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Politics The 4th Estate - Media....is it truth or fiction? TFP pundits will examine.

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Word. :cool:
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 6
  2. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North
    ^ One of the best descriptions of the right to free speech ever.
     
  3. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    I acknowledge all of the things mentioned in this thread so far, as to the national media.

    But the picture is very different at the local level.

    The #1 reality down here is disinvestment in local news.

    Ten years ago, this town had a daily paper, with a lot of reporters. Now, the paper publishes only twice a week, and has about one-eighth as many reporters as it did then.

    Five years ago, the paper had an ambitious online presence, a widely trumpeted effort to replace the paid reporters with volunteer bloggers. But in the last couple years, the branded website was dropped, the bloggers are all gone, and the online news is handled at the statewide level.

    Public meetings which used to be watched by multiple professional journalists now have none.

    Gaffes and episodes which might have been huge embarrassments to the participants are no longer even noticed.

    This county is a metro area with a population of more than three hundred thousand, but when a genuinely newsworthy event takes place, the reporters who show up are from outside the area.

    But even when we had all these professional journalists around here, their level of ignorance of local affairs was remarkable. Reporters would ask questions which revealed they didn't know the first thing about how local government works in this state.

    Since my early 20s, my role has been to quietly educate local reporters on the things they really should know. Long before I was elected to anything, I was the go-to person for media people who had questions about local politics.

    Not coincidentally, the stories they wrote, whether they quoted me or not, often reflected my perspective on events.

    There are fewer local reporters these days, but now I get regular calls from media based in other parts of the state. And I have been quoted in the New York Times and Time Magazine.

    A new phenomenon on the local news scene is the boutique web site with detailed information about local politics and other happenings. People who are involved in politics are very much aware of these sites, but their audience probably doesn't extend much beyond local activists. And the handful of dedicated people who run these sites, locally, are often on the phone to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  4. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North
    Really good points @Street Pattern.

    I've read about some of the big money groups getting involved in local politics and there isn't anybody to draw peoples attention to it anymore.
    Even when the local papers do report on the subject the reporters have the issues that you point out.
    They have to hit the ground running because they don't have the background on the issue like they did in the old days.
    I remember back in the days of my youthful political activism having young reporters playing poker with us and getting the inside scoop that way.
    We could be honest because we knew they wouldn't use it unless we gave the word.
    But they knew what was going on at all levels.

    Maybe that happens with the guys at the boutique sites but the people who read those are like me, political junkies, not the average folk.
    Everybody read the paper and at least had a general idea of what was going on, at least at the local level.
    They might not have cared and the coverage was certainly pretty vanilla but at least there was coverage.
     
  5. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    Also: ten years ago, and certainly 20 years ago, there was such a thing as a reporter for a radio station!

    Yes, commercial radio stations used to have local news.

    More than that, they used to employ reporters to go out and gather it for them: doing interviews, attending public meetings, etc. They were readily identifiable as the ones who hauled around cassette tape recorders and microphones.

    Indeed, high quality local news used to be part of the standard formula for country music stations.

    I guess that piece was dropped in the 1990s when those stations switched to "young country".

    Nowadays, FM radio consists of 24/7 music and commercials (they are usually "pumping stations" for national content suppliers), while AM radio, with inherently poor sound quality, has close to zero audience any more.

    Except for public radio, we haven't seen any local radio or TV reporters around here in a long time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North
    Another thing that disturbs me is how VICE has become one of the few places you can go for in depth coverage of international stories that aren't missing planes or the usual politics.
    By cutting their international news offices down to one or two people the major news organizations have allowed themselves to be scooped by a magazine that does model shots using the deaths of female writers as framing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    Thanks -- I hadn't heard of Vice News before. Fascinating stuff!
     
  8. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North
    You're welcome.
    I'm being a bit mean but you do need a good filter when you're on the site.
    That said, it's not as bad as it used to be.
    They are very much the little girl with a curl.
    I hear their HBO show is very good but I haven't seen it.
     
  9. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Actually, Vice has a good weekly show on HBO (they typically do 2-3 stories on it) Great visuals.

    I take my news like my grocery shopping.
    I have those places that I get certain things.
    I always evaluate what's there...good deals or not.
    I don't just buy.

