five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. Now we have the Eight P’s:… Read more →

Things to Do in Cincinnati When You’re Bored

 

Cops: Teens beat man because ‘they were just bored’ — NBCNews.com Strange piece of “journalism” from NBC News . . . basically just a rewrite of a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer in which a 45-year-old man named Pat Mahaney received a senseless, brutal beating from six boys, ages 13 and 14: Mahaney was taken to Mercy Mount Airy Hospital, where he was treated for four days before being released Tuesday. Police said doctors had to insert a tube down his throat to remove all of the blood from his stomach. A tube remained in his right nostril as blood continued to seep out of his head, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, and his left eye is heavily blackened. Police said the teens admitted that Mahaney had done nothing to provoke being kicked and punched repeatedly in the face while he lay helpless on the ground. One of the boys allegedly… Read more →

The Star of the Phillipines

 

Via Steven Landsburg | The Big Questions: One year ago today, somewhere in the Phillipines, a reporter checked his web logs and wondered where all the new readers were coming from. Today we celebrate the first anniversary of one of the most unfortunately worded headlines in the history of journalism. Read more →