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What does it say about the world we live in where blogs do more basic journalism than CNN? All that one would have had to do is read the report actually provided.

I don't think I'm being too extreme when I say that, apart from maybe PBS, there is no reputable source of news in America. If you don't believe me, pick a random story, watch it as it gets rewritten a million times through Reuters, then check back on the facts of the story one year later. A news story gets twisted to promote some narrative that will sell papers, and when the facts of the story are finally verified (usually not by the news themselves, but lawyers or courts or whoever), the story is dropped and never reported on again.

Again, if the only thing a reporter had to do was read the report to find the facts of the case to verify what is and isn't true, what the fuck is even the point of a news agency?




WSJ has floors of smart, trained, inquisitive journalists who assemble real original data and break real original stories, and who try hard–through single, double, and triple verification–to ensure the accuracy of every single figure and fact they report.

Which is why it's sometimes annoying to see people treat paywalls as though they were moral disgraces.

Source: I help invest for the chairman of the company.


WSJ also has a political agenda, which requires a second source for any story in there, from the other point of view.


This line of argument really needs to be toned down. While it's obviously true that papers like the WSJ, NYT, WashPo, etc. have influential partisan editorial boards, their newsrooms are filled with reporters and editors of various political leanings. More importantly, these reporters are among the best in the country and do their very best to find and report the truth in an unbiased fashion. That's what makes these papers good sources of information in the US.


This article turned me off the WSJ: http://www.wsj.com/articles/price-tag-of-bernie-sanders-prop...

18 Trillion -- yikes! It's not until the 5th paragraph that we find out that this includes health insurance and that me and my employer wouldn't have to shell out for that anymore. Does it save me money overall? A question not asked. But they do make a big deal about that number and how alarmed they are at it, even if it it's designed to save money.


Bernie supporters turn me off to Bernie. I happen to agree with the guy on many (but, not all) problems facing our country and it's people.

But instead on HN, my Facebook & any story about Bernie. His supporters automatically try to counter any kind of scrutiny of the guy, his positions & his plans. For crying out loud The guy is running for president, he's not a saint and he deserves every bit of scrutiny.


But instead on HN, my Facebook & any story about Bernie. His supporters automatically try to counter any kind of scrutiny of the guy, his positions & his plans. For crying out loud The guy is running for president, he's not a saint and he deserves every bit of scrutiny.

Not to justify it, but it kind of makes sense. Many of Bernie's supporters are finding a reason to participate in politics for the first time, or feeling cared about by the system for the first time, and when something threatens their new champion they feel like they themselves are threatened.

This definitely speaks to a wider phenomenon in society, where a lot of people had lost hope and are just now finding some, whether through Trump or Sanders. Taking that bit of hope away could be very destabilizing. There's also some interesting human nature in there, regarding conflating one's identity with one's beliefs.


The point isn't that he's being scrutinized, the point is that that line of argument in the article is totally disingenuous, to the point of being almost a smear.


What argument are you thinking of? GP didn't mention one in particular.


That Single Payer would increase healthcare spending by 18T, rather than just moving it around, and increase taxes, while ignoring the part where there's a corresponding decrease in private healthcare spending. The central hook of that WSJ article.


Assuming the 18T figure is correct, how could you just "move it around"?


Putting it simply, the amount that you pay would be moved from a line item on your pay slip called "private health insurance" paid to Aetna or whoever, to a line item called "medicare contribution" or "national health service contribution" paid to the IRS.

On the back end, rather than Aetna shelling out money to the hospital so that you can get treated for free or cheaply, the government would do so - just like it already does for Medicare and VA.

So it is not $18tn additional burden - it is a similar burden, but not going through the hands of private insurers who take a cut.


One thing I haven't seen mentioned: how do you design an organization that manages and efficiently allocates $3-4 trillion in spending across the country? Has it been done before? If so, has such an organization been legislated into existence? Meanwhile, Aetna already insures more people than many countries, so it isn't clear what we'd be getting that we aren't already. I'm curious how single payer will help in the US.


Medicare is actually relatively efficient compared to private insurance companies, and administers a very large amount of healthcare reimbursement.

Insurance is one of the things that a government can be very good at. It's not an area of great innovation, so the benefit of having it be a free market is relatively limited, and negotiation leverage is very important, so size is very beneficial. The natural tendency of the private insurers has been to consolidate and to look more and more like Medicare in terms of size. Except they also have a profit mandate, whereas Medicare doesn't, so they take a percentage of all spending and suck it out of the system. That portion isn't helpful to the users of the system.


I think idea is that the money currently spent by employers and individuals on insurance and direct medical costs would instead be spent on healthcare taxes, and that the current private spending is approximately enough to cover public healthcare if redirected.


I think fanaticism is to be expected when it comes to politics, particularly online, where it's easy to become intransigent or immoderate, and while it's irritating, it's hardly something you can or should blame the candidate for.


He's not a Saint? Didn't he just have fly over to meet the Pope over the weekend? Who does that?


I think in the aftermath of the US election cycle you'll probably view that differently. Replacing personal and business expenditure with government expenditure is a complicated equation, but Sanders plan absolutely required raising that amount of new taxes. It was probably more of a problem for the Sander campaign that more media wasn't more alarmed by his proposals, I don't think anyone much took them seriously. At least the WSJ was taking his proposals seriously in that article.


Although that was "damaging" because many quoted it, it wasn't nearly as biased was Washington Post was when it did this:

http://fair.org/home/washington-post-ran-16-negative-stories...


More importantly, the current deficit is ~1 trillion / year. Adding Sanders' proposals will increase this by ~200%. I would like to see an analysis of how to make up that extra ~2 trillion / year in spending by increasing taxes and closing loopholes. Include the savings from not paying for healthcare. I would bet the median taxpayer would see their costs go up.


