the NYT offers up an analysis of its pre-war coverage. "But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge."
posted by raaka
on May 26, 2004 -
I'm done with The Onion.
I trusted The Onion and read their comedy for free for years
-- but after hundreds of issues of unbelievable comedy The Onion is now a "pay site" that charges $30 a year
for earlier access to each week's issue, plus awesome-sounding online news radio and special election coverage! I'm mad! Oh yeah!!!
posted by josh
on May 19, 2004 -
Yackity yackity, choo CHOO!, Yackity yackity.....BLOGS!
Self proclaimed Blogoholic George Packer, at Mother Jones, shits on blogs everywhere, joins bemused chorus - FOX
, journalism grad students
, and so on - blathering on blogs. What are they? What do they mean? Quoth Packer : "Blog prose is written in headline form to imitate informal speech, with short emphatic sentences and frequent use of boldface and italics. The entries, sometimes updated hourly, are little spasms of assertion, usually too brief......All of this meta-comment by very bright young men who never leave their rooms is the latest, somewhat debased, manifestation of the old art of political pamphleteering.....if blogs are "a new way of doing politics," there is also something peculiarly stale and tired about them — not the form, but the content......So far this year, bloggers have been remarkably unadept at predicting events.... Above all, they didn't grasp the intensity of feeling among Democratic primary voters — the resentments still glowing hot from Florida 2000, the overwhelming interest in economic and domestic issues, the personal antipathy toward Bush, the resurgence of activism, the longing for a win. The blogosphere was often caught surprised by these passions and the electoral turns they caused."
Packer even gets paid for this, plus starring appearances on snooty public radio talk shows!
[ Kevin Drum makes an appearance ].....I can excrete lightly digested opinions with the best of them. Where do I apply ?
posted by troutfishing
on May 13, 2004 -
...Tracing how the photos [of Abu Ghraib prison] became such hot public property reveals something striking, not only about the torture scandal, but about the coalition itself. This is a story, not of investigative journalism or antiwar activists exposing imperialist America to the world, but rather of America exposing its own uncertainty for all to see. The photos appear to have come from within US military or political circles; they were effectively volunteered for public consumption by elements within the military or higher up in the Pentagon, seemingly as part of a process of internal unravelling and deep disagreement over aspects of the war. In a sense, the publication of these photos to international outrage can be seen as the externalisation of America's own self-doubt about Iraq, and about its own mission in the world...
posted by Postroad
on May 13, 2004 -
writes a thoughtful piece about how utterly corrupt the press is and adds to the long running mefi discussion about why "framing" works for conservatives: "But even beyond the bias is the way this framing really corrupts and trivializes the national debate, so that we find ourselves constantly arguing about the "morality" or "character" of politicians, an issue that is by nature a product of spin and propagandizing. This has never been more clear than in the current election, when the "character" of a pampered fraternity party boy who couldn't be bothered to serve out his term in the National Guard and who went on to fail miserably at every business venture he touched is successfully depicted as that of a sincere and patriotic regular guy, while that of a three-time Purple Heart winner who voluntarily left Yale to serve in Vietnam, and whose ensuing three decades of public service have been a model of principle and consistency, is somehow depicted as belonging to a spineless elitist."
posted by McBain
on May 8, 2004 -
Reflections On Our Media of Communication.
Traditional news media vs. the internet. Are people really abandoning TV, paper, and radio news? Does the 'net really offer the best in free-press? The ever lovable Fred thinks so, and he's not afraid to tell you why.
posted by eas98
on Apr 22, 2004 -
Swallow This, Deep Throat
Why overuse of "unnamed sources" is killing decent journalism.
“They called me when I was ombudsman and said, ‘Look, you’ve got all these anonymous sources in here — why shouldn’t I assume that you made it up?’ And when I would speak to people like Woodward and others at the Post and say ‘This is a serious problem for us,’ they say ‘Oh you know people know they can trust me.’ Well, people don’t trust them.”
posted by dnash
on Apr 22, 2004 -
State of the Media Report 2004
, which seeks to improve news coverage in a more neutral fashion than those who cry bias from the left and right. The group offers advice for average citizens
The report focuses mainly on US media and identifies eight trends.
