No news is good news

This is a discussion on No news is good news within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by robwhit and if you disagree with somebody "setting it straight", you can always post something and "set ...

  1. #61
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robwhit View Post
    and if you disagree with somebody "setting it straight", you can always post something and "set it straight" yourself, so I'm not sure what you think is a problem.
    Well it's just silly. You know the whole project of civilization is furthered when you take your every action with deadly seriousness. That is "the way of the samurai".
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    what the ........ are you talking about?

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    I can't agree quite as quickly as everyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    No, but my point was that the effect can be identical. And to the contrary, there is a lot of news out there that doesn't answer many of those questions (perhaps not as spectacularly as the somewhat exaggerated example I gave, though). I'll give a current example from todays news:

    "Insurgents struck at the main symbol of the Western military presence in Afghanistan today, killing at least seven people and injuring nearly 100 others in a massive car bombing five days before nationwide elections."

    "The blast, just outside the front gate of NATO headquarters, was likely aimed at deterring Afghans from voting in Thursday's presidential and provincial assembly balloting, Afghan and Western officials said. The Interior Ministry blamed "enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan."
    I see what you're meaning to say. Especially with your later post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    The interesting thing is, most people don't even see through this sort of smoke-screen. They just blindly accept it, without even stopping to consider the presumptuousness of the "vocabulary economy" being used. It just goes to show how malleable public opinion really is.
    But I just don't read it the same way you do. In your first example, I had to look up insurgents, but I don't see how the term is inappropriate. I'd like to buy into the claim that the negative connotations from words like these will shape public opinion that way but I can't; I don't see what you can do about it. The willfully ignorant like me are the people who struggle to vote more, I think.

    I wish I could make sense out of the other examples you posted as well but I just don't find them as alarming.

    I guess blaming the media is a cop-out. We brewed this mess ourselves wanting minute to minute news. I'm glad that some countries can apparently do it well (Portugal), but I don't think it's practical to expect that and well investigated ("the killer was actually avenging his dead family when they were harmed during a planned demolition") type reporting. Reporters are still people and they will need time to organize the facts and yes they're going to fit a square peg into a round hole when they can't present the clearest picture. Doing anything else would be even more slanted.

    Some people think independent blogs should replace major news sources. I can't agree. I think it would exacerbate the problem, because independent reporters probably aren't going to have all the connections a paper does. Your government quote is an example, as randomly placed as it may be, though I was thinking more like airline flight plans as a better source independent investigators probably wouldn't get. That probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's about clout with people in high places.

    Another thing that I don't think independent blogs can do better is foreign correspondence. Granted, major news sources don't do that anymore either, but it's just as bad. Maybe that's why we really don't know much about news around the world.

    If there's one thing this thread taught me though, news requires close reading, and I'm even more convinced that reading Tuesday's news on Thursday is the way to go, apart from weather and traffic.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 08-15-2009 at 11:33 PM.

  4. #64
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    I quit watching TV 10 years ago. I stopped watching TV news years before that. It just stopped delivering actionable information. Britney Spears got another kid taken away because she missed a court date to have a boob job done? Great wonderful, umm, how does that effect me again?
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    I quit watching TV 10 years ago. I stopped watching TV news years before that. It just stopped delivering actionable information. Britney Spears got another kid taken away because she missed a court date to have a boob job done? Great wonderful, umm, how does that effect me again?
    It's a reminder not to miss court because you have an appointment for a boob job and can't be bothered to reschedule
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    but I don't think it's practical to expect that and well investigated ("the killer was actually avenging his dead family when they were harmed during a planned demolition") type reporting.
    Not practical, no. Not anymore when most daily general public news media is no longer a source of news. They are just being feed by news agencies.

    And this is what makes the problem even worse. If Reuters supplies a short piece on some insurgents on Iraq, it does this purely for information purposes. The information is also likely scarce and serves only as a post-it in the overall context of the daily news. Something that, from a reporter point-of-view would warrant a little side note reading "Investigate further these attacks. Talk to chief. Can we send someone there?". However, instead it is pulled out from the news agency feed and shaped into an headline long before it became News, removing it from its former footnote context. Exactly because of what you say; the need to provide "minute by minute information". (Note the lack of the word News.)

    Most reporters are today nothing much more than news feed gatherers and organizers. The figure of the investigative(?) reporter is fading. Becoming a commodity that not all local news sources are willing to invest on, despite the rising early financial results.

    Note: In fact Reuters is not a news supplier. Most of the time we are talking of a news gatherer that is only interested in doing a minimalist piece so news sources have a map of events they can choose from and investigate further. Unfortunately the role of agencies like Reuters is being corrupted by the generalist media, I have seen and heard many times already on channels like CNN, FOX, NBC, BBS, EuroNews, RAI, or TVE pieces on prime-time news with the exact same text I've read on the Reuters website.
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