Is There A Need For A Dedicated Journalism Outfit To 'Follow Up' On News?

from the that's-not-news,-that's-olds... dept

Over at Nieman Lab there's an interesting post wondering if, following the recent Wikileaks publishing of nearly 100,000 documents on the Afghan war, there would really be any follow through on the reporting -- and wondering if it makes sense to have a news organization dedicated to following up on stories that other news organizations have dropped. As the article notes, plenty of reporters focus on the next big thing -- the next "breaking" story. It is called news after all. But there isn't nearly as much attention given to following up with stories after they break.

While I find the discussion interesting, I have to admit that I'm not convinced of the premise. After all, there are plenty of news stories that live on for a while, if the "follow up" events are considered newsworthy. And certainly, on niche topics, there are plenty of dedicated folks who follow those stories all the time. So an organization that just does follow through doesn't necessarily make sense, because the problem isn't necessarily the lack of follow-up, but the lack of newsworthy information to come out of such follow-ups.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:04pm

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:10pm

    Or how Android is overtaking the iPhone?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/08/02/nielsen.android.apple/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    Those are good stories, that don't stop at one point they unfold, maybe there is a niche market for those kind of stories who knows, people like me who would like to see things dug a bit deaper.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:27pm

    Re:

    "The potential for confusion is now "significantly reduced," according to the letter.

    "We appreciate the clarifying public comments that you have made,""

    Translation: The Streisand effect has upset the public. In an effort to reduce bad publicity we have decided to drop the lawsuit.

     

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  4.  
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    Lutomes (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:38pm

    Real Journalism

    I very much like the idea. Too much these days is news full of random stories that look promising but without a post action follow up are just disappointing.

    Sure the response on its own might not be newsworthy - but how many times have you read a news article then a week or a month later just wondered "hmm I wondered what happened with xyz issue" then looked around for ages only to find out of dozens of people covering the original issue nobody followed through to the outcome.

    All the news agencies seem to want is headline news that causes people to either rage or get happy. All instant gratification with no substance.

     

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  5.  
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    Matthew R., Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    “Produce, publish, move on.” I think the point he’s trying to make is that just because there isn’t something new that’s’ newsworthy, that there still should in some cases be some follow up. I agree that I don’t believe there needs to for a news organization dedicated to following up stories, but I do believe that there is a need for the major news outlets to be more active in following up their stories. This mentality in the media is one of the big reasons behind the stagnation of change and advancement of US culture. News breaks, people rage, new news comes out, and they rage about that forgetting the last thing. The simple fact that there is “no new news” can actually be news in and of itself -- people were upset about this, why was nothing ever done?

    Not to downplay the importance of niche news outlets in the sharing of information within the relevant communities, but major change simply does not occur without the will of the public majority. Want patent and copyright reform? Take the workers and owners of those small companies being sued into oblivion by multi-nationals, or being harassed into blackmail payments by patent trolls, little old ladies being sued by the RIAA for downloading Ludacris’s You'z A Hoe and put them in the spotlight of the major national news sources. Then two weeks later, after people hollered a bit, made a few idle threats, and moved onto the next news story, find that little lady still trying to convince the RIAA she doesn’t even know who Ludacris is, and those small business owners trying to decide between making a living or standing up to a bully, and put them back in that spotlight. And keep putting them back in that spotlight until people realize that nothing is being done -- that if they, and everyone else just, follows the major media and moves onto the next “news worthy” story nothing will change.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:46pm

    Re:

    BTW, I wonder, is that laser strong enough to burn your skin? They mentioned that they made it only 20% of its original strength in that news article. How powerful is it?

     

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    mr. sim (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:52pm

    there is also a need for ethics to ******* return. posting things getting people killed, posting unsubstantiated blog posts and twitter comments as fact. and the fact that shows like the o'rielly factor and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart aren't forced to have a disclaimer saying that it's entertainment tv and not a legitimate news program is sickening.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 9:59pm

    read the story, the ship it set at 20% power by default, you just flip the switch to goto full power, its a safety feature

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:08pm

    Re:

    I think most MSM news outlets should have a disclaimer warning their audiences that it's entertainment and not legitimate news :)

    and especially The Daily Show show when it discusses patents.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:09pm

    Re:

    I read it and I understood it. My question is is it really dangerous at 100 percent? Can it burn someones hand?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:46pm

    The real question is, can it be used to kill Xenu?!?! ;-)

     

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    Pixelation, Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 10:57pm

    "because the problem isn't necessarily the lack of follow-up, but the lack of newsworthy information to come out of such follow-ups."

    Uh huh, is it that or are you worried about what someone may find?

    (couldn't help it)

     

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  13.  
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    Nick Coghlan (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, it can set things on fire. Looking at the *reflection* of the full power beam from a wall without safety glasses can blind you.

     

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  14.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 1:07am

    ...BMNI...

    A service to follow up on news? I'm inclined to pay for that. It might be a Businessmodel for Monetizing the Newspaper Industry. Have the website for breaking news stories and then the deadtree version for the follow up.

     

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  15.  
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    Davoid, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:31am

    Perhaps if newspapers would routinely call each other on all the BS instead of leaving it to the bloggers they might not be in the situation they're in.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re:

    Apparently since it is a blue laser it's dangerous either way, the power of one of the models(S3 Spyder Arctic) was cited as 2500mW, so 20% would be 500mW or a class 2 type laser, which still is pretty powerful, a GPON unity that can harm your eyes also is a class 3B and use half that energy moreless.

