OT and getting further OT all the time! Re: Off-topic, but interesting (Fiorina fired)

From: Jerome H. Fine <jhfinexgs2_at_compsys.to>
Date: Thu Feb 10 22:46:11 2005

>Computer Collector Newsletter wrote:

>Huh????? Reporters aren't the media? What are we, plumbers? Elevator
>repairment? I sure thought I was media. My press pass is wrong?
Jerome Fine replies:

I think you need to distinguish between print media and others:

(a) TV seems to me to be just one big sales machine since
even the news is now delivered as entertainment without
even an attempt by the executives who control the time
spent on each topic to be useful in discussing the issues.
When a news story (with just a tease of the details) is
used to entice viewers to watch in 15 minutes at 6:00 P.M.,
what does that same about the need for a larger audience.

Plus, on TV, even the documentaries deliver a biased
set of facts with the emphasis on aspects of an issue which
are usually inflammatory rather than informative. It takes
a great deal of discipline to not accept just the stated story
line - and then look for more details, both for and against.

I try and watch the BBC every night to understand the
"UK viewpoint". Tonight they spent minutes on Charles
and the "love of his life". The emphasis on Israel is so
obvious - reports of attacks on Israel almost solely when
there are deaths or injuries rather than the total number
of attack attempts which happen every day. The rest
of the news choices are just as bad.

In print, major papers have their viewpoint and while any
individual reporter may attempt to provide a valid story
within the number of words allotted (are you saying that
your stories may be as many words as YOU choose?),
the slant of the story is dictated mostly by what must be
left out.

Even now the US military calls the civil war around Baghdad
an insurgency with "insurgents" fighting the government
while the rest of the country is now mostly (usually) pacified.

If that many people (in general the media do not even report
the total number of people, let alone keep track like they do
for US soldiers) were being killed every day in the US
let alone Israel let alone the EU, the situation would be
handled MUCH differently.

So until individual reporters have the freedom to choose
their own stories, how long they spend on the story and
how many words the story may be, you are operating
within a set of guidelines which is much less than total
freedom to report all of the facts. If I am wrong and
you choose every story yourself and how long you spend
researching the story and how many words the story
uses, them I apologize. Please tell me I am wrong!

But also document what happens with other reporters!

>Look, I'm not trying to make enemies on this list, but I'm sick of these
>absolutely ridiculous comments. It's one thing to have an opinion that is
>radical; it's quite another to say something that is utter fiction or just
>plain baloney. I don't know much about how to install a disk drive on a PDP-8,
>so I don't comment on those threads. So unless anyone else on this list is
>another reporter -- or unless you're willing to have an INTELLIGENT dicussion
>-- then keep these grade-school opinions to yourselves... although "opinion" is
>hardly the right word here, because it implies that you THOUGHT before writing
I once talked to a reporter from a major network. For news
stories, the first requirement was:
"If it bleeds, it leads!"
That is what draws people to watch the news, let alone anything
else on TV or in print. The more people who watch or read,
the more the advertisers pay. If I am wrong, please tell me where!
Individual reporters can attempt to be ethical. But if someone else
assigns the story topic, that is bias upfront!

>No self-respecting reporter I've met in my whole career gives two shits about
>what advertisers think of his stories. I sure as hell don't.
As long as the story is NOT about the advertisers (well nothing
bad of course). How long do you think that an advertiser would
pay an media outlet to continue to run stories that reflect in a
negative manner on an advertiser. After the war started in Iraq,
how many reporters who produced negative comments about
Bush or the war continued in their jobs?

Are you producing stories about Bush or the war. Anything else
that is considered controversial? What about abortion or same sex
marriage? In Canada, the courts have taken the view (7 of 10
provinces have stated that gays and lesbians have Charter Rights
based on the Constitution) that the Charter provides protection
against the majority. Even the US finally recognized that Blacks
have equal rights since slavery has been outlawed. But I see
ample evidence that corporate greed and lack of ethics is just as
strong as ever - which means that people who run corporations
are just the same as ever - after all, if everyone was perfect and
ethics was important, all of our institutions and companies and
government would be as well since they are run by people.

I am not saying that reporters are any worse than the average,
just that they are not much better overall than the average. Perhaps
you recognized the compliment - the average reporter doe have
ethics - it is their bosses who control the money that I have a
problem with - on average.

>To Jay West and the vast majority of NORMAL list readers: sorry to put ya'll
>through this. I just can't let this shit pass without defending my industry.
It is not your industry that has a problem, it is the few individuals
within your industry who cause the problems - just as in every
other economic sector - along with the lack of laws to protect
whistle blowers. It takes only a few people at the top who lack
ethics to corrupt the functions of the rest of the people who then
lack sufficient economic clout to correct the process.

On the other hand, if enough people would recognize the problems
and take action against corruption or even lack of ethics, the
economic system could change quite quickly. BUT, examples
like Wall Mart prove that is not going to happen. While almost
everyone talks about the loss of manufacturing and other jobs,
almost everyone, including myself to a major extent (well I do
not buy much at Wall Mart because I hardly shop at all in any
case), try a get the best price for what I do buy rather than
trying to make sure that jobs are first protected in my own country.

>For the good of the list, I''ll spare everyone any further responses on this.

Please continue - but supply details to back up your

On the other hand, I agree that this list is not
the place - at this point, let us agree to disagree!

>Just had to get it off my chest that "the media" is a good thing, not a bad
>thing, which we'd all be a lot worse off without.

Overall, I AGREE!!!! But, overall, that is only
because there are always a few reporters who have
sufficiently high standards PLUS a boss who will
initially support them that things which are wrong
are exposed. Once the bandwagon starts to roll,
the profit motive kicks in and exposing the rest
of the mess starts to produce more readers which
boosts the bottom line for advertisers. Why else
are scoops so important? If advertisers did not
end up paying more due to higher circulation, how
many reporters would have the incentive to get
the story first and then continue to dig? Yes
there would always be a few, but without the profit
motive due to increased circulation or more viewers,
management will not bother to give even the best
reporters the few opportunities that are available
at present.

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
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Received on Thu Feb 10 2005 - 22:46:11 GMT

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