Media Critic Calls On Journalists To Be Obedient Stenographers

from the wtf? dept

Media critic Michael Wolff has a fairly long history of being hilariously wrong about just about everything. It's sort of his thing. He also has a history of being a ridiculously bad journalist in those rare moments when he tries to do journalism. We normally ignore him, but last week he said something so ridiculous and so crazy, that it deserved calling out. He called on journalists to be stenographers to those in power. Literally.
I think what’s required is for the media to do its job. I feel deeply the media hasn’t done its job. It’s abdicated its responsibility, has lost itself somewhere. Right now it’s an interesting moment where the media looks at Donald Trump as a threat instead of a story, possibly the biggest story of our time. Certainly a story that needs to be told in rather conventional ways. Who are these people, what motivates them, where are they from, where are they going — just basic storytelling.

I thought these people have won an election, so now is the time to go in and say who are you and what do you think. We are not in an oppositional moment right now; that has passed. I actually asked very few questions. I said tell me who you are. He talked and I took notes. Yes, you do want to be stenographers. That’s a very significant piece of journalism. We don’t want to hear [the reporter]. Write it down. You’re there to literally convey what someone in power says, and you bring it to people who want to know. Journalism is now a profession filled with people who are not journalists. They’re all under 25, talking to people under the age of 25. Let me send the message: stenographer is what you’re supposed to be.

[The move against normalizing Trump actions and language] are just institutional biases. This is formally saying we are biased and want to be biased, we are judge and jury.
This is wrong and idiotic on so many levels. First of all, a big part of the problem is that journalists have been stenographers for way too long. Their ridiculous "view from nowhere" where "person A says X, but person B says Y" journalism, without ever delving which is correct between X & Y, is a huge part of the problem. Calling bullshit on bullshit is not "bias." It's called accurately informing people. But Wolff apparently thinks we've had enough of that.

For years, calling journalists "stenographers" was a punchline to highlight how feckless many journalists had become, where they looked to pull punches to retain "access." There's a reason you have lots of articles online mocking journalists because they became stenographers. There's a reason that Stephen Colbert got such big laughs by calling White House correspondents stenographers. Because it was all too accurate:
Let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The President makes decisions. He's the decider. The Press Secretary announces the decisions. And you people of the press type those decisions down. Make. Announce. Type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you've got kicking around in your head. You know the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know: fiction.
Back when he performed that, it was satire. Now here's Wolff saying the same thing seriously. This is how far we've come.

The good thing about this election was that it finally shocked some reporters out of this mode, and it's insane to argue that that was the mistake. There is some truth in the fact that reporters got too focused on Trump, the person, as opposed to focusing on actual issues and policies, but to argue that they should just be stenographers is insane. Politicians thrive on misleading the press and Trump is an expert at it. He's the king of "hey, look over there" whenever any legitimate story against him comes out. He plays the press like a banjo. And, while I'm not convinced they'll figure out how to counter that and to do what the real press should do -- which is hold Trump accountable -- the idea that their role should be stenographers is insane.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:00am

    Actually he's just saying things backwards

    Hes advocating for being stenographers while interviewing and talking to people on the right. And that cannot stand since right wingers are evil and wrong. The Press is not Stenographers!!!!

    When the left is in power they parrot every god danmed thing the left says, nodding their head the whole time....

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    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:09am

      Re: Actually he's just saying things backwards

      The left has never been in power in the US...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re: Actually he's just saying things backwards

        These self proclaimed political experts will never agree with you.

        Some of these folk refuse to acknowledge the existence of anything left of center because anything left of their extreme right views is a god damned liberal - there is no far left when everything is far left.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 30 Nov 2016 @ 2:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Actually he's just saying things backwards

          So I've noticed. That, and the boogeyman call in which anyone who disagrees with them or dares to criticise their Glorious Leader is apostate, or worse still... a leftist!

