Journalism BS

“Those direct, near-instantaneous dispatches are far less reliable than old-fashioned journalism.” And upon this I call BS. I have found that any reportage where I’ve been to the event, seen and heard and experienced for myself, has been incorrect at some level of detail. Every single one. Why? Because of editing. Because if you’re collecting interviews and making notes you are not experiencing the event. Because certain interests are promoted (newsworthiness, sponsorship, patronage etc.)

I don’t disagree that the wildfire repetition of unconfirmed information is the road to accuracy either. But this core assumption that the news orgs are more reliable than a series of first hand accounts is just crap.

Also in this article is whining from Steve Frothingham:

It’s one-sided,” said editor Steve Frothingham in explaining the policy. “It’s us just sitting there taking what he’s giving. We can’t just not ask follow-up questions, we can’t ask any questions.

Have you heard the inane, worthless, follow up questions most reporters ask? I’m not saying that it’s easy in the scrum that is most press events to come up with scintillating and to the point questions, but considering that and the usual lack of answer (stay on message, stay on message) it’s hardly problematic.

What all this whining is really about is disintermediation. And that’s a problem not so easily fixed if your in the news business.

And from the past… “Jorn Barger, the NewsPage Network, and the Emergence of the Weblog Community”

I received an email from Rudolf Ammann about a conference paper that included a reference to an old website of mine then five years into its existence. What a fun time period! (The paper was presented at Hypertext 2009, 30 June 2009, Torino, Italy)

I’m cited as a source that the “NewsPage Network” wasn’t yet “blog rolling” to use a term that couldn’t possibly have existed at that moment. I can’t say I thought of folks who used that software as a network, although I see why one could.

Several years into his news page project, Daniel Berlinger for his part had yet to put up any sort of links to kindred sites.[30] Thus, the sites that Gulker identified as a network shared a publishing tool and a publishing model but no sense of cohesion amongst each other.

(The actual citation is “Berlinger, Daniel (2000-06-06). “News from the Digital Prairie”. Circumtech. Retrieved on 2009-06-30.”)

I think that’s a fair statement.

But at roughly the same time there’s another site of mine that has pointers to a network of folks, although in a redesign not long after, they’re gone again.

And I think looking back (with all the problems and corrections and misremembering of this sort of thing) that I was writing many sites that were constantly being organized and reorganized with different themes and ideas. The Archipelago site was a eat your own dog food site for my weblog editor (named, appropriately, Archipelago). Then as FAQs rolled in and development continued the site was redesigned with new focus and features. The header image for example changed with the seasons, and eventually was automated to do so. Other sites were more about longer form writing, rather than linking to news of the day. But anyway…

Nicely done.

And a toast to all the folks who quietly brought the idea of writing on the web to life, one little bit at a time.

Feels like summer

It was a glorious day to take Noah swimming. Lisa headed off to her parents place, leaving me time to ride and take care of some chores. After that we were going to prepare for the week, and watch the Tour.

I set off with Jenni, headed for my local loop with its climbs, swoopy descents, and dappled sunlight. Hold that thought.


We ran into John and Mike out for their own lovely spin. The weather was truly spectacular. Ok. Back to Dappling.

The dappled sunlight will kill you on a decent. It hides all sorts of road issues… such as abyss like pot holes. I saw the monster at the last second, cleverly hiding in the shadows next to a bright patch of sunlight, but I failed to completely hop the crevasse. I ejected my 3034_1.jpgsuper bright stealth Planet Bike tail light when my rear wheel hit the front lip, but there was no point in stopping as it shattered in the roadway. The entire light didn’t fly off the mount as is so often the case, no, no. Here the light split itself wide open leaving the back in the mount. And while I didn’t know it at that moment, I untrued my back wheel with the same hit. Ow.

We decided to take the longer way around, which included hopping off one’s bike to cross a bridge that is closed to car traffic and headed for route 17 (not a particularly pleasant road to ride on because of the speed of the car traffic. We managed however to stay out of trouble, even during the nasty transition where cars exit left to continue on into NJ, and we hold out lane to get back to stay in NY.

We stopped for some drinks, and as we got into the quieter sections I heard the dreaded rhythmic rubbing sound. Next chance I got I hopped off my bike, spun the rear wheel, grimaced when I saw the deflection of the the untrue wheel, opened the rear brakes and pushed them off center. I hopped back on and continued.

This is where Jenni tells the story of her bonk. I don’t tell other people’s bonk stories, because, well, each of those folks has crawled along with me and my bonks, with nary a complaint or mention ever. That said, I’ve never seem Jenni bonk like she did yesterday. Not even close.

After I got home and cleaned up I realized I had one more chore to add to the list since I now had to get my rear wheel trued (and frankly inspected) on top of the other stuff. The key chore however was gassing up the Grill tank and buying the parts I needed to rebuild it. Somewhat organized, I made my way, got the parts I needed, my wheel and heart were true again and while batting the last of the yellow jackets out of my way rebuilt the grill in time to pile some “snausages” on there (Snausages being my borrowed term for the all veggie tofu “sausages” we’ve been eating as an occasional treat).

Very soon after Lisa and sleeping Noah returned from their day of splashing and fun. Noah woke up briefly, demanded a movie (since no one could manage to get the DVD player at his grandparents to work) and promptly fell back to sleep. Lisa and I enjoyed a quiet meal, and preparations for the week ensued. We fell asleep watching a fairly boring bit of Tour. Noah was up by 4:30am, ready to start his day. Me? Not so much. Allez!

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