Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > The Academy > Tilted Politics


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-12-2004, 08:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
Mencken
 
Scipio's Avatar
 
Location: College
My Biggest Gripe About the News

It's pretty simple. There are a lot of things wrong about the news, but the biggest problem is that they're too busy reporting what people say, and don't spend enough time reporting what the truth is. The cynical side of me says that it's because the people who become journalists these days aren't that smart, were trained to be journalists, and not to actually know anything, and that our reporters simply don't think critically (because it takes work to question what they are told).

Well, what happens is you get stories like Bush's budget.

http://www.nypost.com/business/17785.htm

Greenspan said that no one has presented a credible plan for cutting budget deficits, forecast to hit a record $521 billion in this fiscal year, though the White House has pledged to halve them by 2009.

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/ne...ngI7lMmY7AUUqH!1452159429?urac=n&urvf=10766446419490.9126011593636759

"Others welcomed Bush's focus on deficit reduction at a time when hundreds of billions of dollars are being funneled into defending the country against the threat of terrorist attack. But they said his plan doesn't go far enough to shore up fiscal stability in a country already $7 trillion in debt.

So which one is it? They like his "focus" on the deficit, but turn around and say he's not making a significant effort to reduce it?

"Making the (tax) cuts permanent would add an estimated $1 trillion to deficits over the five year period beginning in 2009 -- the end-point for Bush's deficit reduction estimates."

This is me throwing a bone to the press, though it also proves my point. They cite opponents of the budget who say Bush is lying about what the budget will do. However, it's not the press pointing out the FACTUAL TRUTH that the budget won't work as advertised. It's only worth putting in a news story if somebody else says it.

This leads to some absurd situations. Bush will wheel out 15 economists who back his plan. Daschle will wheel out 150 economists who say the Bush plan is bullshit. What's the headline?

"Economists Disagree on the Bush Proposal"

True, people might disagree about the economic growth rate, but we shouldn't rely on a policy that requires an economic boom to work. We should plan for a mixed forecast, and if things go well, then they don't just go well. They go really freaking great. That's the kind of smart government we'll never get from this White House, and far be it from our media to call anyone on it.

So in a nutshell, our press has a tendency to take false claims at face value, and report them that way. If Bush woke up and said the sky was red, we'd get the headline:"Views on the color of the sky differ."

That is all.
__________________
"Erections lasting more than 4 hours, though rare, require immediate medical attention."
Scipio is offline  
Old 02-12-2004, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
Tone.
 
shakran's Avatar
 
So let me get this straight. You're complaining that journalists aren't bothering to dig up and report the truth, yet you did not bother to look in to how journalists are really trained at good journalism schools?

Next.
shakran is offline  
Old 02-12-2004, 08:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
Huzzah for Welcome Week, Much beer shall I imbibe.
 
Location: UCSB
I trust "popular" journalists to present what they think wil get ratings. I trust the economist's journalists to present me with good information on the economy.
__________________
I'm leaving for the University of California: Santa Barbara in 5 hours, give me your best college advice - things I need, good ideas, bad ideas, nooky, ect.

Originally Posted by Norseman on another forum:
"Yeah, the problem with the world is the stupid people are all cocksure of themselves and the intellectuals are full of doubt."
nanofever is offline  
Old 02-12-2004, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
Mencken
 
Scipio's Avatar
 
Location: College
What I'm saying is that the quality of these journalism schools is empirically denied. If you'd care to correct me with facts rather than with a sharply worded rhetorical question with the word "next!" at the end, I might take you seriously. I point out, correctly I think, that the journalists that most people read, and that are at more or less the top of their profession, are sadly lacking in the ability to critically examine claims made by people and "experts."

It's an inherent problem that experts disagree on matters, and that there's no accepted way to determine what the truth actually is when that happens. That's a reality that journalists have to work with. It's also something that is only partly true. In academia, there's an accepted peer-review process, and some ideas about how things are are accepted, and others are not. This process takes time, and when stories are breaking, it's hard for journalists to get out in front of the story with good facts. However, it's also important that journalists get it right the first time.

I give a specific example. The president put out a budget that projects things that no serious and non-partisan economist takes seriously. It should come as no surprise that the projected employment numbers were revised downward shortly after the budget was released. However, the fact that the politicians in this country can say false things and be quoted saying them with no indication of their untruth is a sad reality indeed.
__________________
"Erections lasting more than 4 hours, though rare, require immediate medical attention."
Scipio is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 12:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
irateplatypus's Avatar
 
Location: dar al-harb
i agree w/you completely scipio. there is never a shortage of people nebulously referred to as "experts" quoted in all avenues of news journalism. these people give their opinion, and then journalists often use that person's opinion to disprove another person's opinion. the reader often loses track of the fact that all this fluff boils down to 2 or more persons disagreeing on a issue.

i think this contributes to how loosely politics is based on actual issues...

instead of ever pointing out how kerry actually votes and has evolved through the years, you get stories of a possible affair and what his rivals are suggesting about him to smudge his character.

instead of examining the war in iraq statistically, and measuring reconstruction objectively... we are treated to quotes by people who have everything to gain by hurting the president's credibility.

the news is never what someone actually did, it is what someone else says about them. it is like middle school girl politics all the time.

i'm not sure who is to blame... low journalistic standards or the public who eats this stuff up. but honestly, i don't think many people share my perspective on this issue.... even fewer have ever given it enough thought to care.
__________________
If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill
irateplatypus is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 01:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
Mencken
 
Scipio's Avatar
 
Location: College
Same goes for the Iraq stories.