    Lighting Matches with CNI Green 500mW Laser
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WBgdF6uCFc


    Damage mechanisms

    Lasers can cause damage in biological tissues, both to the eye and to the skin, due to several mechanisms. [3] Thermal damage, or burn, occurs when tissues are heated to the point where denaturation of proteins occurs. Another mechanism is photochemical damage, where light triggers chemical reactions in tissue. Photochemical damage occurs mostly with short-wavelength (blue) and ultra-violet light and can be accumulated over the course of hours. Laser pulses shorter than about 1 μs can cause a rapid raise in temperature, resulting in explosive boiling of water.


    Sources:
    http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/Spyder_III_Pro_Arctic_Series-96-37.html

    ht tp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavelength-division_multiplexing

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_sa fety#Class_2

    http://www.finisar.com/product-623-GPON_ONU_Class_B+_Pigtailed_RoHS_Compliant_Transc eiver_%28FTGN3025Q1TAx%29

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re:

    Answering your question, it is powerful enough to light a matche.

     

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  18.  
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    Chris Meadows (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:53am

    Like Shatner is doing?

    Interestingly enough, William Shatner is doing a series for cable on this very idea, in which he talks with people who were formerly part of huge stories, like Bernard Goetz or the Malvos (his interview with them made the news itself).

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:02am

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:04am

    Re: Like Shatner is doing?

    You mean Cpt. Kirk?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:38am

    Old news

    ... like Shirley Sherrod. She is a racicst end of story, move on. Oh wait, there is more to the story?

    Maybe this is why we have wikipedia? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resignation_of_Shirley_Sherrod

     

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  22.  
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    TAMPuppet, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    There must be more to this story.

     

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  23.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 7:24am

    "but the lack of newsworthy information to come out of such follow-ups."

    One name Lindsey Lohan ... nuff said

     

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  24.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    By the way, the C&D letter was auctioned and sold at $3,850.00 in eBay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/LUCASFILM-CEASE-AND-DESIST-LETTER-REAL-LIFE-LIGHTSABER-/360281016040

    It's a win/win for wossname lasers!

     

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  25.  
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    WendyNorris (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 9:13am

    discard the temporal news cycle

    I'm not convinced that a separate entity should be tackling follow-ups/updates as it's a responsibility of the original reporter. Nor is there a clear revenue model for this type of service.

    While some stories could be fairly easily extended beyond the ludicrous and outdated 24-hour news cycle, investigative and enterprise reporting is often premised on tips, whistleblower information and non-public documents that would be difficult, if not impossible, to replicate as a third party.

    And then there's always the risk of advancing a story that incites the media's frivolous copyright/fair use/hot news trigger finger.

    I'd be more inclined to argue that providing news updates is a part of the larger editorial crisis in the news industry. What a great qualitative differentiator for a newsroom in today's media glut to provide interesting "where are they now?" pieces, interactive timelines and updates.

    And since a girl can dream ... I'd add prominent corrections to news stories and clear public action steps on my wish list too since they're also important elements of the follow-up that rarely occur. Change.org is doing some of the latter with a third-party social action petition widget that pulls from news story keywords but it's pretty rudimentary.

    Still the bigger public service here is to free the news industry from the artificial constraints of temporal news pegs that still heavily determine content. The scarcity of follow-up is an easily resolved tweak to a cludgy editorial direction and doesn't really appear to be a sound, revenue-generating enterprise opportunity.

     

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  26.  
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    WendyNorris (profile), Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: discard the temporal news cycle

    Another easy remedy is for editors to encourage/model/require reporters to wade into online comments to respond to reader questions and tips. Likewise, broadcast journalists, could set aside a :60 next day segment to respond on air to questions for future follow-up.

    Seriously, it's not that hard to solve if one can get past the calcified notion of newsrooms as moat-encircled information gatekeepers isolated from its community.

     

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  27.  
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    m3mnoch, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 11:49am

    "that's-not-news,-that's-olds..."

    ha! love it!

    m3mnoch.

     

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  28.  
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    Clueby4, Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    I woundn't mind a bit more follow-up

    Not only are followups sparse they're hard to find when they do exist. For example the Recent Posse Comitatus violations.

    Tho it's probably a pipe dream it would be nice if the NEWS industry could create a standard identification code to reference news events\articles. Something based on a hash of the 5 W's with a pre\suffix that identifies the news organization that can be removed in order to find similar reports of an event\NEWS item. And such a system would also provide a means to filter for specific NEWS items.

     

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  29.  
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    John Doe, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    I think it exists already ...

    Mike Masnick,

    1. I believe you can technically achieve do this through Google by keywords for their news section.

    2. http://livingstories.googlelabs.com/
    I was really looking forward to this being adopted by google already, but still in the labs.

    3. Topix offers a lot of various categories that it continuously updates.

    4. I am pretty there is one more news search engine out there that is fairly new that does this too.

    Ideally, I would like to see a Google News Article offer all the following:

    1. Towards the right or bottom a decent size logo of the company it is sourcing.

    2. Same direction, a link back.

    3. Same direction, a rss feed from the original source.

    4. Same direction, a google rss feed for this news category.

    5. Same direction, a google rss feed for the article keywords if not a living story.

    6. The option to create a rss on the fly based on my keywords or suggested keywords for this story.

    7. Email subscriptions would be nice to for those who don't use RSS feeds.

    I know some of the above are already implemented, just giving my two cents ...

     

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