Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Get a Clue

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  • Don Christie,

    There was talk at OSCON 2007 by Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party is pretty interesting on Copyright issues.

    Here is the video.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Those MediaDefender emails contain some useful tips:

    Team,

    Please make sure you take your lunch from the refrigerator HOME.

    A salad was disposed to garbage can do to mold on food. Some molds can cause allergic reactions &/or respiratory problems.

    Thanks

    Bo Olivas

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Ha ha, shades of passiveaggressivenotes.com.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE,

    Seems MP's are struggling with this too. Jacqui Dean refered to me as a "Left Wing Blogger" on Marcus Lush's show on Friday!

    Washington DC • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Choice, all one has to do to get on the news is make a redneck post on Kiwiblog.

    And Greenspan rags on Bush for being too soft on Congress trying to rush appropriations bills through??? wtf is that guy on? I know Reserve Bank Chairmen are deliberately apolitical (within the bounds of constantly plugging neocon economics in the case of Greenspan), but come on, man. Bush wanted all that expenditure, his team was behind it. To depict him as irresponsible for failing to bring Congress to heel is getting the right answer for all the wrong reasons.

    I think Greenspan genuinely can't face that George W Bush is a direct consequence of his own world view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Something I forgot to mention in the post is that the emails also confirm that record companies are using P2P for conventional marketing intelligence. At least one of the emails has a record company client prepared to yank a single in favour of another tune that has a better buzz on the P2P sites. Fascinating.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Too bad Greenspan couldn't come out with those opinions when it actually might have made a difference, eh?

    As to the technomological cluelessness, my interactions with reporters over the years suggest to me that it's actually just normal. With a few shining exceptions, reporters make mistakes and exhibit ignorance all the time, but we only notice this where we have personal knowledge or expertise.

    (This is not because reporters are bad or stupid, but because they're short on time and resources, not rewarded for getting it right, and importantly, no smarter or more expert than the rest of us).

    If I wasn't trying to knuckle down on something else I would compose a mock-Edwardian newspaper fragment bungling all the facts about radio and telegraphy. Just pretend I did.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Networking by its very action amplifies very small signals into lots of noise.

    Media and anyone else trying to pick the signal should know this but maybe it didn't suit the story they were pushing at the time.

    Ironically Tony the reporter may now get more readers watching to see what he comes up with next rather that looking at his next story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    oops I meant to say Toby - not Tony.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Kirsten Brethouwer,

    RB maybe you should complain with the broadcasting standards authority. you'd hope that that would help somewhat towards it not happening again...

    Isn't it almost like quoting callers from talk back radio in a news report and attributing the quotes to the host or the radiostation.

    Waiheke Island • Since Nov 2006 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    oops I meant to say Toby - not Tony.

    No, it is Tony, actually. I mistyped, but I've fixed it now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    my interactions with reporters over the years suggest to me that it's actually just normal. With a few shining exceptions, reporters make mistakes and exhibit ignorance all the time, but we only notice this where we have personal knowledge or expertise.

    True. It amazes me how often I read in the paper something I have personal knowledge about and can pick out the errors. Which means we have to assume that everything else is similarly flawed, when read by someone with expertise in that field.

    (This is not because reporters are bad or stupid, but because they're short on time and resources, not rewarded for getting it right, and importantly, no smarter or more expert than the rest of us).

    True again. And with each reporter that heads off for better money in PR/Comms, leaving a 20 year old in their place, you could say they're actually less expert than many of us. When a journo doesn't know who David Lange is, for example, you might have cause to despair. Personally I'm in favour of reporters having set rounds where they can specialise and become sort-of experts, but again in NZ we're a bit restricted by our size, unless you have a large number of reporters, you can't have that many specialities.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Isn't it almost like quoting callers from talk back radio in a news report and attributing the quotes to the host or the radiostation.

    Indeed it is, but the larger point (to my mind anyway) is that quoting talkback callers, or blog commentators, is incredibly lazy journalism. Both talkback and its digital equivalent generally favour bullshit assertions and controversial declarations over considered analysis. Quoting such "sources" smacks of laziness, and perhaps justifying extensive reading of blogs during the work day.

    I'm tempted to conclude it's completely and utterly useless journalism. I guess they needed a non-NZ First rentaquote for the occasion.

    Having said all this I enjoy making bullshit assertions as much as the next quasi-anonymous blog commentator. The point is that even when I make a more considered contribution to a blog comments thread, I don't intend for it to be on the evening news!

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    Well the media are quite often a bit behind the times...Take this 'news' article on TV3 on Saturday night - Kiwi entrepreneur solves iPhone problem

    The problem is that this method of hacking the iPhone is now kind of outdated and the events of the last week showed that a simple software update is now available. There was also no mention of the other hardware hacks or the current state of play.

