Wait, Weren't Big Newspapers Needed For Credibility?

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

Over the last few years, it's been amusing to watch defenders of mainstream journalism trash online journalism by claiming that traditional journalists can do real investigative journalism, whereas online-only sources are too easily suckered into fake stories. In fact, one of the loudest complaints about the demise of newspapers is that no one will do "investigative" reports any more. There's no doubt that newer journalism properties get stories wrong at times, but traditional journalists seem just as likely to screw up as well. Witness the big news about the LA Times getting totally suckered into believing a completely made up story concerning Tupac Shakur's murder. Who broke the LA Times mistake? The online site, TheSmokingGun.com. This isn't to say that new media is any better than traditional media -- but it does highlight that for all the supposed "authority" of traditional journalists and their lofty standards, there's a pretty long track record of stunning mistakes and poorly fact-checked stories made by them.

Filed Under: investigative journalism, journalism, newspapers
Companies: la times, the smoking gun


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 28 Mar 2008 @ 11:01am

    Re: TechDirt Like Checkout Rags

    Hi Ronald,

    Always nice to see you drop by. It would be really appreciated if, in the future, you could actually support and backup some of your assertions. What's most amusing to me is that it's one of the key things we try to do here: backup everything with real evidence.

    Mike, the vast majority of what you have to say about intellectual property is based on very low journalistic standards.

    We are not, and have never claimed to be journalists. We give our analysis on important tech and business topics. I'm not sure why you suggest that we are journalists.

    It is nothing more than an endless stream of uninformed opinion based on your personal convictions

    Actually, that's not true at all, and suggests that your reading comprehension skills might be a bit rusty (all that lobbying can do that to you). I have rather clearly backed up my assertions by pointing to well-respected, peer-reviewed research on the topic. I'll note that you have never done the same. I have also shown examples at both the micro and macro level concerning why what I'm talking about makes sense. It is not my "uninformed opinion based on personal convictions." It's the end result of many years of understanding what's going on. I didn't start out with this position, but the more I read, the more I discovered.

    It is telling that your sympathies like with those who pirate other’s patent property rights.

    Telling? My positions on IP issues are my own. As I have made clear, I don't know of any company that agrees with me on it. And I'm not sure why you use the derogatory and inaccurate term "pirate."

    One example being your comments to others who don't like your IP agenda that it is strange that they show up at the same time I do. Apparently it has not occurred to you that when you post using keywords which inventors are monitoring via search engine alerts that that may bring inventors with similar interests to the appropriately named techDIRT.

    I'm not sure what that's an example of? But, honestly, I write about these subjects all the time. You and your friends show up only once every few months. So I don't think the keyword explanation makes sense. If that's true, that's fine, but it doesn't ring true. Either way, I don't have anything against it. If you want to alert your friends to discussions here, that's great. Rusty Mase, for example, has been well worth talking to. He, unlike you, seems quite willing to engage and discuss and has helped expand the discussion in interesting ways.

    I have no problem discussing things with people who want to discuss. You, on the other hand, seem to want to insult, not discuss.

    I have received solicitations from people who blog for a price. Basically they are stealth PR people who work for hire. I have no interest in hiring them but it has occurred to me that you may be one of these people.

    Nice accusation there. Incredibly wrong, but still, impressive for someone who first accuses me of stating things with no factual basis to then state a really ridiculous howler. So someone who disagrees with you must be a paid shill? And this from a guy who proudly announces his lobbyist badges with every comment?

    If you're wondering, I'll put this to rest for you: I do not, and Techdirt does not, do any public advocacy work. As should be rather clear from our website, we help provide insight and trend analysis for internal purposes at companies. Doing any kind of outbound advocacy would be a huge conflict of interest.

    Accusing me of being a shill is a rather cheap political move, but unless you have something to back it up (which is impossible since it's false), I'd ask you to retract such a defamatory statement.

    In the meantime, if you want to actually prove me wrong, why don't you respond to the economic studies I have pointed out? Why don't you respond to the examples that have shown how patents have harmed specific innovations? Why is your only response to insult me?

    Most certainly the Coalition for Patent fairness & PIRACY, aka. the Piracy Coalition is spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to eviscerate the patent system. I have no doubt that they have a team of people working blogs. I cannot help but wonder whose payroll you are on?

    If the Coalition for Patent Fairness were paying me, I'd imagine they'd want their money back. Clearly, your reading comprehension problems are worse that I'd originally imagined. Or did you not notice that I'm AGAINST the current patent reform effort in Congress? I've pointed this out to you before, but you seem to be unable to get it into your head.

    I am on the payroll of Techdirt Inc., a California company.

    I have nothing to hide, which is why I back up my statements with evidence. I'd like to see you do the same.

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