Archive for November, 2008
Have you heard the news? Jeff Jarvis, the Big Thinker New Media Guru of Web 2.0, wrote in a blog post complaining about how a reporter took his words out of context that the interview is dead:
[W]hat really struck me in this process — and it is always good for a journalist to endure journalism — is that the interview itself is becoming outmoded….
I didn’t say a single new thing to the Observer; everything I said I’d written already on my blog, so I was only drawn to repeat myself (and after four days of recording an audiobook, even I was sick of the sound of my own voice- – yes, it finally happened).
The process of the interview has the reporter hold all the cards in his hand: who he talks with and what he will reveal to each and what he will say in the end, without links to what any of the parties has said. Then the reporter gets to toss it all on the table. A process of links and discovery and conversation and correction would be far more illuminating of the ideas and issues than this old process of control through the sieve (and efforts to trump up conflict and drama). That, you see, is the real moral to the story: It’s the form that’s bullshit.
It makes you wonder if Jarvis has done any actual reporting before, doesn’t it?
Here’s an imagined scenario in which Jarvis the reporter calls up the spokesman of a government agency after officials in it were indicted for corruption:
JARVIS: Hi, I’m from the Examiner and I have a few questions about the indicted officials.
SPOKESMAN: Um, everything you need is in the press release.
JARVIS: Yes, but the press release didn’t include key details and doesn’t address the contradictory statements made by the officials during the investigation.
SPOKESMAN: Hey, aren’t you the one who called for the death of the interview? We even copy and pasted the press release into our new blog on the agency’s website. You’re just trying to “hold all the cards in your hand” like so many other journalists. It really is just egotistical of you.
JARVIS: Well, I suppose I did say that. I’ll just go and reprint the press release that you sent to 30 other reporters –
SPOKESMAN: — and don’t forget published on our blog.
JARVIS: Oh yes, that too.
Note to news agencies that are currently paying Jarvis thousands in consulting fees. If he comes to you tomorrow with this new revelation that your reporters don’t need to interview people: RUN.
Just another example of Jarvis taking a singular experience of his and applying it to the entire industry.
I just got my first submission to the front page of Digg. I’ve gotten lots of content to the front page before, but always by asking a power digger to submit it for me. Weirdly enough, I did almost nothing to promote the piece, I just submitted it and I think tweeted a link to it.
A tweet today from Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody:
I think it’s time for Nick Carr to write a follow-up to his “Is Google Making Us Stupid” piece: “Is Twitter making us lazy and stupid?”
As a two-reporter family, almost certainly screwed, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s where. You think tenure counts for something? Alas, it does not. Lois might get to keep her job, for a time at least, but Clark? Clark Kent? The guy who disappears as soon as anything interesting starts to happen? Sure, he types fast, and his copy is clean, but editors will have to make choices, hard choices, and Perry White will be looking for any excuse he can find. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be counting on Clark, the affable dope, to make this easy on everyone. Maybe heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll offer him a spot on the copy desk. But that wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t workÃ¢â‚¬â€copy editors have to be at their desks all the time, and besides, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re weirdos. Real weirdos, worse than the Toyman. No, Clark will take the buyout.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better than the other famous superhero-cum-journalist will do, since freelancers just get dropped on their asses. But at least Peter Parker is young and has science to fall back on. Clark is an old superdog, and as Krypto will verify, that makes it hard to learn new tricks. Anyway, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got ink his blood (permanent ink that gives transfusion recipients superpowers). Once that severance runs out, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be left with one option.
(yes, this is a Drudge joke. But seriously, the results have been really shitty since Friday)
UPDATE: Search Engine Roundtable has a good summary of what’s wrong with the changes.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the history of the National Review, but I’ve seen claims that at some point it was some kind of haven for conservative intellectual thought (though the biased part of me remains skeptical of whether this was ever true). That being said, I’d like to think I’m being unbiased when I echo the thoughts of many that in recent years the publication has been an anti-intellectual sewer only a step above sites like Perez Hilton or The Free Republic. Glenn Greenwald details a recent episode — not solitary by any means — in which the publication just outright refused to print a correction in a timely manner.