Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just an Observation About Journalism

Quick Observation:

As our print newspapers go to hell and work with skeleton crews, I'm rather shocked at how much of their information comes from Facebook. Have you noticed that instead of polling the subjects friends and neighbors, they simply pull up the Facebook page and write things like this crap that was in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution yesterday? Until I read this, I didn't realize the newspaper had started to get journalistic style from Life and Style:
Christa Scott and her family and friends are not talking to reporters, who have been left to piece together what they can of her life.
O.K. and here's what they piece together. Really? "Appears to be hers"? A comment about a dog being sexy is giving the readers insight into what exactly?
A Facebook page that appears to be hers carries this posting: “Your (sic) only as strong as your weakest thought. Oh yeah, and my dog is SOOO DEADLY SEXY.” She has a posting on the Web site Modelingmayhem.com, which features photos of her ranging from randy to elegant.
In a sales pitch she appears to have posted on that site:
“I hope to network and meet experienced photographers. I’m available for print, runway, spokesmodel, and TV work. I am reliable, dependable, motivated, very outgoing, and intelligent. I have great communication skills and love working with new people. I’m excited so to be a part of this site! The best way to contact me is via email. I look forward into working with you!
Seriously? Let me be clear: As a blogger, I do not consider myself a journalist by any stretch of the imagination. I have little to no standards for my own "research" (as someone who went to college during a time when we had to find articles on microfiche, dig through the stacks, know how to use the guide to periodicals, etc. I still have a hard time thinking of Googling as research), I actually PAY for the paper. Even though I've been known to tear through an US Weekly with fervor, I expect newspaper articles to have more substance. 

At least this reporter knows the difference between "your" and "you're" and knows how to use "(sic)" - from what I've gathered from Facebook postings, that's rare.

1 comment:

VisuaLingual said...

I completely agree! On the other side of all this, more companies and institutions are trying to "harness the blogosphere" as a way to build buzz about whatever, so loosely as a kind of media outlet. I get press releases and even personalized emails imploring me to promote things.

It would sort of make sense if I were offered something in return [which might be wack, like paying for positive exposure, but at least I would have some incentive]. Instead, it's sort of funny that people act like it's the job of bloggers to report the news or, in this case, PR bullshit.