news media

The Daily Us

Perhaps Nicholas Kristof (whom I do admire) hasn't been keeping up with his John Dewey.
In today's New York Times, he writes:

When we go online, each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about.
Nicholas Negroponte of M.I.T. has called this emerging news product The Daily Me. And if that’s the trend, God save us from ourselves.

He worries about this because "we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices" and implies that the situation is new to the Web--conveniently forgetting that New York City, a century ago, had more than a dozen major newspapers (not to mention all of the smaller ones, the newsletters, the magazines, the flyers) and that readers were feeling exactly the same then, and acting exactly the same.

Sources Said

originally posted 2008-08-25 13:45:45 -bumped -- cho

Where would journalists be without sources? While reporters get the bylines that win awards, their best sources often risk loss of a job. Reporters used to honor whistleblowers’ commitment by doing hard-hitting exposes. That relationship soured with the war in Iraq. Many sources these days are taking their stories straight to the public, because self-important journalists by and large ignore or belittle them.

That’s what’s happened with many whistleblowers who challenge the official version of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With Bush apologists dominating television talk shows and newspaper op-ed pages, dissenters issue books and blogs to get past a virtual news censorship of informed criticism of the War on Terrorism. The infrequent exceptions to this pattern of the US media muzzling savvy watchdogs are stunning for being so rare.

Again, with the Narrative

Once more, the American commercial news media have created a story and then reported it as “news.”

How long, just how long can this go on?

Polls, the day before the New Hampshire primary, show Hillary Clinton suddenly dropping far behind Barack Obama. Clinton has an emotional moment before the primary. She wins the primary. Suddenly, we have a story, a narrative the news media can get their teeth into. Rather than simply reporting the news, they can create it.