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tkdguy

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I think a sea change happened among journalism schools in the late 1970s.  The role Woodward and Bernstein had in helping to blow open the Watergate affair and pulling down the Nixon administration led a change in the kind of student that chose journalism as a career, and ultimately the way those students were taught; they began to define their successes in terms of how many people they had destroyed, not how well they informed the public about cases, or how they portrayed situations of which the public knew next to nothing.

 

I say this partly as someone who was faculty at a place with a major journalism school in the 1990s (and faculty at a different place again starting in 2005).  Yeah, I was faculty in a science department, but I taught a lot of distribution-type classes and saw a lot of those students, and their emphasis was different from what I had seen among journalism majors I had known as an undergraduate in the 1970s. 

 

(I was a grad student at another school with a major journalism program, but in grad school most people -- explicitly including myself -- go heads-down concentrating on their studies to a much greater extent than as an undergrad, and I can't say I had more than a couple of conversations with journalism people during those years.  But I was involved in our public outreach efforts with Star Date for six years or so, and gained some insights about science journalism which are different from general political news.  I can say this: In literally every situation where I've had first-hand knowledge as a scientist abotu the science that had made a major story in the popular media, at least one major aspect of the as-published treatment was wrong.  I have come to blame this not on malice -- usually -- but usually on the ignorance of editors, who change words and phrasing to grab more readers/viewers, without recognizing that word choice is catastrophically important in conveying scientific content.  Sometimes the ignorance is deeper, publishing something that isn't actually news ... it's just something the head editor hadn't heard before.  My bailiwick is astronomy, which has approximately zero direct political or economic impact: aside from the idiot UFO conspiracy fanboys, and the not-even-of-vegetable-intelligence young-Earth creationists, there's no "fake news" intentionally promulgated in this field.  )

 

The increase in the general cynicism level that began with the realizations of just how thoroughly the Executive Branch (all of them: Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon) manipulated news of the Vietnam mess through the 1960s and 1970s, emerged in the 1980s went hand in hand with the new goals of young journalists who came on board at that time.  The cynicism, the reveling in the power of the Fourth Estate, and the anger with the duplicity of the White House over more than a decade ... they weren't the same thing, but combined to devalue the emphasis on "complete", "fair", and "impartial" that had been the professed ideal of the generation of journalists who came of age with radio and migrated into television.

 

With more or less everything with ".com" address, and way too much from any other domain, feeding on clickbait, socioeconomic agendas, and herd mentality, I select my news sources with a combination of great care and as much randomness as possible.

 

You pays your money and you takes your chances. 

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2 hours ago, death tribble said:

Sandy Hook parent awarded $450,000 for defamation

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50074652

 

That makes me incredibly happy!  :)

 

Can I sue his lawyer for calling it "alt right opium?"  I mean, she's defaming _me_ at that point.  I lean pretty hard to the right, but I'm not a friggin' lunatic!

 

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21 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

For what it's worth, I've been against the press for a quarter century. 

 

I am not against the freedom of it; I just think it should all have a manditory disclaimer.  :(

 

I don't recall it ever being as bad as it has been lately.

 

These last several years I feel like the media has tossed fact-checking, honesty and competence right out the window in favor of click-bait sensationalism and openly campaigning for one party.

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It's a function of the information-on-demand society the internet has brought us into. Fact-checking takes time, and in that time, someone else could break the story first.  So you publish what you've got now. Similarly, on the off chance that your information is found to be incorrect, you don't have to wait till the next day to print a retraction. You can do it immediately.  I feel this leads to a  philosophy of "Print now,  check later, correct as necessary". 

 

I feel it's also worth noting that controversy increases numbers of clicks, which in turn increases revenue. Publishing facts and unbiased information simply isn't a profitable business model these days.

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20 hours ago, dmjalund said:

from mutant cows?

@Cygnia had it right. The cops thought it was cocaine. Apparently he did too. He pled guilty because he was looking at a lot of time before the lab analysis came back. As soon as the lab said it was powered milk, he changed his plea.

CES  

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The semi finals of the Rugby World Cup will be England vs New Zealand and Wales vs South Africa. So there could be a Southern Hemisphere or Northern Hemisphere Final. Or a mixture.
Only one team has not won the World Cup before and that is Wales. If New Zealand win they will have won the last three in a row and will be the only team to have done this. If South Africa win they will be the second team to win three times and if England win it will be their second win.. 

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It would be nice. South Africa are not playing as dominantly as you would expect so Wales can win their semi. It just depends who wins between England and New Zealand. The All Blacks were supposed to be vulnerable and not as invincible or so the pundits said before the tournament began. And then the tournament started.

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