    Just because they say its good...doesn't mean it is.
    And things change, week by week.
    A smart shopper is always aware. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  10. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Love these past/present comparisons...so many miss them when they pass. :p

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Why are the Dems always "nervous"
    And the GOP always "raging"

    Is this a truth...or just a portrayal by the media??
    Or a bit of both?
     
  12. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor

    Location:
    North
    The press always have to come up with the most titillating headings possible.
    I remember when there when there was a bit of a back and forth between John Stewart and Rachel Maddow they used words like "crushed" and "rips" when it was the most mild chiding.
    Nothing at all like what Stewart did to Rush the other day.
     
  13. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    One of my complaints about our local broadcast news, TV in particular, is the lack of local news in the broadcasts. Rather than taking an in-depth look at local issues, they rely on news from around the country. I would say the world, but that would be giving them too much credit.

    Footage of out-of-state disasters have taken the place of real/serious local news. I'm not suggesting that the disasters aren't newsworthy, I just feel that in a 30 minute broadcast the focus should be on local news. Even our local ABC affiliate that does the only remaining one hour local news broadcast here uses too much filler.

    I also find it shameful that the 4th largest city in the USA only has one daily newspaper.

    The Information Age is great, but it has victims. Local news is no longer brought to viewers and/or readers, all we get is sound bites. In-depth local news is available, but these days you have to look for it.
     
  14. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted

    To find and write up local news requires a crew of local reporters. Local broadcasters got rid of those some time ago.

    Think of how much it costs to employ say 10 or 20 specialized people, year-round. Counting benefits, that would be a minimum of half a million dollars. Ratings didn't depend on it, so naturally broadcast station owners wondered why that money wasn't lining their own pockets.

    As long ago as the 1950s and 1960s, the economics skewed strongly in favor of a single general-interest daily paper for a metro area. That's because classified ads produced a large share of a paper's income, and classified advertisers would flock en masse to the paper that had the largest circulation, even if it was only by a small margin.

    Interesting factoid: as of a few years ago, San Antonio, Texas was the largest city in America which never had a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper. Probably still true. (Most cities that size have newspapers that have accumulated many Pulitzer Prizes.)

    If the San Antonio Express-News ever somehow managed to blunder its way into a Pulitzer, San Antonio's title would go to Columbus, Ohio.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  15. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    Several of my college classmates worked for local TV stations; everyone of them talked about how cheap the owners were. Apparantly the popular anchors could command good pay, but everyone else was underpaid, and expendable if they complained about the low pay.

    I guess that we were lucky that the Houston Post managed to stay around until 1995.

    Reliance on advertising income affects the news. For example, we rarely get any stories about how automobile dealerships rip people off, unless it's a huge scandal that can't be ignored. The investigation into Landmark Chevorlet, which led to it being closed, was the last 'big' auto dealership story I remember in the local media.
     
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Also see the embedded video.

    This is media bias at its finest.

    Fox News Thought Hillary's Head Injury Was Fake, But Now It Means She Can't Be President
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    In the current environment, Fox & the GOP could "find out" Hillary was born with a vagina and they'd say that mean she can't be President. :rolleyes:
    Oh yeah, and that they discover Obama has a dick...so that means he needs to step down from being President.

    They are so pathetic, it's ridiculous.
    And the only reason they have any power or influence is because the Dems are spineless and the American public has ADD.

    If the Dems had any part of the same aggression that the GOP had, they'd be toast.
    And I share some values with them, I just refuse to vote for a party so slimy.

    And the media, always puts out their BS...in the aspect of "news"...to be "balanced"

    But I think I've said this before, so it's becoming a bit redundant.
     
  18. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    I think we should encourage media outlets to start putting up pro/con lists with percentages.
    And comparison charts.

    That way, we can see while they are reporting the news, what this means in relative terms.
    Kind of like fact check...but with nice quick graphics.

    **Please use them to replace the damn scrolling bar at the bottom of the screen.

    And discourage leading questions...
    "Will pussy make your ball shrink permanently??? Learn more tonight at 11" :rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    nuff said... :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  20. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Sooo...how did the media do in the mid-term circus???
    hmm?