So which is it?

This article in the Las Vegas Sun discusses the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by District Judge Don Mosley claiming that he was improperly penalized by a disciplinary committee.

The third paragraph reads "Mosley, asked today whether he would appeal the ruling, said he is considering his options and "a decision should be made fairly soon."" And the seventh paragraph reads "Mosley was out of town and could not be reached for comment."

Wait a minute here, which is it? Is he saying that he'll make a decision soon or that he's out of town?

Which version of reality do you see?

About a year ago the coverage of the Howard Dean scream points out an important question for all journalists (those writing for traditional media and those writing for blogs and other media outlets). A journalist should always ask themselves if they are accurately representing the situation. The coverage of Dean was part of the truth, but not an accurate representation of the situation. The microphone singled out Dean's voice and did not show it accurately in context. WIth more unedited reporting in blogs and podcasts it is important to remember that a single point of view in a situation, or a single microphone in a room, may not accurately reflect what is really happening.

The "Yahoo" Problem

It is funny how the side you take influences your position. Dave Winer spends a great deal of time talking about the need to properly give credit to those who create solutions. When it comes to the unintended consequences of a "solution" - aka a problem - he is quite happy to pass the buck. He sites The Yahoo Problem. Wait a minute though, what product was it that started the trend towards putting a little icon on the page for each different news-reader? That's right it was Userland's Radio, which Winer was a key intellect behind.

How did this become the Yahoo problem anyway? They are amongst the latest to pile on the "add this to whatever" bandwagon. And is setting up a collection of competitive directories for people to store their RSS subscriptions in one of several centralized data vats really the answer? The solution proposed by Winer has a clause stating there should be open competition. So for a while everybody plays nice, and then when AOL and Time Warner split they setup competing services. And very soon we're back to a whole bunch of buttons that don't do much for anybody but clutter up the landscape.

In fairness, Winer has removed the Radio button from his main website, but the orgins of the problem lie in the early foundation of the idea there should be a button to subscribe to specific news readers.

Spin and the inauguration

A matter of timing makes yesterday's story about objectvity or the end of it very interesting. Today's inauguration coverage is rife with selected quotes from the President's upcoming speech. In years of old there would be a speech and ceremony and then coverage of it later. As time passed those being covered in the media discovered that by giving advance copies of speeches to the media they could make sure the message was out correctly. Now, even before the speech is delivered, and without knowing for certain it will ever be delivered, the morning news is filled with quotes. It is a great deal for the White House which gets an additional news cycle out of the deal, and a losing proposition for the people who get another day of inconsequential news coverage.

Good journalism

Jay Rosen says Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over. I agree. Dan Gillmor contributes a draft of The End of Objectivity which also raises many great points.

In new media and old the question has to now be framed as what is good journalism.

Rathergate and Trent Lott

Rathergate is a great example of people online fact checking a major news organization and catching them practicing sloppy journalism. The fact checking, however, did not require a great deal of investigation. It required a couple of observant people to pick up on the anachronisms and point them out. Once that happened online communities spread the word quickly.

New microphone for podcasters

Griffin Technology has a new Lapel Mic, a stereo microphone that will work with the Griffin iMic. Touted as being good for "reporters, presenters, and students," this microphone should pair nicely with an iPod for mopdcasting (mobile podcasting).


Subscribe to Journalism