Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sid's Handy Hints 

Due to various obligations and an impending trip out of town, I have been and will be pretty much MIA here till next week, but Lambert has been doing such a fine job covering the Roberts and Rove issues that I don't feel too bad.

And this is a bad time to not be able to write, because so many noteworthy things are happening, it's almost impossible for one person to keep up. With that in mind, Sidney Schanberg over at The Village Voice has a few pointers for those of us whose circuits are threatening to blow from the information overload, and need some tips on selective sourcing:
"For a person who has limited time to keep up with events, skip television news—except perhaps when a major event occurs somewhere in the world and television allows you to watch it live. One exception to the rule is BBC News; it's serious and thorough. And its tone is a refreshing antidote to American TV's breathless and hyped presentation of the news...

it's important to regularly read a major paper like The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times or The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal. These are papers that give you a broad spread of information every day...

(Regarding the Internet) the best method for understanding—and accepting—the confusion and absurdities of the world is to visit multiple sources of news, say, a newspaper or two, plus a site or two on the Internet you're comfortable with. By comfortable, I don't mean a site that carries material you agree with.

More often than is healthy, the press becomes a herd, focusing on one story and one story only until the public is begging for respite. That's been happening with the Karl Rove story...This is called now-you-see-it-now-you-don't journalism.

Finally, since honest journalists and the companies they work for make mistakes fairly regularly, like other professions and the rest of humanity, one thing the consumer should look for is whether a news company is good at acknowledging mistakes in a timely and clear and prominent manner. That's a news organization you want to include in your daily diet."
Last night as I watched The News Hour on PBS, I noticed how Ray Suarez handled the upcoming CAFTA vote and the issues involved: in typical TV journo fashion, he had two representatives sit across from each other to give their opinions and spin facts. Rather than interview each one in turn and ask educated, penetrating questions that would have made the parties defend and explain their statements, to get to the truth, Ray just went back and forth like a high school debate team referee, monitoring the time so they could avoid running over.

This is what passes for journalism on TV. Debate teams monitored by high school study period teachers. And why it's more important than ever to be able to pinpoint where and how to get real information in the least time possible.

corrente SBL - New Location
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The Washington Chestnut
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