Essentially the story of a journalist hung out to dry by their publisher. Shameful behaviour altogether.
Essentially the story of a journalist hung out to dry by their publisher. Shameful behaviour altogether.
We could all benefit from learning more about Marion Stokes, so I’m looking forward to both the upcoming documentary and the Internet Archive’s digitisation project for her tapes.
Some interesting tips, here.
‘Climate change’ is now ‘climate crisis’, to more accurately reflect the reality of the situation. This is exactly the kind of thing that gets my attention, as a subeditor.
Whatever one can say about the politics of Sky News’ output, this is an invaluable look into the production process of TV news. (No idea if this video will last beyond the end of the live stream at five this evening.)
This is less about that Childish Gambino video in and of itself and more an apologia for that facile kind of ‘fit this thing I don’t quite understand into the immutable category framework already established for myself’ as a placeholder for more rigorous media and cultural literacy/analysis (cf Dan Olson’s video on ‘Annihilation and Decoding Metaphor’). It’s ironic that the article is almost entirely uncritical of Fandom with a capital F’s blindness to context beyond its own bubbles. And especially grating when it slaps down such straw-man dingers like “the impartiality of reviewers was of dubious provenance anyway”.
“Media literacy is imagined to be empowering, enabling individuals to have agency and giving them the tools to help create a democratic society. But fundamentally, it is a form of critical thinking that asks people to doubt what they see. And that makes me nervous.” I’m not sure I draw the same conclusion; healthy cynicism doesn’t mean doubting everything one sees. But media literacy, or critical thinking in general, should never be confined to the absolute binary of ‘true’ or ‘false’. Context is key, as are layers of meaning, particularly as propaganda gets more savvy and sophisticated.
It’s weird; when I think about blogging today, it’s much more as an underground phenomenon compared to where it was in the middle of last decade.
The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that Facebook is a destructive, eroding force for banal evil in the world. The negatives outweigh the positives to an alarming degree.
There was more to the story of Snopes losing control of its domain, as Wired reports.
“More than outright lies, RT deals in moral equivalency. Its defenders don’t deny bias; they deny the possibility of objectivity. They say western media is equally biased. They liken RT to state broadcasters such as the BBC, France 24 and al Jazeera. They say other news channels have been sanctioned by Ofcom. It’s a triumph of cynicism: we’re all just as bad as each other.” The difference is, those other channels don’t make disinformation, in bad faith, their raison d'être. Speaking of bad faith, The Atlantic was recently moved to do an explainer on a concept — lying, basically — that’s pretty self-evident.
It’s revealing to see the data behind this stuff, but also saddening to know that craft and wit take second place to audience-bating cliché. We are — as a whole — predicable, simple-minded folk, aren’t we?
The ‘pivot to video’ is just a shiny new distraction from the real problem of advertisers’ quest for a holy grail metric that doesn’t exist. Also, the ‘music business’ is bullshit.
It’s a profile of one class in one school in the US, but it’s not hard to universalise. Media literacy should be on every school curriculum.
And by extension, this article is a tertiary source. But it’s still a revelatory insight into a particular brand of American feature writing. And it reminds me that I’ve still yet to see Page One, which alas is no longer on Netflix.
Part investigative journalism, part musing on our cultural propensity to idolise inspiring figures: it’s simply great writing.
Sigh. ‘Pivoting’ is great for start-ups and VCs, who must believe it’s a virtue to be so nimble. It’s not so good for their employees or contractors, those who supply the necessary labour, who can’t possibly be expected to follow suit. And it’s all in the service of an ad market that doesn’t have a metric for (and therefore, doesn’t understand) the way advertising works now. [c/o Kottke.org]
The front page of today’s Guardian. Given the creativity, they can be forgiven for accidentally Brexit-ing chunks of the Republic’s border counties (plus a bit of Wicklow, and a stretch of France).
There’s no good reason why TV news producers can’t make better use of the web and social media as channels. They’re brands people can and do trust, but their absence from Facebook and the like only leaves a void to be filled by the fakes.
Accusation-driven reporting is typical tabloid journalism, though even tabloids often get to the truth beyond the sensationalist headlines and opening grafs. This shit’s just ethically dubious clickbait, the kind of stuff they used to call ‘yellow journalism’.
A podcast from NPR about going deep into news stories one might otherwise breeze over on a given site or in a given paper. Doesn't look like there's been anything new since June but hopefully it's just been on a summer pause.
Ugh. It's all I can say.
It all boils down to this, from the final paragraph: "King’s editors had a responsibility to ensure that his accurate sourcing was reproduced when published, no matter the vagaries of their CMS. (King, too, should probably have been reading his articles once they were published.)"