          People need to stop being so sodding well dishonest.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:09am

    I think you do need a stenographic part to the press when dealing with hard facts. Ie: some earthquake took place somewhere or the White House issued whatever statement. You don't need to delve on specifics, just make sure it actually happened.

    Then there's journalism which is getting the hard facts and dissecting them. Damages expected from the quake and what's the method that generated them, causalities, help lines, how to make yourself useful to the victims (ie: helping in an efficient way). That statement from the White House, what's the context, is there any bullshit on it? Are the figures on it correct, are them exposed in a biased way? Dissect the thing. That's when journalism kicks in and here you can add the outfit own opinions and biases. Not all biases are bad, specially if you know where they are. I keep reading some publications that are very politically biased because knowing the bias their writing offer good insights. It would be better if they clearly stated their positions.

    So I think the press can and should both things. How to make this operational is something I couldn't figure out when I reached that conclusion.

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  • identicon
    David, 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:21am

    Stenographers? No way.

    Stenographers look hectic.

    Journalists should be koala bears. Cute little koalas.

    Wait no, those would require an H-1B visa. We can't have that.

    What pound class animals does the U.S. have? Rattle snakes?

    If nobody can think of anything cuter, let's fill the White House press room with rattlers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:23am

    There is a difference between truth and facts, journalism has difficulty in this area.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2016 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      And when you're told lies, you should report them as truth?
      Fascinating "logic"...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 29 Nov 2016 @ 4:22pm

      Re: There is a difference between truth and facts

      Is that the truth, or is that a fact?

      Or maybe it’s neither--it’s actually reality instead?

      Enquiring minds would like to know.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:25am

    Talking Heads, Cover the Controversy

    The press needs Talking Heads in order to give equal time to all points of view. Be "fair and balanced".

    Some people say the moon causes the tides.
    Other people say the tides cause the moon.

    Both viewpoints get equal treatment. Cover the controversy, not the facts or science, etc.

    The "tides cause the moon" people also can back up what they say with studies by think tanks, and so that deserves extra time.

    Just because one guest makes a logical sensible argument with valid points and reproducible results and hard data is no reason you should listen to him or her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    art guerrilla (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:32am

    what a tangled web we weave...

    ...when we practice to deceive !
    one of the major problems we find ourself in, is that it is all tied up in one gloriously, huge, tangled skein of Empire... you cant tug on one string without all the interlocking strings pulling back: you cant address mainstream media failures without addressing the failings of capitalist imperialism...
    you cant address systemic election fraud without preventing money-type 'speech' from overwhelming mere human speech, etc, ad infinitum...
    in other words, unless/until Empire falls, there is no way to effectively isolate one problrm to fix it, all roads lead back to the oppression by Empire...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:33am

    I would settle for the media to report on news without a bias in a neutral manner.

    Failing that, how about passing a law to make it illegal to lie about what you are reporting on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vidiot (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      Sorry... "less regulation" is the rule of the day now. No governmental interference! (Tough to reconcile with that "law and order" thing, though.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      "Failing that, how about passing a law to make it illegal to lie about what you are reporting on."

      That's pretty naive. Who determines what's a "lie"? The government. Therefore, making it illegal to "lie" is an instant route to censorship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:42am

    "You’re there to literally convey what someone in power says, and you bring it to people who want to know. Journalism is now a profession filled with people who are not journalists. They’re all under 25, talking to people under the age of 25. Let me send the message: stenographer is what you’re supposed to be."

    I threw up a little.

    There's a reason the Press is included in the First Amendment Mr.Wolff and it's not so they can sit there and be a mouthpiece for the government. Your last name is fitting sir.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 10:53am

    Not a problem....

    The very idea of the 1st is so that Journalists can make out your Happy Birthday speech for a 10 year old into an apocalyptic morass.

    Any attempt to regulate the Media in any fashion will result it worse than what you were trying to save yourself from.