The content analyses finds that newspapers
have more lifestyle news than in the past, but less government and foreign affairs, even with wars abroad. More front page articles about issues, less on crime and disasters. Network news
was heavy on foreign affairs, government, accidents, disaster, crime and health care. The cable networks
had a lot of politics and Iraq stuff, but also a lot more celebrity/entertainment/lifestyle stuff than the big four. Local TV news
treats crime as topic A.
audience is aging, and total pages are declining, but some, like The Economist and the New Yorker, have found success in niches. Internet journalism
is "still largely material from old media rather than something original." And it's still text-y. But it is clearly the future of journalism.
But don't pronounce the dinosaurs dead yet. Radio once ruled, and in a way it still does: 94 percent still tune in to radio news
at least once a week.
posted by Slagman
on Apr 1, 2004 -
How is it legal to present a commercial as real news, without any indication that it is a commercial? And when did it become legal to use government money (i.e. *my taxes*) to push partisan issues, as well as try to influence election politics?
posted by rich
on Mar 18, 2004 -
"The problem with this book
is not that Jayson Blair told lies at the Times, but that his lies continue in this book. The book is a collection of patently ridiculous made-up fakery, with sexual escapades and other stuff that smacks of total fabrication. They are as absurd as the bogus positive reviews that Jayson slapped on a couple of days ago," an Amazon reviewer writes. After a grotesque publicity tour,
with fawning interviews by Katie, Larry
l and Chris,
war breaks out among average readers. Meanwhile, a new plagiarism
charge, about the book itself.
posted by Slagman
on Mar 12, 2004 -
How the Left views the Right,
as viewed by the Southern Baptist Press. “I don't get it,” said the movie critic, “the people aren't listening to us... don't all those unwashed cretins out there in flyover country understand that we're the ones who tell them what they can watch?”
posted by 4easypayments
on Mar 9, 2004 -
a photo journalist blogs on the conditions in Haiti. No photos yet.
The place is awash with drug money, probably on both sides - Philippe is the former police chief of a town where i've heard reports of people walking down the streets with suitcases full of money, probably not sourced from shaking down shoe cleaners. The chimeres that searched us on the way down from Saint Marc a few days ago were clearly high on some upper, i'd guess coke, amphetamines or both, or maybe crack.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht
on Feb 27, 2004 -
longtime editor of the Weekly World News
, creator of Ed Anger, Bat Boy and other semi-real totems of society's fuzzy underbelly, is dead at 56.
The fact that I had to find this out in The Economist
, of all places, makes me madder than -- than -- than George S. Patton at a Peace Rally.
posted by chicobangs
on Feb 20, 2004 -
"I can make your life very difficult..."
In January, journalists posing as regular citizens attempted to review documents under Florida's open access laws. 43% of all requests were denied, and in some cases volunteers were lied to, harassed or even threatened by government officials.
posted by Irontom
on Feb 9, 2004 -
Punk the National Review - a potentially-petty exercise in journalistic credibility.
The National Review
has recently engaged in printing anonymous e-mails from readers who "used to know" the Democratic candidates and just happen to have damaging stories about them. Blogger Ted Barlow is offering a $10 Amazon gift certificate to anyone who can get their anonymous story published. "If you possess an email address and an eye-opening story, you've passed the rigorous fact-checking that has made National Review
and the Penthouse
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Feb 3, 2004 -
It has been said that reality is all about perspective -- a camera is a pinhole view of the world that frequently filters out much of the story. With that in mind, check out this video of the familiar "I have a scream" speech by Dean
. I'm no Dean supporter, but from down in the trenches it doesn't look nearly as bad as it played on TV. Obviously the video you've seen on the news has the best part and the audience noise turned down, but from this vantage point, the speech almost seems appropriate for the crowd and the moment (but was still a lapse in judgement to forget cameras were rolling). I hope this isn't too subtle of a point -- forget all the politics involved -- this is a fascinating look at a familiar scene that was looped for the past week, but from an entirely different perspective and a different story emerges. [via Vidiot
posted by mathowie
on Jan 30, 2004 -
Trusting The Redcoats:
How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service
) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian
. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 14, 2004 -
"You can't copyright anything on the Internet" Retrocrush posted an article written by thier own, to point out the "Worst Sex Scenes Ever" in the movies. Less than 30days later, the british tabloid "The Daily Star" printed an article that seems to have come directly from the site, attributing the source to a (seemingly fictitous) american magazine called "Film". Not only did the Star's news editor make the above quote, but the story was picked up by a wire service, and has seen print in several other online and print publications... Obviously it's not Fair Use. What would happen if reporters came here looking for ideas?
