Embed with people on the *other* side of the gun
Helrond: so basically the white house just bought a huge steaming pile of bullshit?
me: I’m not sure they bought it. I’m not sure they even cared whether it was bullshit or not. It would seem to me that they were concerned with perception entirely. the brand, etc…
a writer for SALON put it this way: “According to Vilsack’s statement, the perception of a controversy, even where none exists, “would create situations where her decisions, rightly or wrongly, would be called into question making it difficult for her to bring jobs to Georgia.” So, that’s pretty much license to make shit up about any low-level federal employee you want canned, I guess.”
Helrond: sweet, there are some federal employees i want to get fired
me: yeah, what can we make up about Timothy Geithner?
Helrond: he has sex with monkeys
me: he’s addicted to monkey cum
and voila! We are now journalists of the Andrew Breitbart variety.
Reporters who witness the worst of human suffering and return to newsrooms angry see their compassion washed out or severely muted by the layers of editors who stand between the reporter and the reader. The creed of objectivity and balance, formulated at the beginning of the 19th century by newspaper owners to generate greater profits from advertisers, disarms and cripples the press. And the creed of objectivity becomes a convenient and profitable vehicle to avoid confronting unpleasant truths or angering a power structure on which news organizations depend for access and profits. This creed transforms reporters into neutral observers or voyeurs. It banishes empathy, passion and a quest for justice. Reporters are permitted to watch but not to feel or to speak in their own voices. They function as “professionals” and see themselves as dispassionate and disinterested social scientists. This vaunted lack of bias, enforced by bloodless hierarchies of bureaucrats, is the disease of American journalism.
to quote Howard Zinn (in an address meant for archivists especially):
Professionalism is a powerful form of social control. By professionalism I mean the almost total immersion in one’s craft, being so absorbed in the day-to-day exercise of those skills, as to have little time, energy, or will to consider what part those skills play in the total social scheme. I say almost-total immersion, because if it were
total, we would be suspicious of it. Being not quite total, we are tolerant of it, or at least sufficiently confused by the mixture to do nothing.
As if the journalism job landscape weren’t terrifying enough, now you’ve got to think about learning to code. It’s yet another new media skill you’ll need to stay ahead of competitors. And make no mistake: they’re stockpiling O’Reilly books.
In 2006, when news-app coder Adrian Holovaty called for more programmers in American newsrooms, he didn’t get much response. But a few years and newspaper bankruptcies later, writers seem to be awakening to the advantages of learning to develop web apps or hack together quick scripts to handle labor-intensive data collection tasks.
This is gonna be <big>interesting</big>
Feel like this has been the case in Libraries and Archives for some time now… Problem is (and I bet this is true in the “journalism job landscape” too) that those hiring often have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to this stuff, just that it’s “important” and “necessary” for new-hires to have.