    The media has done a bang up job making people trust it, so we are doing fine!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anomalous Cowherd, 28 Nov 2016 @ 11:17am

    Journalism

    Journalism is speaking the truth as you see it regardless of the positions or wwishes of the powerful.

    Stenography is slavishly and shamelessly echoing the official line exactly as the powerful wish it to be printed regardless of the truth.

    Jefferson remarked that he would prefer newspapers without government over government without newspapers precisely because the newspapers of his day were not stenographers. Who here believes that stenographers will bother to listen to and report on the poor, the disenfranchised, the powerless?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 11:20am

    "He's the king of "hey, look over there" whenever any legitimate story against him comes out. He plays the press like a banjo"

    Did you not learn anything from Wikileaks? The press is in the back pocket of the DNC. They are literally stenographers for the DNC! They went after Trump like rabid dogs. Much like you are doing since he won the election. That is very much part of the reason he won.

    Seriously, if these kind of articles continue, I will drop TD from my news reader. I have learned a lot here, but it appears it is time to move on. If I want to read angry leftist rants, I can get that in any newspaper or on 3 of the 4 major TV networks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      Did you not learn anything from Wikileaks? The press is in the back pocket of the DNC.

      That's not actually what the Wikileaks hacks revealed.

      They went after Trump like rabid dogs. Much like you are doing since he won the election. That is very much part of the reason he won.

      They went after Trump because he's a horribly unprepared candidate with massive conflicts of interests, and a history of outright fabrications. And they didn't do nearly enough, frankly, as they spent a lot more time focusing on fake scandals about Clinton. I'm no fan of Clinton either but the idea that the press were stenographers for her, when they repeated a bunch of bogus claims against her is laughable.

      The press loves sensational stories, no matter which side it's coming from.

      Seriously, if these kind of articles continue, I will drop TD from my news reader.

      "This kind of article"? You think that calling out someone for arguing the press should be stenographers is a problem? Then go away now. Bye bye.

      If I want to read angry leftist rants, I can get that in any newspaper or on 3 of the 4 major TV networks.

      Nothing in what I wrote is an angry leftist rant, because I'm not an angry leftist and my views are not leftist by a long shot.

      If you can't take someone calling bullshit on Trump, and you have to falsely label anyone who does so a "leftist" then go find a comfy safe space for the bullshit you want to hear. We don't play that game.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 12:18pm

        Re: Re:

        I should have added, they went after Trump while ignoring the controversy around Hillary. After all, they fed her questions for the debates. They ignored Wikileaks almost completely. Just like you are doing here. The media are puppets for the DNC whether you admit it or not. The left are the ones living in their safe space bubble. After all, you don't see conservatives needing playdoh and puppy therapy on college campuses.

        "If you can't take someone calling bullshit on Trump"

        I certainly can, because he was not my first choice. But when you call BS on Trump while completely ignoring the same BS or worse on Hillary and the DNC, then I have a problem.

        But yes, I will immediately unsubscribe to this blog. Your angry, bitter posts have ruined this place and that is a real shame because you had a good thing going here.

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        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 28 Nov 2016 @ 5:03pm

          Re: they went after Trump while ignoring the controversy around Hillary.

          Why is it “Trump” and “Hillary”, and not “Donald” and “Clinton”?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 5:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not sure why this was "first worded". Did the insider who paid to first word this comment also intend on leaving? Was it the same user who chose not to log in while using a VPN?

          Or is it meant to be ironic humor?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 29 Nov 2016 @ 6:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm confused, this blog has called bullshit on Clinton as much as on Trump and even more on the Democrats since they were in power and they were screwing up in some key points this site generally covers. As an outsider I can't honestly understand you people getting mad on Mike punching Trump like there was no tomorrow. He did the same when Clinton screwed up, he did the same when Obama screwed up or failed to live up to his promises.

          I'll ask this: what's your point?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2016 @ 6:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But when you call BS on Trump while completely ignoring the same BS or worse on Hillary and the DNC, then I have a problem.

