How To Make The Obvious Sound More Impressive

from the shocking dept

It’s starting out to be a fairly slow news day in the tech world, which apparently leads to stories like the following, about people in Australia using BitTorrent to download American TV shows before they air down under. A few months back, there were identical stories about the UK. What’s odd about this story, though, is the way it’s written to make it sound like this is shocking or surprising news. The reporter extensively quotes a report that was “generated” by a former Australian Recording Industry Association lawyer. Of course, by “generated” the reporter means “written.” And by “report” the reporter means “speculating on the obvious.” The article later admits that there’s no actual numbers in the report, but it certainly sounds like the findings ought to be true. It should be no surprise at all in a global internet-enabled world that people outside of the US will hear about television programs here, and not want to wait for them to be broadcast locally months later. You don’t need a report to show you that — but if you do have a report, shouldn’t it be more than just random statements from someone who noticed a few people in Australia chatting online about how to download TV programs? However, by basing the article on this “report,” the journalist takes all of the pressure off having to do the actual journalistic investigation into what’s happening. Hell, if that’s all it takes to get an article written about you these days, we should all start “generating reports” about fairly obvious situations: Today, Techdirt announced a special report pointing out that people really hate spam. Previous studies have shown this, but our quick review of a couple forums found that, in our expert analysis, most people are not fans of spam. We can’t give you actual numbers, because that would take work, but it certainly sounds accurate based on what people say in the forums. Where’s our press coverage?

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Comments on “How To Make The Obvious Sound More Impressive”

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1 Comment
Caesar says:

So What's New?

Isn’t this exactly the tactic American media is using to present Bush administration? No investigation – just blank statements and speculations – presented as the news story. The fact is that journalism, especially investigative journalism has declined in the past decade. If the government can sell their propaganda as news, why shouldn’t the papers and news outlets slack too.

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