    I wish there could be a little more research done so they could provide a balanced story. Checking facts and posting the correct attributions seem to be beyond some journalists.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    True again. And with each reporter that heads off for better money in PR/Comms, leaving a 20 year old in their place, you could say they're actually less expert than many of us. When a journo doesn't know who David Lange is, for example, you might have cause to despair. Personally I'm in favour of reporters having set rounds where they can specialise and become sort-of experts,

    I wholeheartedly agree. As an "expert" whose phone number is in a few contacts lists, I've had many camera crews around over the years, and I'm struck by the way that the reporters who come around are almost always (a) generalists, and (b) young.

    You end up not so much commenting as explaining the story to them. Most of what you say turns up in the script and you're onscreen for about 15 seconds with a soundbite.

    I understand the resource pressures -- and the unfortuate tendency for experienced journalists to bugger off to PR -- but I think this interweb thingy is important enough now for there to be either a roundsperson, or someone at editorial level who can keep an eye on the reporting.

    I don't honestly think we've been damaged here -- anyone who recognised the PA masthead would probably know that the screaming quote in question was not my work -- but there's the potential for a really calamitous mistake to be made.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I wish there could be a little more research done so they could provide a balanced story. Checking facts and posting the correct attributions seem to be beyond some journalists.

    Although they're getting better, newspapers can be very poor at attribution of online sources. It probably partly stems from the fact that they're so (word of the week!) niggardly about attributing to each other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    You can't acknowledge anyone other than anointed experts, outside the confines of the vox pop.

    Otherwise, you might confer status on that person by mistake, and then people would wonder about that, and the flimsy weave of media authority would unravel, and before you know it people would start wondering about the credibility of the very news itself...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    You end up not so much commenting as explaining the story to them. Most of what you say turns up in the script and you're onscreen for about 15 seconds with a soundbite.

    Yeah but I think in fairness that is part of the point of the interview, no? Otherwise are you saying they should know the entire story before talking to the people involved, and just use your quotes for colour?

    I'm always learning stuff from the people I interview - and whether it's print or TV - some of it ends up in quote marks, some of it goes to the underlying understanding.

    At least the younger journos should have a better understanding of the newfangled techno stuff. I think PublicAddress had been going for about 3 years and I was still being asked almost daily by journos (of all flavours) "So what's this blogging thing all about?"

    It should (maybe?) be seen as something of an advance that journalists are actually USING blogs as a source of story ideas, quotes and so forth, rather than just doing stories ABOUT this 'brand-new' concept called blogging. Maybe in a year or two these other wrinkles will be ironed out too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Power Line caught MSNBC attributing a quote from Al Sharpton about whether the prosecution of Michael Vick was racist. It was actually from the fake Al Sharpton's blog.

    The item on Power Line was also worth noting for being worth reading. Time magazine's "blog of the year" has gone a long, long way off into wingnut land.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    and the unfortuate tendency for experienced journalists to bugger off to PR

    Thats a whole interesting can of worms in itself there Russell - without wanting to get into a defence of PR - but why are experienced journos moving on (I assume usually for money) and why aren't media owners prepared to pay more for the privilege of having the best and brightest protecting the truth and integrity of news and journalism? - its a largely rhetorical question I know (along the same lines; why aren't teachers the best paid profession in the country), and as we know there are loads of good journos who aren't lured by the dark side so easily, and some media owners who are happy to pay for the best :)

    On the other hand, one would have thought that the younger journos coming through would have a more (oft misunderstood word) native understanding of all things inter-webby.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    As well as lazy journalism, it's also not 'news'.

    "People talk a bunch of shit on the internet".

    How does something being on the internet make it news, other than the fact that a reporter can access it from their desk?

    I mean you wouldn't see "Old people discuss how Zaoui should be kicked out while drinking tea" as a headline.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    one would have thought that the younger journos coming through would have a more (oft misunderstood word) native understanding of all things inter-webby

    My observation as a person who learned inter-webby things the hard way, a long time ago, is that the young person's "native understanding" of inter-webby is often actively wrong - everything happens by magic goblins; superficial; or tacit and hard to articulate.

    Kyle, I think you have just come up with a brilliant concept. We could empanel a few nanas with a teapot and biscuits and get some riveting television...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle, I think you have just come up with a brilliant concept. We could empanel a few nanas with a teapot and biscuits and get some riveting television...

    Does anyone have a contact for nz on air? I gotta get dibs on it before some TVNZ reporter reads this and gives that Russell Brown credit for the idea.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    We could empanel a few nanas with a teapot and biscuits

    Lovely turn of phrase :)

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My Nana thought he <i>wasn't</i> a terrorist. But they'd never put *that* on the TV.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

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