They quote the president: "Things are goin good."

But democrats say: "Things are goin bad."

A bit of fluff, and you got yourself an article.
__________________
"Erections lasting more than 4 hours, though rare, require immediate medical attention."
Scipio is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 03:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
Insane
 
Try reading the alternative media. I find you get much better analysis of important topics and less parroting of official positions.

http://www.democracynow.org/

http://www.commondreams.org/

http://www.zmag.org/weluser.htm
hammer4all is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 04:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
Right Now
 
Location: Home
Scipio, you make some excellent, well articulated points.

I am not agreeing or disagreeing. I appreciate your approach.
Peetster is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 06:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
Insane
 
What I dont like with an example...

kerry's philandering is already front page.
The woman who suicided herself (like most threats to power) claimed GWB sexually assaulted her...no front page.
Ellen Miriani has a Civil RICO suit against Bush et al., NO FRONT PAGE.

Where is the fair and balance?
Bookman is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 07:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
Tone.
 
shakran's Avatar
 
OK here are the problems with your argument. They all stem from the fact that you lack a basic knowledge of how journalists work.

In the first place you're blaming the journalists. That's the wrong place to look. You want to blame the news directors and their superiors. News directors are rarely trained in journalism. More often, they have a business degree. Why is that significant? Because they're looking for the stories that will make the station the biggest profit. Then they tell their reporters to go report on that, and if the reporter doesn't like it because it's not journalistically sound, the reporter gets shitcanned and replaced with someone who DOES like it.

Ever wonder why in Minnesota you'll see as the top story of the evening news cast a story about some kid who was beaten by a mob of other kids on the school bus. . in FLORIDA? Simple. It had graphic video of the kid getting his ass kicked, and some asshole news director decided that would attract viewers. And it probably worked.

Ever wonder why you see a reporter doing a live report in front of a dark building at 10pm where NOTHING is happening? It's called "live for the sake of live" and it's done to try and make the station appear that it's live on the scene, even if the scene actually occurred 12 hours ago. The news channel that appears to be live more often gets more viewers, in the mind of the news director businessman.

Journalists go through J-school and learn how to do it right. Then they get out in the real world and are told that doing it right is great and all, but if they want a paycheck, they'll do it the way their bosses want it done.

That's why Kerry's philandering is already front page - because people LOVE political sexual scandals IF it involves a democrat.

GWB's sexual assult has simply not been proven, there's not enough evidence, and whatever station broke the story would be facing a mammoth lawsuit. News stations don't like lawsuits any more because it eats into their profits.

the RICO suit was mentioned on NBC nightly news. It's not front page material - the suit is right now bullshit because she does not have actual evidence that what she alleged actually occurred.

as for "fair and balanced," that refers to Fox news, and there aren't a whole lot of people except for delusional ultra-conservatives that consider Fox news a reputable organization.


My point is that you came out and attacked the journalists. The journalists are by and large not at fault here. They want to report the news the way it should be reported, but right now very few organizations allow them the freedom to do that - National Public Radio is a shining exception to the commercialism of journalism, and I can assure you that the waiting list for journalists wanting to work for them is LONG because of their excellent coverage.

For the rest of the journalists who aren't so lucky, well they have to eat. They need to earn money and that means doing what their bosses tell them to do.


If you're going to come out and attack the journalists because they don't report the truth, then you should look into the journalism profession so that, in your attack on it, YOU report the truth.
shakran is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 07:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
Overreactor
 
Location: South Ca'lina
Shakran, I agree with you 99%. You are absolutely right that the news directors drive what you see and hear. After all, business is business. News is great and all, but we've got to pay the bills and make a profit.

The 1% I disagree with is what you said about Fox News. No one can honestly say that Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, and the rest of the big-3 anchors don't do exactly what Fox News does, just on the left side.
__________________
"I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request." - Capt. Barbossa
johnnymysto is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 08:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
irateplatypus's Avatar
 
Location: dar al-harb
posted by Shakran:

"as for "fair and balanced," that refers to Fox news, and there aren't a whole lot of people except for delusional ultra-conservatives that consider Fox news a reputable organization."

that may be what you'd like to believe, but it does not have a basis in reality. Fox News is kicking a decent amount of ass in ratings and viewership trust. granted, the audience is skewed towards the right... but the audience is bigger than any other cable news source. there just aren't enough people that fit that description in our country to fit your analysis.

and yes, i think ANY criticism of anybody who doesn't report the truth is valid. there is never any excuse for reporting what is untrue, but the ideas about the machinations of the news industry were well-taken.

thanks for giving us your insight into the actual profession, that is a factor i don't often think about on this issue.
__________________
If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill
irateplatypus is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 09:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
Charlatan's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Lion City
Couple of things:

1) I recently watched All the President's Men. It is interesting to see just how much evidence Woodward and Berstien needed to come up with before they could file their accusations. They believed something but couldn't print it until they had strong enough proof.

