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Author Topic: [Cracked.Com] You're 90% to Blame for Journalists Getting Fired  (Read 1500 times)

Paul Keith

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[Cracked.Com] You're 90% to Blame for Journalists Getting Fired
« on: January 28, 2013, 02:06:48 PM »
I just like the implications that communication problems is just not a "you failed to communicate" concept and felt this Cracked.com article summed up well what's wrong on the other end:

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In the article about the human heads, no one actually opened a package and realized that it contained the trophies of a serial killer. Those were specimens being transferred from one medical lab in Rome to another in the U.S., something that happens all the time. The most interesting part of the story is that the paperwork mentioned what was inside. That's it. The real story is that a delivery guy read some paperwork. Neither one of those sensational stories is actually much of a story at all when all the facts are accounted for, and this type of thing happens all the time. Now, while that may sound dangerously irresponsible on the part of news organizations, you're also about 90 percent to blame for the phenomenon.

Read more: http://www.cracked.c...fault/#ixzz2JIn6oOlt

Gawker

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The whole reason they aren't completely accurate is because each article absolutely has to be click-friendly to an online audience. In the example of the story about human heads, you can watch the progression of titles as the story makes its way across "news" sites. The Chicago Sun Times, where the story originated, initially led with the header, "Inquiry into Research Facility Holds Up 18 Human Heads at O'Hare." Then Fox News felt comfortable enough tweaking the story to "18 Human Heads Found at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport," and finally Gawker tested the full elasticity of the truth by titling it "18 Severed Human Heads Discovered in Package at Airport; Everyone Being Very Chill About It," because they know that the only way to ensure that people read it is to make the story into something startling enough to become viral.

Read more: http://www.cracked.c...fault/#ixzz2JIncxa9q

Finally the coup de grace

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Now, it's no secret that we don't read newspapers anymore; countless Heralds, Tribunes, Posts, Times, and whatever they read in other countries have folded because we've proven that we prefer our news from blogs and content aggregators like Reddit. And good riddance, right? The newspaper industry is a relic, we're living in the future! Reddit knows how to trim out the fat and give us the very best news from around the world. Everything on Tumblr and the other blogs we follow is guaranteed to be fascinating and specifically catered to us because we handpicked the people who provide it.

But here's the problem: The stories still have to originate somewhere. Someone has to do the fact checking, and the source checking, and the interviews, and break the stories, but those people are all getting fired left and right because we've ensured that journalism isn't a viable career option anymore. So the only way for lean and desperate news outlets to get traffic from aggregators and blogs is if each article is absolutely shocking. As a result, the stories get fudged a little until they're more sharable for an online audience.

It's easiest to think of these refined, processed news stories as Reese's Pieces that make up a tiny portion of your online consumption. They're a nice treat once in awhile, but when they are the entirety of your information diet, the part of your brain that used to be responsible for breaking down the complex, nutrient-filled, TL; DR carbohydrates has nothing to do anymore and starts to atrophy. You start to lose the energy and the will to ask questions about the story and instead cave to the insatiable urge to just keep ingesting.

That's why fake news stories can surge through Twitter before anyone has a chance to debunk them. The Internet allowed for the creation of a fast food version of information that's not particularly good for you but still triggers that same pleasure zone in the brain. You're essentially fattening yourself up with information obesity, because the news outlets, in the end, are businesses that know they can stay in the black by feeding you what you want as opposed to what you need. Meanwhile, reason and rationality rot like neglected teeth. Or maybe it's journalism that's rotting like teeth. I don't know anymore, that metaphor kind of got away from me.

Read more: http://www.cracked.c...fault/#ixzz2JIoS3DN4

I will add this: For someone who has lived in a country where tabloids are considered on par with newspapers but have never ever lived and experienced yellow journalism. All I can say is thank you, English speaking internet posting web users from across the globe.

Edit: This comment post is also really really good compared to most Cracked.com comebacks.

The Internet was invented precisely as a vortex to CONTAIN our crazy. I scream into it not so much for attention, but as a release: much in the same way that some people hang a heavy-bag in their basement and wail away at it after a stressful day at work to release their aggression. I cannot use a heavy-bag, however, as my hands have become extremely arthritic, frozen in "action figure gun grip" mode (a side effect of earlier forays into using the Internet for a different type of "release"- a trap that all too many of my brethren fall into... often 4 or 5 times a day...)

The Internet was invented by the US Government in the 60s as an offshoot of ARPANET, as a way of providing research scientists working on highly sensitive projects to release their stress (caused by their often exasperating work on batshit crazy projects like weaponry and chemical warfare) by typing long tirades about how they were developing "murder machines" and "man's downfall" into simple text documents and sending them to their colleagues in hopes of exorcising their inner demons, like a kind of therapy. This worked for MANY decades, helping some of the government's brightest minds slog through their horrible workdays consisting of figuring out how to invent the most efficient devices for liquifying human beings and making their insides attack them in the most horrific ways imaginable.

Later on in the 90s, Tim Berners-Lee recognized the capabilities of this communication technology, and that as corporate interests continued to streamline productivity and increase output demand, he saw that the average worker would soon likewise need an outlet for "hauling off on the boss anonymously in such a way as to express their deepest outrage for workplace inequalities and a general desire to painfully insert large objects into their supervisors' orifices as a means for swift revenge" [citation needed]. Lee built a graphical interface and protocols for ease of access that now allow the average person to adeptly fire off threatening screeds and hateful sermons to any and everyone capable of absorbing such maledictions in the most common mediums of not only text, but also audio, video, and the super-efficent format of cat-pictures.

The problem is that we have conflated what the Internet's true purpose is: it was NEVER a place for rational people to share important ideas and beneficial information across complex social networks almost instantaneously. It was supposed to just be an infinite nexus to absorb all of our crazy, so we could focus on doing those things *IN THE REAL WORLD* instead, where they would effect the most immediate good. Not until the rest of the world realizes that the Internet is just the layer of distraction it was always intended to be, and *NOT an actual place to accomplish things*, will we ever move forward and progress together.

In summary: eat s**t Mr. Robertson in Accounting, I'll have those reports on your desk as soon as I'm done jacking-off to this picture of your wife you left on your desk.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 02:13:10 PM by Paul Keith »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: [Cracked.Com] You're 90% to Blame for Journalists Getting Fired
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 03:00:52 PM »

Heh Paul.

"You typed a lot of words. That's too hard. Can you reduce it to a picture? KThxLuvya."  :D

SeraphimLabs

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Re: [Cracked.Com] You're 90% to Blame for Journalists Getting Fired
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 04:01:07 PM »
I see that you have entered an in depth article.

Would you like me to break it down into an easy to understand format?



I was looking up Jurassic Park quotes the other day because I had a situation that really needed one, and I came across this:

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In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: [Cracked.Com] You're 90% to Blame for Journalists Getting Fired
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 05:46:44 PM »

Quote
In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.

The worst part of "Teal Deer" (TL;DR) is that the length of a post is basically directly proportional to the work that went into it, so I for one find that kind of reply as a special brand of insult because it's like an oblique Ad-Hominem attack. :(

Paul Keith

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Re: [Cracked.Com] You're 90% to Blame for Journalists Getting Fired
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 09:13:40 PM »
It depends. For someone who has been in the receiving end of many Teal Deer, I find it more honest especially if it's a subject where you're not an expert but are willing to discuss.

It's usually the follow-up sentence to the TL;DR post by the same poster that's the ad-hominem attack since sometimes people will act like you were oblivious to the fact that you wrote something long. Other times people will accuse you of not replying to something they wrote despite the length of the reply.