Just give me the story and get out of my face.

I really, really, really hate everything that is happening in the field of journalism.

1.) First of all, with maybe 3 quarters of class, pretty much anyone can be a journalist. It’s hard to be a good one, but there is a reason that journalists earn less money than most teachers.

2.) It’s hard to find a good writer.

3.) It’s even hard to find a good writer who is also a good reporter. It’s like tits and ass: You normally have one or the other. Rare is the bird who has both.

4.) Ever since the printing press was invented, people have disagreed with what they’ve seen spelled out in the news. This conversation normally takes place on porches or over the phone or on the Town Square or some shit. Maybe the water cooler.

5.) Blogs are invented. Suddenly, there is this overwhelming sense that news should notbe “one-sided.” Suddenly, it’s elitist or presumptuous to deliver the news and go away. It’s part of an “old model of thinking that’s failing.” I’d argue that paper is expensive and advertising is cheaper online,  but whatever. There is this sense, through “social media” that it has to be a “conversation.”

6.)  That is retarded

7.) Here is the kind of crap I am talking about. Social media creates a many-to-many relationship and encourages participation, whereas the traditional media relationship is based on a one-to-many, producer-consumer model.

8.) I’m sure some a-hole Live-Tweeted this panel conversation.

9.) That is what is happening everywhere. And it will survive, because people like to feel like their opinions help shape something. Anything that encourages narcissism will succeed. (Please see theteet.com as an example)

8.) Never, ever EVER in my life have I logged on to the New York Times and thought, “Hey, my opinion on the stimulus package matters.” Oh my god. No. I go to that site to figure out what the stimulus package means in the first place. I NEVER think, “this story would have been enriched if the reporter would have consulted me.”

9.) This is because we live in a society where people called “reporters” are paid to research shit and report back to us.  That’s their job. Which is nice for me, because I’m busy. I have shit to do. I appreciate how they are condensing information for me.

10.) I’m not saying “go away, amateurs.” I’m just saying that you should not be folded into news coverage. And that it’s no more ellitist to write a news story than it is to repair a carborator or construct a $5 footlong. It’s just doing a job.

11.) Journalists think they are more important than they are. But the ego of the journalist will never rival that of the Twitterer. What is up with those people, anyway?

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    I love these media posts. I know good writers, and I know good reporters, and I know people who are both. But the good reporters I know aren’t in it to see their pithy prose in bold face, they’re there to break open a big story, to catch the bad guys in the act, and to give a voice to those being taken advantage of. The good writers are the ones who delight in a clever phrase or a surprising story structure, or the creation of a fictional character that could be your next door neighbor, or your lover.

    Someone updating us every five minutes on what they had for lunch is neither of these. Nor will they ever be. Have no fear, LT!

  • Anonymous

    I think there’s a reaction moving against this as news gets more and more skewed by the beholder. CNN’s iReport thing went wrong when someone posted a fake news story about Steve Jobs being about to die or something, causing Apple’s stock to artificially dip like $12.

    Since money matters, the people with money won’t stand for that kind of shoddy news spread.

  • http://elephantsonbicycles.com Andrew

    So I know you’ve got both sides of this issue covered and that’s a big reason to appreciate what you are saying.

    I agree with much of what you said. Newspapers (or print in general), as well as TV and Radio are not going away. There’s going to be a lot of them that go away mostly because they weren’t effective enough at what they did to survive the financial reality (I mean most magazine’s haven’t been worth picking up for more than a decade because they’re just piles of adverts – similar to many blogs now).

    The thing is that we still (more than ever) need are really good reporters and journalists and at some point we’ll figure out how to pay people to continue to do that job. I don’t think that is far off but it is going to hurt until we get there.

    I disagree with the idea that all of these conversations (some more conversational than others) aren’t important though. I believe that there is a positive exchange going on. There are a whole lot of amateurs getting together and making really great porn; err, I mean technological and social changes because they now have a large enough pool of helpers to make it happen. Yes, I actually do believe that.

    Anyhow, that’s the word from this ego-centric self described non-reporter non-journalist big mouth blogger :) BTW I’m looking forward to hearing about whatever your new opportunity is. Will you be raising llama’s?

  • http://senorcoconut.diaryland.com Michele

    Journalism sounds stressful. I would just like to chime in about the Twitterers. I don’t need to know who is eating soup and why and what kind. I eat my soup in private whenever possible. Amen and amen.

  • http://lemonscarlet.diaryland.com jessi

    I really don’t understand Twitter. I have noticed that some people use their status updates on Facebook as a Twitter-type thing. I’m sick of reading “Jennifer is going to pick up the kids from school now!” and “Shanna can’t decide what to make for lunch.” and “Mandy is going to Club Matrix tonight.” And the like. That’s basically what Twitter is, right? I just don’t get it. It seems to me that this sort of thing is like wearing a t-shirt that says “Attention Creeps: Would anyone like to stalk me?” I mean, it seems like a stalker and maybe, possibly, your mom are the only people who are interested in you on this level. Right? But…this is exactly the kind of thing I say before I try something and get hooked on it. Meet me over at Twitter.com or wherever you go to start this crap.