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journalism

Save your tears. Please.

in Media

If you don't know what this is, quit bitching about the death of print news.
If you don't know what this is, quit bitching about the death of print news.

As the long-predicted mediapocalypse finally takes hold, I find my annoyance level with the deathbed histrionics of many in the field — especially the journalists bemoaning their lost birthrights, way of life, etc. — rising. Here’s but one example from a movie critic suffering from the “when you’re being run over by a lorry, everything looks like a lorry” syndrome. Perhaps I spend too much time gazing into the media mirror, but the sheer volume and pathos of these pieces is on my last nerve.
Part of that is because it’s hard to feel sorry for the pig who built his house out of straw and got belligerent when one of his brothers tried to bring him some bricks. But a lot of it is because people in this trade (myself included) tend to succumb to the notion that because we are the storytellers, our stories are inherently the most interesting and important.
But as the dirges drone on; as the golden remembrance of things that didn’t really pass but we’d like to think did dominate the media — and they will for the next couple years — I find myself indignant that these muses of misery were largely silent when other members of our industry suffered the same fate. Keep Reading

Journalism's new commandments

in Media

I’ve been pontificating on this subject for a long time, but today Robert Niles nailed it succinctly:

The old rule: You can’t cover something in which you are personally involved.
The new rule: Tell your readers how you are involved and how that’s shaped your reporting.

The old rule: You must present all sides of a story, being fair to each.
The new rule: Report the truth and debunk the lies.

The old rule: There must be a wall between advertising and editorial.
The new rule: Sell ads into ad space and report news in editorial space. And make sure to show the reader the difference.

The whole piece is well worth reading. And I’ve got a treatise on the last couplet that I’m contributing to Stuff Journalists Like this weekend.

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