Like anything else in media, infoviz must be subject to scrutiny. And the more sophisticated, the more it needs a closer look, 'cause everyone knows the trick about bar charts with a fudged x-axis, right?
My old comrade Markham cuts to the chase: it's not enough for infoviz/data journalism to be meaningful, it also has to be legible.
News orgs at all levels really need to consider the situation from their quarry's perspective before they pick up the phone or dash off a tweet or email.
It simply demonstrates disrespect to the recipient: not only the sexist assumption, but also that one couldn't be arsed to check.
Yes: whatever about the 'celebrity journalism' bullshit, where was the editorial guidance, whether before the assignment or during the writing of the piece? See also: How SB Nation Published Their Daniel Holtzclaw Story. And also: the Postlight Newsletter discusses possible workflow solutions to preventing flawed journalism getting out there (or at least managing things if that can't be avoided).
Whenever I need to draft interview questions in future, I will be referring to this.
"Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object — the same as a photo, or a piece of text — instead of seeing it as a way to make that text richer. You’re encouraged to post one single hyperlink and expose it to a quasi-democratic process of liking and plussing and hearting: Adding several links to a piece of text is usually not allowed. Hyperlinks are objectivized, isolated, stripped of their powers." There's a lot in this, and some of it is maybe a little too cynical (the almost techno-luddite suspicion of 'secretive' algorithms selecting our information streams is something that stands out) but there's no denying what Hossein 'Hoder' Derakhshan say about the fate of the hyperlink.
Online culture is moving so fast that its permanence is increasingly fragile.
Here's a nice way of describing the kind of thing us subeditors do day in, day out.
This is a must for journalists or anyone else who needs to parse the kind of press-release mumbo jumbo that causes more confusion than anything else.
How celebrities' increasing direct access to their fans, via Instagram and the like, has undermined the entertainment press, prompting them to seek ever more desperate measures, like fanboy profiles.
You want to say 'just keep it as a hobby' but the reality for most is, if you want any kind of following you can hope to monetise, you have to post something new almost daily, and doing that well is a full-time gig. Although, if the following you get are the kind of people who'll call you a 'sellout' for trying to make a living, then why even bother in the first place?
"If there’s a combination that makes an ideal copy editor it’s high intelligence and low ego, because if you’re looking for ego gratification copy editing is probably not the place to be." Absolutely! And I firmly believe all my years of editing has made me a better writer, even if only in terms of not being so precious about my own words. If something needs fixing, so be it.
Yes, there's still a role for us subs, as readers and publishers alike demand better quality across the board.
Filing this for future reference.
Next time I have to transcribe an interview, after giving Google Voice a shot, I think I'll be trying this. Because it's far, far easier to edit text than transcribe it from scratch. (I can't get any better than an hour per 10 minutes of audio. I know.)
There's a very important point here about the ownership of cultural artefacts, and how the digital era has defined that ownership squarely in favour of the corporate producer (leading to legal absurdities like software licences becoming a template for every kind of non-physical media). It's not just about games; if films are no longer being preserved on reels of celluloid, and only exist on the hard drives of some movie studio's IT department, how can we trust they'll still be around in decades to come?
I get what Greenslade is saying but let's be clear: reporting and subediting are two very different skills, so 'swapping jobs' won't really achieve the results he desires.
This is a scary situation: we need security journalists to protect us from the awful, awful things our governments are all quite willing to perpetrate on us beneath the cover of technological ignorance.
From a Q&A with video journalist Philip Bromwell. It's still amazing to me how much you can do with just an iPhone, it's a proper multimedia tool intrinsic to the kind of media innovation being nurtured at Northwestern. Though of course, with the whole concept still in its infancy, much of it still resembles the journalism of old only with some bells and whistles attached. How engaging is that in the long run?
Very pleased to see they've added the 'Today's Paper' link to the sections list, though that area hasn't been spruced up with the new templates as yet.
The headline writer's vernacular! (Also, in hindsight 'word girth' would more apropos in that head.)
On the dark art of subediting, saving hacks from embarrassment since time immemorial.
This has been on my 'to read' list for too long, so I'm posting it here as a prompt, and for future reference as it's basically a how-to guide for media and the internet. With all his hires recently -- including my old internet friend Mat Honan -- it's pretty obvious Peretti wants to be more than just a meme generator. (Also, I love Q&As, I much prefer them over conventional prose-y interviews because they strip out all that density and make both sides more explicit: the interviewer's angle, and the subject's honesty.)