posted by niteHawk
on Jan 6, 2004 -
"The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere "stick" in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis."
From an interview
with Nikolai Tesla in 1937 about the now near future...
posted by Aleph Yin
on Nov 29, 2003 -
Bush in Baghdad, Behind the Scenes.
Drudge has posted Washington Post reporter Mike Allen's raw notes from the 2-day secret whirlwind trip to Iraq. It reads like a script from "The West Wing." (The stripped-down finished article appears
in Friday's Post.
) Meanwhile, some in the journalism field are pissed,
says Howard Kurtz. Says one: "Reporters are in the business of telling the truth. They can't decide it's okay to lie sometimes because it serves a larger truth or good cause."
posted by PrinceValium
on Nov 27, 2003 -
is a fantastic, prize-winning author. His book Newjack
is, to quote Jon Krakauer, "a compelling, compassionate look at a terribly important, poorly understood aspect of American society." In it, he works undercover as a guard at Sing Sing. You can read the truncated New Yorker version
on the site. Additionally, there are many other articles
, reviews and interviews
, and a pretty interesting group of e-mails
from "officers, their families, and others affected by prison." And, just to name-drop once more, Sebastian Junger says: "Ted Conover is a first-rate reporter and more daring and imaginative than the rest of us combined." Check him out!
posted by adrober
on Oct 25, 2003 -
The Subpoenas are Coming!
The FBI, in an attempt to prosecute Adrian Lamo (discussed here
) is sending letters to journalists telling them to secretly prepare to turn over their notes, e-mails and sources to the bureau. And by secretly, they mean don't tell your colleagues, editors or lawyers, or risk facing obstruction of justice charges. (Via dailyrotten
posted by Officeslacker
on Sep 30, 2003 -
is the Indian journalism Web site that published video of bribe-taking on the Net, launching a Watergate-like corruption
scandal at the highest levels of government. Since breaking the story, however, "Tehelka’s staff has gone from 120 people to three; its office has been vacated; its staffers arrested and harassed; and its debts have spiraled." But the site perserveres. And Malaysiakini
seems to be following in its footsteps. As Doc Searles says, it's "the duct tape of journalism
posted by hairyeyeball
on Sep 24, 2003 -
U.S. Army Used Media Cover in Iraq for Own Ends
which sounds like a big old bowl of yellow journalism but isn't really, at least I don't think so. It was more to refute the Iraqi Minister of Lies talking about the whooping the Iraqi war machine was delivering to the coalition forces.
The main issue that the reporters had was that they were only getting the one side of the story and not the Iraqi perspective.
But it raises some questions about the supposed objectivity of the media. Is this a proper use of them? To help achieve military goals? Or to try to avoid more unnecessary deaths?
posted by fenriq
on Sep 8, 2003 -
Are bloggers the heir apparent of the independent weekly?
Welch: For all the history made by newspapers between 1960 and 2000, the profession was also busy contracting, standardizing, and homogenizing. Most cities now have their monopolist daily, their alt weekly or two, their business journal. Journalism is done a certain way, by a certain kind of people. Bloggers are basically oblivious to such traditions, so reading the best of them is like receiving a bracing slap in the face. It's a reminder that America is far more diverse and iconoclastic than its newsrooms.
posted by skallas
on Sep 6, 2003 -