          There's a person who keeps reposting a link on how Democrats lost 900+ seats as a response to any criticism.

          Tell me - how long does this site need to focus on Hillary, now that Trump and the Republicans won the executive and legislative branches?

          You guys love pointing out how much you won - why do you insist that this site cover the losers with the same vitriol as the winners?

          Like it or not, Republicans are in charge now - so you should EXPECT that they're going to be under the microscope. Don't like it? Then tell them to fuck off and find a job more suitable to their tissue-thin skin.

          This isn't bias - it's just reporting on what people who "won" are doing.

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 29 Nov 2016 @ 4:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I should have added, they went after Trump while ignoring the controversy around Hillary.

          This is not even remotely true. The controversy around Clinton's email servers got a ridiculous amount of coverage. It was interesting to us here, because that was an issue that we had strong opinions on, but it far outweighed the seriousness of ths issue, and paled in comparison to coverage of Trump's equally problematic issues.

          They ignored Wikileaks almost completely. Just like you are doing here.

          Wha....? We covered Wikileaks and the press was ALL OVER Wikileaks leaks. The problem was that most of them were a giant nothingburger. Oh, the campaign had lunch with the press. That's what reporters do. They cultivate sources. The biggest revelation in the leaks was the Donna Brazile sending questions over (something we did cover).

          The left are the ones living in their safe space bubble. After all, you don't see conservatives needing playdoh and puppy therapy on college campuses

          Huh? What does that have to do with anything that we're discussing.

          But when you call BS on Trump while completely ignoring the same BS or worse on Hillary and the DNC, then I have a problem.

          That's the fucking problem here. I called out Clinton just as much as Trump during the campaign. And now she lost. There's nothing to cover on her any more. So I'm covering Trump and his idiotic statements just as I would now be covering Clinton and her idiotic statements.

          Why don't you understand that?

          But yes, I will immediately unsubscribe to this blog. Your angry, bitter posts have ruined this place and that is a real shame because you had a good thing going here.

          Ok. Bye. Hurry now. Don't dawdle.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re:

        You are the one asking people to leave so who is it exactly that is looking for a safe space?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 5:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are the one asking people to leave so who is it exactly that is looking for a safe space?

          The reference to a safe space is because all of you who keep falsely insisting that we've somehow become "biased" because we call out Trump's actions (just as we've called out Obama's) is somehow "bad" for this blog. It's as if you simply can't take anyone calling bullshit on the guy you support, and therefore are somehow demanding that we become a safe space for you. So, yes, I'm mocking the fact that folks who support Trump keep insisting they're against "safe spaces" but seem to be demanding that Techdirt become a kind of safe space.

          I'm not demanding anyone leave. I'm just telling those who are threatening to leave as an attempt to make me change what I say that I don't care. I'm not doing this to make this a happy space for anyone. I'm doing this to speak my opinion on various matters, just as I always have. You can stay if you want. I'm not kicking anyone out. I'm just saying that if you're going to scream and whine about how you're going to leave if I keep calling bullshit on Trump, then leave. Don't act like you need to pressure me into changing my views.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 6:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You still don't see what people are talking about. Sure, call BS on Trump, but why limit it? When people correctly point out that you are completely ignoring the fact that the media has been water boys for the DNC you fly off the handle. You are unable to accept people calling BS on Hillary.

            Another example is your article on the recount by Hillary and Jill. They are the fools asking for a recount but you spend 2/3 of the article bashing Trump. If you are calling BS on one and ignoring the exact same sins of the other, people are going to call you on your BS.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Gothenem, 29 Nov 2016 @ 5:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Don't really have the time to go back and find all the articles, but Techdirt has had several articles calling out Hillary Clinton during the election season and prior to the election season.

              If Hillary had won the election, then Techdirt would be focusing more on calling her out as the new president-elect, but she did not win, Donald Trump did.

              It IS the job of the press to call out politicians, especially the President, on their statements. They are supposed to be the ones to make sure the politicians walk the straight-and-narrow, and call out bullshit when they don't.

