Friday, May 21, 2010

The MSM We Have

DougJ: Memo to David Gregory

Fact-checking can be a good business strategy (Greg Sargent):

Has anyone else noticed that the Associated Press has been doing some strong fact-checking work lately, aggressively debunking all kinds of nonsense, in an authoritative way, without any of the usual he-said-she-said crap that often mars political reporting?

I asked AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about this, and he told me something fascinating, if not all together unexpected: Their fact-checking efforts are almost uniformly the most clicked and most linked pieces they produce.

Journalistic fact-checking with authority, it turns out, is popular. Who woulda thunk it?

I’ve heard various theories about David Gregory’s refusal to allow fact-checking on “Meet the Press”, but none of them make sense to me.

DougJ: That was the sin that did Jezebel in

It’s longer than the Constitution, and Conor Friedersdorf is already arguing with Matt Yglesias about Megan McArdle’s take on it, but, nevertheless, this report from the belly of the media beast (Philadelphia Daily News, Wall Street Journal, Jezebel) is a must read:

So I wrote what I know, or rather what I’ve learned, which could be summed up this way: when the Internet forced journalism to compete economically after years of monopoly, journalism panicked and adopted some of the worst examples of the nothing-based economy, in which success depends on the continued infantilization of both supply and demand. At the same time, journalism clung to its myths of objectivity and detachment, using them to dismiss the emerging blogger threat as something unserious and fundamentally parasitic, even as it produced a steady stream of obsessive but sneering trend stories on the blogosphere.

It’s not an anti-media screed, it treats not only the arrogance of established media and silliness of some new media, but also the genuine bad-assedness of being a real reporter.

Rolling Stone should hire Maureen Tkacik, she’d be a great complement to Matt Taibbi.

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