Cory Leonard

Truthiness in Media

In media on January 21, 2014 at 4:33 am

I’ll tell you why we still need “traditional media” like Reuters, FT, WSJ, WaPo, NYT, and other newbies who aspire to serious journalistic standards. The system that we currently have allowed within the web we all love is misguided.

Luke O’Neill who wrote an article cum bombshell saying as much,  says it best here: “Readers are gullible.  The media is feckless. Garbage is circulated around.  And everyone goes to be happy and fed.”  In other words, the web rewards eyeballs over truth, sensation over meaning, excitement over importance.

And praise be to NPR’s On the Media for another revealing interview:

BOB GARFIELD:  So what you’re describing, Luke, is the quintessential perfect storm. The writers need to post a crazy lot just to make a living. The publications need to generate clicks. That’s where its revenue comes from. You throw in plain journalistic laziness and human nature, an undiscriminating audience that just wants to be titillated or whatever. The convergence of these elements, clearly, if your story is right, overwhelms any commitment to truth.

LUKE O’NEILL:  I think that’s exactly what happens. And as someone who’s written for newspapers for many years, I know that if you make a small mistake in a printed newspaper, like the Boston Globe, where I’ve contributed for a long time, they are not happy about that, even if it’s something that doesn’t matter.

And I think that these big viral sites, they don’t have that sort of standards in place. Like consider the headline style that has become so prevalent this year, like this one cat that will restore your faith in humanity or, you know, these 10 ice cream cones that’ll make you want to believe in God. It’s all based on hyperbole and exaggeration. The entire interaction is starting off on a falsehood.

via The Best Piece of Radio You’ll Hear In Your Life Transcript – On The Media.



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