[This item was originally posted to The Media Drop]
My read for the day is this post by Tim Porter where he describes his coinage “informational incest” to a T. If you didn’t understand what the term was before, read the post and the included links, and it should be clear as day.
By telling is how it is, not by being “media personalities…commentators…hawkers, squawkers or gawkers” but “journalists,” the news can be reported as news, not what someone else wants you to report as the truth or fact, clarifies Porter via points made by Eric Alterman and Michael Tomansky in American Prospect.
Porter says to “stop confusing media with journalism,” and I couldn’t agree more. Journalists happen to have their works published, criticized, or described through the “media” we all talk about. But they are their own men and women. They have an ability to take in a subject, interview, or event, digest it all, and convey it in a way where we, the reader, can pick it up in our publications, our television / radio programs, see what they have to say, and formulate a picture in our head of what went on. That’s how your opinions come to fruition and you gain/lose interest in a story. The journalist does more than tell you what happened – it’s part of their skill to point out intricacies or portray what the facts might be based on the “truths” that are given to them. That’s why your newspaper doesn’t look like basic Microsoft PowerPoint slides with five bullets under each article title and byline, leaving you to figure out what happened.
The article Porter refers to should be one of those “print a copy” things that anyone with an interest in journalism should read and save. Everyone needs a head-check once in a while, including those who work for the “media”. What I really like about the collective works referred to here is that no one person has been lambasted or made to feel small based on any actions they might have done as a “journalist” in recent times – they just try to get the collective members of the crowd to realize where their intentions should stand.