All the meaning you're fit to receive

Monday, January 02, 2006
There’s much discussion today of this piece from today's business section of the NYT. (HT PJM)

I found this comment particularly revealing:

Jamie McIntyre, CNN's senior correspondent at the Pentagon, said the traditional skills of sifting through information and presenting it in context were especially vital now because there were so many other sources of information.
'With the Internet, with blogs, with text messages, with soldiers writing their own accounts from the front lines, so many people are trying to shape things into their own reality,' he said. 'I don't worry so much anymore about finding out every little detail five minutes before someone else. It's more important that we take that information and tell you what it means.'

Rather than go back (?) to providing just the facts, CNN’s aim, then, is to be the principle ‘shaper’ of those facts – the capo di tutti capi of ‘shapers.’ But why does CNN think it is qualified for that role? What makes McIntyre think his take on anything is more compelling or accurate than, say, that of Richard Fernandez, Scott Johnson, or Rick Ballard? In what way is he more qualified than them? If CNN wants to go down that road, fine. But they need to understand that their only strategic asset is a prime-mover advantage in a field where such an advantage is less and less important.


terrye said...

Sometimes I wonder if inside every reporter beats the heart of a gossip.

Maybe that is all it is, just high price gossip.

And it is not a new phenomenon either, our first presidents had their own battles with the press. But they are getting out of hand.

Perhaps it is their nature. But the internet does level the playing field somewhat.

I think that many of us have had the experience of reading the news or even seeing something on TV News that we knew from personal experience was wrong. I am beginning to think that is the rule and not the exception.

Watergate went to their heads, they credit Walter Cronkite with turning public opinion against Viet Nam and it is as if the media has begun to think of itself as another branch of government...the problem do we throw the bums out?

Julian Biggs said...

terrye - i'm beginning to think that the market will take care of that. once it is clear to the consumer that the product is a disquisition on 'what the news means,' won't the consumer place a greater emphasis on evaluating the 'brand' behind that product? If so, how will this brand stack up against this one ?

Buddy Larsen said...

Boycott--and set a 2006 goal of persuading two or six or twelve others to take the same action--to boycott, and to spread the word. But, shoot--that's what we've BEEN doing. Only problem with boycott is, the target shrinks--but hardens, as the clientele's cross-section moves ever away from the boycotters' beliefs. hell, NYTimes' stock was down 34% in 2005. There's your answer to why the rag is going left-bonkers: it'd be serving a left-moving niche even if nobody in that niche was moving any farther left. Just, less weight on the other end of the see-saw.

CF said...

Yeah, I need a liberal arts grad with no f***ng idea of what science or international relations or economics is all about to "filter" and shape the news for me..LOL.

Buddy Larsen said...

The BEST thing would be to stay engaged with these organizations, working on their advertisers, sending them examples of the crappy political slanting--and trying to baby-step them back to the center.

The WORST thing would be to end up in disarray and covered with boils, like old King David, who said in the Old Testament, “Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked...horror has overwhelmed me.”

Doug said...

Too bad our media and our country doesn't match our military:

Call To Duty (via the castle).
Hat Tip
Sisyphean Musings

Doug said...


Specter said...

Part of it - maybe even a big part of it - began with Woodward and "investigative" journalism. Every reporter was then out to make the "BIG" story. But, then add in the sensationalism angle, and you start to see why the media has moved the direction it has. But - the market will eventually correct itself (or maybe the owners of the media will start firing the lead staffs). Look at the drop in the NYT stock value over the past year - cut almost in half. That can't continue long before action is taken and a new direction set. Hopefully!!!

Julian Biggs said...

great pics, doug, thanks.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

It seems that the author of the cited article is completely missing the point. It's not that the media have been bipassed; it's that the media have vastly expanded. MSM journalists can't yet wrap their heads around the fact that they don't have the monopoly anymore. The blogs are now part of journalism, for good or for ill, and we will have an increasing market share as time increases. Part of that change will be done right here on Flares.