Tag: bad news

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I Hear No Evil in Beats Music Exclusives

Someone save me from the nonsense. My BetaNews colleague Brian Fagioli’s “Apple’s rumored iTunes and Beats Music ‘Exclusives’ plan is potentially evil” is top-placed story at the site today. I messaged the day editor (who hasn’t yet replied and may still be off for the holiday): “If it racks up any significant amount of pageviews, I am changing professions. The number of comments is disturbing enough”. Should you want me to stop writing for BN, and some readers do, by all means click, click, click Brian’s commentary.

I have two fundamental problems with the post: Sourcing and its point. Brian refers to New York Post story “Beats Music lining up talent for exclusive releases“. I tell reporters: “Write what you know to be true”, which can’t be when sourcing someone else’s news gathering. For the record: I trust the newspaper’s general reporting accuracy, so Brian stands more solid than if quoting a blog. That said, he and I write for BetaNews not BetaBlog. See my four-and-a-half year-old analysis “The Difference Between Blogging and Journalism” for a primer on why one isn’t the other. 

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I’m Mad as Hell About Reprehensible News Sourcing

Maybe I should move forward with plans to launch site “Journalism? What the Fuck?” BGR’s irresponsible reporting (again) is so disgusting I could scream. Actually, I did. Today’s miscarriage of reporting could be a case study supporting the key takeaways from my March 2010 primer “The Difference Between Blogging and Journalism“. If you report news in any form, you should also read “Report! Don’t Repeat Rumors!“, posted 5 months ago.

BGR post “Report warns Apple might be facing a huge iPhone 6 Plus recall” is more than irresponsible, it’s reprehensible. Blogger Chris Smith sources a Business Korea story that makes the recall assertion, which should be corroborated. He offers no additional, or original, reporting, while using a source that makes claims based on absolutely nothing. 

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Business Insider Buzz Cuts Sources on iPhone 6 HairGate

The weekend’s stupid Business Insider story using a 9to5Mac community post for a news story about iPhone 6 “HairGate” boiled my blood. So mad, on Sunday, I drafted, but didn’t post, KickStarter pitch for site “Journalism? What the Fuck?”; in August I registered domain journalism.wtf.

Seeing the story, I tweeted: “Get a buzz cut. Problem solved”. Followup: ‘If I got 5 people to post on some forum that #iPhone6 smelled like a urinal some blog would write about stinkgate. Stop the insanity!” The buzz cutting here is one of sources, or lack of any that are credible. 

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Like I Said, Aggregation is Plagiarism

File this in the “When things are too much alike department”—and I meant to write this post last week. Better late than never, eh? Scrolling through my RSS feeds on Friday I came upon this Gizmodo story which matters to me: “HBO Is ‘Seriously Considering’ Offering HBO Go Without Cable TV“. Pranav Dixit’s piece provides no real reporting but aggregates from Quartz’s “HBO is now ‘seriously considering’ whether to offer HBO Go without cable TV“.

I recognize there are only so many ways to write a headline with quote “seriously considering”, but c`mon. Aren’t bloggers embarrassed puking out someone else’s digested food? There is something like alien culinary abduction here, and the results are disgusting. How hard would it be to get the quote, rather than lift it from someone else? What if Quart’z John McDuling misquoted (he doesn’t) such that Giz and countless other aggregators regurgitated and the social web smeared it all over their Walls? 

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News Gatherers, don’t violate ‘The Prime Directive’

There is a very good reason why in my book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers that I identify The Prime Directive (yeah, like “Star Trek”): “Write what you know to be true in the moment”. Last night, one of my BetaNews colleagues violated this sacrosanct rule. I berated him privately, now publicly.

The story: “New Mozilla CEO is allegedly anti-gay marriage—Firefox developers boycott“. Had someone consulted me, the story wouldn’t have run (and the reporter did try to reach me). The problem is fundamentally one of sourcing. Four years ago, in post “The Difference between Blogging and Journalism“, I laid out the fundamental sourcing philosophy behind The Prime Directive. Excerpt:

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HuffPo is all Headline, no Original Content

This story exemplifies why, as a journalist , I’m no big Huffington Post fan. The large-font headline takes up the space above the fold. Surely there is a hard-hitting news story behind. Right? Nope.

The five-paragraph story, while carrying a Huffington Post byline, culls from other reports, CNBC and New York Post on the page, with links as sourcing to other HuffPo stories that also largely or wholly depend on other news services (Reuters is one).

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Pitch-me Journalism is Anything but Journalism

So, let me understand. David Pogue, the popular blogger contracted by the New York Times, shills for public-relations companies—demonstrating gross conflict of interest—and the consequence is what? He’s barred from making certain PR-influenced speeches?

The Times doesn’t go nearly far enough. The excuse: “Pogue is a freelancer, not a staffer. Philip B. Corbett, associate managing editor for standards, noted that under the policy freelancers are held to the same standards as staff members ‘when they are on Times assignments’. In this case, he wasn’t on assignment for The Times”.

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'Can Ping Be Saved?' is the Wrong Question

Apple’s social music discovery service isn’t even a week old and Fortune blogger Philip Elmer-DeWitt asks: “Can Ping be saved?” Oh yeah? One million signups in 48 hours is such a failure. There are thousands of CEOs or product line managers who would say: “Gimme that problem. I’ll suffer through the failure of gaining 1 million customers in just two days.”

Nokia N97: The Truth is False

 

While checking RSS feeds yesterday, I came across one of John Gruber’s many cuss posts. By cuss post I don’t mean bad language but his cussing out something or someone, often with one word and link to source. John used “What a turd” to describe a video comparing Nokia’s N97 promo video against supposedly real world experience (Post title: “Nokia N97 Promotional Video vs Real Life”).