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If this is journalism.
...then WW might be ready to win a Pulitzer
weeks




msg:3193246
 1:38 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

The number one story (most read/most emailed) on the New York Times right now is now mostly collection of reader-written posts from a discussion starter.

This didn't just happen. The NYT asked this question on the front page of their news web site: "What are the Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying." They listed 15 questions "recommended questions" by unnamed "relationship experts," then offered a discussion from the readers.

Yesterday, when you clicked on the headline, it took you right to the comments section before you saw the questions from the unnamed "experts."

Everyone here knows how valuable discussion boards can be. Very powerful, etc.

But, I would also like to think that everyone here knows that this ain't in any way shape or form what should be produced by the NYT. Yet, here it is. [nytimes.com]

 

percentages




msg:3196938
 7:33 am on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

>But, I would also like to think that everyone here knows that this ain't in any way shape or form what should be produced by the NYT.

I disagree! I don't see anything wrong with what the NYT did here......they encouraged the people to speak, instead of having to listen to them!

Time Mag votes "You" as person of the year for your contributions here.

CNN, Fox and the BBC encourage "You" to deliver content to them and the World.

Times are changing. The most trusted news source in the future will be based upon many opinions.

Forums and Blogs are the future for news, unbiased political discussion, fair reporting of events, and best of all "the small voice counts".

weeks




msg:3197182
 2:00 pm on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

Percentages, your point is well taken. But, come on....is this the role of the THE NEW YORK TIMES? I think it's worrisome.

Was doing this a smart move on their part? Absolutely. It's four days later and the item is still ranked at #2 on most emailed. It cost NYT next to zero to produce this content and it is getting thousands of page views.

Maybe I'm being too uptight, but I know from personal experience that typically readers only give x amount time to spend on any one channel. Perhaps a case could be made that features such as this expand the time spent on the website. I hope so.

percentages




msg:3198730
 9:08 am on Dec 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

>Percentages, your point is well taken. But, come on....is this the role of the THE NEW YORK TIMES? I think it's worrisome.

Weeks, I think the role of the NYT and all other "traditional news" publications is, and has to change.

I suspect we both "grew up" in a World where we trusted certain news outlets to tell the truth about World events.

I fear those days are long gone! (If ever actually real?)

Do you want to hear the BBC's take on Darfur? CNN's, NYT's, WSJ's, George Clooney's or that of the people of Darfur?

I believe there is a time, not that distant in the future, where all news will be reported by the people!

The news agencies of today will be dead in the water if they don't embrace that concept.....and right now we are seeing some of them do it :)

Technology will eventally allow most peoples of the World to communicate with each other without "Editorial guidelines" or Political Influence.

The problem with allowing everyone to speak is that you lose a cohesive voice....it becomes a "free for all".....or as some would say "a true democracy".

I'm a radical. I wouldn't give a hoot if all traditional news outlets disappeared. I wouldn't give a hoot if all forms of government were replaced by "user votes" via some network not disimilar to the Internet.

Why elect officials to represent us in a World where we can adequatly make the decision ourselves?

Why trust in news sources in a World where we can hear the stories direct from those at the heart of the event.

I have little doubt that by 2100 there will be no news sources, there will be no forms of Government officials, the people, "You", will be the deciding factor....progress will be accumulated, accounted, acknowleged as the people's desire via a computer :)

lawman




msg:3199589
 12:05 am on Dec 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why elect officials to represent us in a World where we can adequatly make the decision ourselves?

Why trust in news sources in a World where we can hear the stories direct from those at the heart of the event.

Does being a radical mean you check your brain at the door? Of course not - especially in your case. Why not just state the obvious answers and then provide your response?

kpaul




msg:3199595
 12:15 am on Dec 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in the trenches with Citizen Journalism so to speak. The thing is - you still need trained journalists, gatekeepers, editors, call them what you will. There are those outside big media initiating these conversations also.

-kpaul

weeks




msg:3199652
 3:02 am on Dec 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

OK, so perhaps I should loose up a bit and let mainstream media play with this new format a bit--whatever it takes to drive traffic past the news stories on what is going on in Africa, Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

I've tried to use "citizen journalism" several times in print with little success. I've been amazed at how some discussion boards (this one is a good example) can be so useful and compelling. Citizen journalism is typically biased or sloppy with the facts--when it's not just wrong.

More channels of information can be better, if it allows the better information to be heard. What happens is when the tacky and loud overwhelm the thoughtful and careful by pandering to people's fears and greed?

You want your information from a search on Google and Wikipedia only? (Not using the news search?) Of course not.

percentages




msg:3204239
 6:40 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

>when the tacky and loud overwhelm the thoughtful and careful by pandering to people's fears and greed?

Those folks are called Politicians, and many people in the news media today are politically biased!

Getting the real truth is a tough thing to achieve..... that is why we have historically put out trust in professional jounalists!

However, today most jounalists have to perform within political restraints....look at CNN & Fox News! (left & right ends of the spectrum).

In addition the USA government, via the FCC, limit TV news broadcasters. What you end up with, out of all this, is not much more than a cartoon chanel of news!

The only news source I trust today is the BBC. It is funded with tax dollars (pounds), and has an edict to be independant. It has only gained my trust by often biting the hand that feeds it! Something you won't see at CNN or Fox! Certainly at no newspaper!

Of course anything government/tax funded is largely "UnAmerican", as we can see from the decline of PBS!

Therefore I conclude the only hope for factual news in the future comes from the people, or a body of journalists that is totally independant of politics, funded by the people as their representative, independant source for gathering news.

I doubt that is going to ever happen, I see more hope in wading through pages of blogs like this one! :)

weeks




msg:3204980
 2:15 pm on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Reading this, I'm reminded of Winston Churchhill's quote about democracy: It's the worst form of government, except all others. It is difficult to argue with percentages' point of view.

BTW: The "article" on the NYT that caused me to start this point has re-surfaced on the "most popular" list today, coming in at about #4 or #5, depending on when you look. Score one for percentages--I can't argue with success.

Indeed, on the free web, news is driven more and more by a taste for the bizarre and off-beat. The sorta-service journalism "questions to ask a potential mate" articles are also popular.

People like to read articles that confirm their world view. Alas, professional journalists regularly find that reality and people's beliefs are in conflict.

The Associated Press asked 1,000 Americans to contemplate what the New Year might offer. One in four, 25 percent, are anticipating the second coming of Jesus Christ. I believe that report from what I read on the blogs, which is why I do not share percentage's hope for community journalism.

lawman




msg:3204985
 2:18 pm on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I never questions anyone's motives and believe everything I read on the web.

weeks




msg:3206299
 10:56 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Therefore I conclude the only hope for factual news in the future comes from the people, or a body of journalists that is totally independant of politics, funded by the people as their representative, independant source for gathering news

That is a very good idea. The one group that has come closest to pulling it off is The Wall Street Journal. They wisely required subscriptions, so "the people" are funding a group of independent journalists.

I will never, ever understand (oh, I know the arguments. They were wrong) why news organizations gave their news away on the web. During the dot-com boom, NYT was paying Yahoo to run their stories on their web site. That is sooooo funny to me.

Murdoch




msg:3207129
 6:53 pm on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe what lawman believes... :)

Forums will always breed desktop journalists. The only thing that matters is whether they have the sort of reputation that you would believe in. Very much like major news sources. For example, as a person who bends more towards liberal news, I watch CNN for my real news and Fox News for entertainment.

Some people will get their 15 minutes of fame, some may get more, depending on how good their material and delivery is. Kind of like the web in general really.

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