              They are the first line of defense against corruption. Well, they are supposed to be anyways. Many major media outlets haven't been, and bias is definitely one of the reasons, whether it is CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, WSJ, NYT, The Guardian, etc. Many do not actually take the responsibilities of the press seriously enough when the guy they like is in power.

              Techdirt has a more narrowly focused slice of reporting, they don't just report anything, but focus on tech-related news and a few other things, but they have called out both Democrats and Republicans on those stories - calling bullshit equally on Bush, Clinton, Trump and Obama.

              One of the reasons so many people call out bullshit on Trump is the fact that Trump speaks off the cuff without even checking if he said the exact opposite days before. Because of that, it becomes easier for people to call bullshit on him.

              Mike, keep doing what you are doing, calling out bullshit is the press's job.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2016 @ 5:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Fly off the handle" usually implies some sort of maniacal rant .. where exactly is this Mike rant located as I would like to peruse its contents.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Ninja (profile), 29 Nov 2016 @ 6:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Really people, what we've been seeing is Mike calling bs on Trump on articles about Trump and calling bs on Clinton on articles about Clinton. Same on Obama. At some points he did compare the polices and stuff (who doesn't remember him comparing Obama and Bush???). What's your point? Why all the hatred?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 29 Nov 2016 @ 9:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The issue isn't calling BS, it's the tone and the attitude in doing so. Hillary gets treated as a little misguided, Trump gets treated like the village idiot and then some. The disdainful tone literally drips off the posts.

                I don't think that the poster is tossing out hatred. Rather, he is pointing out the uneven nature of the coverage here on Techdirt. Trump isn't even in power yet, the posts are mostly dancing with ghosts and shadows.

                That a number of different people are calling Mike out on it should tell you something. There are even regular vocal supporters of Mike who have said something. It's not hatred, it's just wondering where the "tech" has gone, and why this site has turned mostly to just "dirt".

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      Did you not learn anything from Wikileaks?

      I learned something about conservatives due to Wikileaks.

      I learned that as long as Wikileaks does something to help them out, they will gladly forget about a few key Wikileaks facts:

      • That in 2010 WikiLeaks leaked classified documents fed to them by Chelsea Manning.
      • They will overlook the outrage they had when Sarah Palin's emails were hacked and put up there for everyone to read (assuming the average person could stomach her writing)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin_email_hack#Campaign_response

      • They're willing to overlook the Detainee Policies, released in 2012 - again, classified material
      • They have no problem with them releasing the cables showing how the NSA spied on Angela Merkel

      So yes, I learned ALOT from Wikileaks - but I don't think it's what you might have expected.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 5:23pm

      Re:

      If you do not like it, make your own techdirt.

      Rabid dogs and leftist rants .. that's rich.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 29 Nov 2016 @ 6:32am

      Re:

      Being in the pocket of the DNC doesn't mean Trump doesn't know how to play the press. You don't need money to do it. Just throw some controversy in the air and they'll go for it like dogs after a bone. And seeing this as an outsider I can clearly see how the press is totally pro Clinton and at the same time falls for the "look over there" tactics Trump is employing. I'm not sure if Trump does that naturally even tough he is a clown or if he is actually some sort of genius.

      "They went after Trump like rabid dogs."

      Much like they did with Obama before he did what the market wanted and bailed out banks and insurance companies?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      WDF (profile), 29 Nov 2016 @ 7:06am

      Re:

      Agreed. I liked TD for its dispassionate explanation of legal issues, but now the writing is sloppy and the editorial is only interested in the President-Elect.

      TD seems lost.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 11:24am

    Three Tiers of Reporting

    The problem is that all sorts of stuff, from blog-style op-eds to baseball scores, gets lumped in as "the media". Off the cuff, there should be 1-3 tiers of coverage per piece.