"Strong enough proof" seems to have fallen by the wayside in today's press. Innuendo seems to be good enough. Stories that can defame are printed and reported because they are entertainment rather than something we really need to know.

2) I married a journalist. I went to school with her and sociallized with her friends in J School. The one thing that always struck me as odd was that Journalism could be Degree program. Students learned the craft of journalism (meeting deadlines, writing in proper form, etc). All worthy and certainly important things to know if you wish to be a journalist.

However, I always thought they had it a bit backward. I always thought Jounalism school should be more like a Teacher's Degree -- something you take AFTER your bachelor's degree. An arts degree is for one thing and one thing only (regardless of your major) it is to teach you how to research, analyse, distil and formulate a position and then present that position in a cogent fashion. A very useful skill.

Journalism majors learned a trade but left little time to actually understand things like world politics, etc.
__________________
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
Charlatan is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 09:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
Tone.
 
shakran's Avatar
 
Quote:
No one can honestly say that Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, and the rest of the big-3 anchors don't do exactly what Fox News does, just on the left side.
Then why did all three of them make such a huge deal out of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, yet none of the three of them have made a huge deal over the election improprieties in Florida, and not until recently did they finally make a big deal out of Bush's service record, or lack thereof.

Before the war started, there was enough evidence for a 3 hour news special that there weren't WMD's, yet none of the big three made a big deal out of it. No interpretation was given, they just reported what people said.

And ya know what, that's a journalist's JOB. It's not for us to sway public opinion. That's the job of the political pundits and the McLaughlin Group. Our job is to report what happens. If someone says there are WMD's, it's our job to report that, and we're not ethically allowed to say the guy's full of shit, even if we know he is.

Besides, regarding Fox, any news organization that hires and promotes Geraldo as a legitimate journalist has got serious issues with journalistic integrity.


Quote:
Fox News is kicking a decent amount of ass in ratings and viewership trust
Survivor and Fear Factor are highly rated as well. That doesn't mean they're accurate or that they're quality shows. People watch Fox news because it's more entertaining. Plain and simple.

Quote:
there is never any excuse for reporting what is untrue
Give me some specific examples of journalists reporting what is untrue.

Quote:
They believed something but couldn't print it until they had strong enough proof "Strong enough proof" seems to have fallen by the wayside . . . ."
Well actually, W & B were taking on the President of the United States in an extremely dangerous situation. They risked their lives and the lives of others (why do you think we still don't know who Deep Throat is?)

Lightly reporting that some dumbass (and sorry, but Matt Drudge is a dumbass) said that Kerry had an affair with some lady way back when is NOT the same thing as coming right out and accusing the President of high crimes against the country.


And Charlatan, I dunno what school you're talking about, but MY school taught us the mechanics of journalism (radio/tv production, gathering facts, etc) and also seemed to have time to teach us the regular arts skills as well. But you have to remember, "formulating a position and stating it cogently" is not the job of a journalist. It's our job to give you what happened. It's YOUR job to figure out what to think about it.
shakran is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 10:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
Mencken
 
Scipio's Avatar
 
Location: College
You raise another good point shakran. Journalism is inherently a commercial endeavor these days. It's a source of things to talk about over the water cooler. It's run not by the reporters out in the field, but by their bosses in the news room and in the offices upstairs. This situation probably has a lot to do with my gripes about what the news looks like these days. So yeah, let's blame the editors for some things, but I'm not willing to let the noble reporters off the hook just yet. They still more or less write the stories, and my gripe is about their quality, and not about which stories are selected to be covered.
__________________
"Erections lasting more than 4 hours, though rare, require immediate medical attention."
Scipio is offline  
Old 02-13-2004, 10:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
Tone.
 
shakran's Avatar
 
1) When the reporter writes his own story, he's told to write it in a certain way. If he doesn't, he gets his ass reamed by the ND. If he still doesn't, he gets fired.

2) Reporters don't necessarilly have editorial control over the stories they do.

3) Every reporter out there worth anything hates the way the profession has gone, and wishes we could go back to the old days when news was a prestige-garnering loss-leader for the station. In those days, news had a good budget, and it was not expected to show a profit. It was expected to be the best news it could be so the station would look good, and the money lost on news would be made up for by people watching other programs on that station. Then someone figured out you can make money off of news, and it's been downhill from there.

My objection is not to your observation that news is by and large crap, because it is. My objection is that you came straight out and said it was the reporters' fault. Reporters are the low man on the totem pole, which is unfortunate because many of us do NOT want the news profession to be where it is right now.
shakran is offline  
 

Tags
biggest, gripe, news

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:31 PM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360