What are news? Watermelon_man helps us out

November 17, 2011

Since engaging with #mediainquiry on Twitter and in the meatworld I have stumbled across some really nice people (at least they seem nice, I’ve only seen their avatars).

Their tweets make sense and they are using their real names. This is always a plus with me because I think free speech comes with accountability.

Anyone can use anonymity to fart into the wind and spew abuse over everyone and everything. But it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in and to take responsibility for your words and actions.

At times it can be tough. Saying things that are unpopular, or that inflame the prejudices of the dribblejaws is like painting a target on your back or pinning a ‘kick me’ sign to your arse.

Anyway, two of the good guys have recently been added to my blogroll:

Watermelon_man

Happy Antipodean.

This morning a brief post. I just want to share some entries from Watermelon_man’s dictionary; they are apt in the discussion of journalism and the news that occurs frequently on EM

Advertising: Sophisticated and highly profitable activity designed to turn informed consumers into ignorant ones.

Anecdote: Story by untrained amateur of poorly observed, half-remembered event, used by media to overturn work of world scientific community

Apostrophe: most misused punctuation mark. When in doubt best not to use one and be thought idiot than use one and confirm it.

Journalism: process of analysing, explaining, making clear, issues for public (archaic); process of obscuring reality (modern)

Journalist: A reporter of facts, an impartial observer (archaic); A writer of fiction, a political player (modern)

Media scrum: a pack of journalists, behaving like animals, from every media outlet except your own. See also: paparazzi, tabloid

Opinion Poll: Phone calls to a small number of conservative people who are asked to confirm that conservative politics is best

Political news: trivial information carefully gathered from press releases, publicity stunts, malignant gossip, by “reporters”

TV Documentary: Form of teaching about a subject where the viewer gains information in spite of director’s best efforts, not because of them.


Does news HAVE a future?

April 28, 2007

It’s probably still a rare thing for a blogger to actually advertise a rival blog in a post, but here goes. This deserves a shout. I got this message from Steve Borris, the associate director of the Center for the Application of Information Technology at the Washington University in St Louis. I’ve had a quick tour of “the future of news” and it’s probably going to become a regular stop on my rounds of the blogosphere. It’s covering some of the same ground as me, but ventures into technology a bit more than I might do. The “future” of news and journalism is a subject close to my own intellectual interests and my own passions about the future of journalism (but not as we know it). I will add a permanent link in my own blogroll, but for now, check it out. Here’s the gist of Steve’s message:

Hello,

I would like to call your attention to “The Future of News” blog that was launched last month. It is a spin-off of a college course by the same name that I teach at Washington University in St. Louis. This site provides a vision of what news will look like 5-15 years from now. It also provides ongoing commentary on how closely day-to-day events fit this vision. While most web-based information on the future of news tends to focus on the perspectives of those involved with current news organizations or technology, this site will also incorporate perspectives from history, political science, consumer marketing, economics, and finance. This should be evident in the three permanent articles that I have posted on the site: News as it was meant to be, Four advances that set news back, and The future of news.