    The base tier is the raw take with a basic, neutral, short synopsis. Covering a press conference? Provide a link to unedited audio or video of the press conference. Covering the latest dump from Wikileaks? Link to the documents that you are summarizing. Covering something that appeared in other media (mass media, social media, whatever)? Provide the raw other material, both as a link and as a screenshot or other capture (in case the original is deleted). Basically, provide the proof behind the synopsis. "Unnamed sources" need not apply -- use that for some gossip rag.

    The second tier is fact-checking and cross-referencing. Covering a press conference? Identify the sources of all facts cited at that conference (or indicate that the party making the statements declined to provide evidence), plus provide links to term definitions and other related explanatory material. Covering the latest dump from Wikileaks? Provide cross-references to other supporting material that refer to the same people/places/things/events. Covering something that appeared in other media? Identify the sources of those facts (or indicate that the party making the statements declined to provide evidence), plus provide links to term definitions and other related explanatory material.

    The third tier is analysis, which inevitably winds up involving some degree of opinion. This analysis needs to build upon the first two tiers (no hand-waving). Include cross-references to other analyses on related topics.

    But the key to all of this is that the results need to be a living document.

    The first tier should be able to be assembled fairly quickly. Get it up and posted, with placeholders for the remaining tiers (and ETAs, where applicable). Add in the fact-check/cross-reference work progressively, with timelines showing the changes. Add in the analysis for those topics that warrant after the first two tiers are complete... and if new evidence comes in, update the materials and deprecate (mark as outdated) analyses until they can themselves be updated.

    Mass media is too used to creating ephemeral work product: the article, the blog post, the 90-second segment for the 5pm news broadcast. Something a bit more like Wikipedia/Wikinews would go a long way towards showing enough of "how the sausage gets made" to help rebuild trust.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 12:00pm

    News flash: News isn't news anymore! More at 11, following some story about an abandoned kitten finding a home!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 12:13pm

    “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” -― George Orwell

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jyjon, 28 Nov 2016 @ 1:38pm

    Morphing into being Talking heads instead of a tech journal

    Techdirt really needs to return to it's roots of being a TECH journal, not a political journal.

    I don't come here for political bullshit. And if that's all that's going to be served up then you're gonna be loosing a lot of readers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Nov 2016 @ 3:08pm

    Better a stenographer than a mouthpiece

    The MSM tries to make money the same way that the ISP's do -- manufacture scarcity out of plenty.

    If the MSM can somehow restrict communications to/from an administration to go through the MSM, then they can charge monopoly rents for these communications.

    This also works out for the administration, which carefully hands out little tidbits to the MSM -- like treats for an obedient pet -- to keep the MSM towing the party line.

    Bottom line: when MSM reporters are married to admin officials, lobbyists, Fed officials, and/or party hearty with them, these reporters have crossed the line and can no longer be trusted to provide the public with unbiased reporting.

    As bad as social media is, it destroys the MSM rent-seeking business model, and allows fleeting insights into the real mechanisms of the power elites.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Koby (profile), 28 Nov 2016 @ 6:40pm

    The traditional media outlets have tried to position themselves as neutral and objective reporters; however, they are not, and a large segment of the population has now identified them as having a severe leftist bias. This is why the traditional media is in a downturn. It is also why Donald Trump appears to be continuing his twitter campaign.

    Michael Wolff is largely correct, that if the traditional media wants to survive and not simply get bypassed by new formats, then they need to change back to the formala that led to their success. They need to ditch the front page editorials and TV personalities. "Just the facts, sir."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Alexis Rivera (profile), 29 Nov 2016 @ 2:50am

    He should be picking up a dictionary...

    This guy really needs to get his professions right, what he describes is not journalism its what a spokesperson does. Here is a hint to help him out!

    The key difference is who pays you for the work. If the person in power is paying you, you are a spokesperson. If a news organization or the public are paying you, it usually means you are a journalist. Just ask yourself this, whose interests am I serving with my work? If you are not serving the public interest you are not a journalist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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