I would bet the median taxpayer would see their costs go up.

This is likely true, but I also expect it would be worth it in terms of social stability and progress. It's okay if your costs go up if you also get better health and education out of the deal, so earning power also goes up.


Every voter gets to decide if they find that okay. Your opinion isn't really operative.


I was raised in a very conservative environment. I now hold progressive opinions because I find the arguments compelling. It seems insane to me to deny large segments of the population access to the things everyone else uses to succeed (education and healthcare), and then expect those outcast people not to commit crimes or drain welfare or break down civil society.

There are many who agree, so lots of voters will be voting to express that agreement. You can try to change my mind, but you must do so by solid argument, not by telling me my opinion isn't operative.


For what it's worth, the entire civilised world agrees with you.


If you don't agree you're probably ignoring the cost of maintaining social order in some other way.

As for what every voter gets - a pull at a lever with minimal connection to person and no connection to policy.


Current deficit is actually about 500 billion per year.


How could it save you money? 18 Trillion is the entire US GDP. It's literally the cost of all our products made annually in the US combined.

edit: oops. Its 18 trillion over a decade. So 10% our GDP.


so, 7% less of our gdp than we spend on healthcare right now.


Interesting. Hmm maybe we should look into centrally planning other industries too.


I agree. We centrally plan the police, water, electricity, and roads. Health care should be no different.


I so no reason to stop there. What about other necessities such as the agriculture and food industry? The ISP business should be federally planned as well.

I'm even starting to think the electronics industry and software industries would benefit from being completely centrally planned.

History has shown that free markets fail to allocate well. And lots of socialist and communist countries have demonstrated that fully centrally planning an economy is possible and can be done well. Central planning rarely fails.


Both history and theory show that free markets do not allocate resources well when the basic assumptions underlying efficient markets don't hold.

In the presence of non-rational behavior - such the the type of decisions people tend to make when making what they believe to be life or death decisions with extremely imperfect (and asymmetric) information - markets do not efficiently allocate resources. Throw in the fact that the decisions are frequently framed in terms of probabilities and made under duress and you've got a whole mess of psychological problems as well, even if the economic assumptions did hold (they don't).

That doesn't speak to a need for centralized planning per se, but it does mean that markets won't do the job correctly on their own.


The agriculture industry is already heavily subsidized to prevent food shortages.

But breaking away from the sarcasm, I agree that communism isn't useful. It's just there are already parts of the United States are mostly government controlled, so an argument that no parts should be falls flat on it's face.


WSJ and their wild speculation about Apple stuff and constantly quoting "sources briefed on the matter" turned me off to them a while back.

But vice/heavy and sometimes wired even still have content that I'd throw $4/mo at.


Hmm.

3rd paragraph they break it down some -- 15 Trillion for health care over 10 years, or averaging 1.5 Trillion per year.

There were ~151 million Americans in the labor force and employed last month[1]. If they're the folks that will be paying, then it's something like $9,934 per year in taxes that need to be collected per tax payer, to support the (in 2013) roughly 316 million population[2] of the US with an additional roughly $4,747 in government spending.

(I'm using 2016 employment numbers because 2013 we were still recovering from the recession, unemployment was much higher, and it's better to play with conservative estimates.)

WHO[3] has 2013 numbers indicating Government spend on healthcare at $4,307 per capita, and total spend (govt. + private) at $9,146.

With 2013 numbers, we'd be bumping the public spending on health care to $9,054 per capita.

To note, in 2013, of the US private spending, $3,063 out of $4,839 is on insurance plans. The remaining $1,776 is the per capita out of pocket cost (again, for 2013).

I don't think I know of any single-payer systems around the world that covers all costs. UK, Germany, Sweden [3-5] all have expansive single-payer systems established. The out of pocket is indeed lower for these -- a few hundred to $700 ish per capita vs our $1,700.

Those programs, if you have a gander, are more substantial for the massively lower government spend per capita on healthcare overall. If we're suddenly looking at $9k per capita govt spend, vs the 3-5 for these other states, I'm not sure that we've yet fixed something.

The selling point of the Bernie concept must be putting this initially more-expensive insurance plan in place ($3,xxx vs $4,747) with the goal that sometime after 10 years we'll have seen enough price suppression that our out-of-pocket goes down enough to break even, or start to reduce total costs, over the private-only market.

10 years is a really long time. And adding $9,900 / year on average to each taxpayer seems like a big number.

[1]: http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/laus/us/usadj.htm

[2]: http://www.worldpopulationstatistics.com/us-population-2013/

[3]: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.country.country-USA?lang=e...

[4]: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.country.country-GBR?lang=e...

[5]: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.country.country-DEU?lang=e...

[6]: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.country.country-SWE?lang=e...


Well even the Economist, which I consider to be the finest newspaper around (they call themselves a newspaper) and the closest thing to being unbiased, still has a subtle underlying predisposition likely at least somewhat influenced by its owners.


The Economist, unbiased? I let my one-year subscription expire due to their patronising tone and their not-so-hidden agenda of teaching the world to accept the gift of anglo-saxon supremacy.


BS. All of mainstream media is (and has always been, by design) a tool for _manipulating_ public opinion, not for reflecting reality. So any talk about objectivity in journalism is utterly misplaced.


>> their newsrooms are filled with reporters and editors of various political leanings.

Depsite what most people say, this is the case for FoxNews, but you'd be hard pressed to convince any Liberal of this fact.

Also, people frequently confuse a "commentator" with a "journalist"

Commentator - Karl Rove

Journalist - James Rosen


So do CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo, Times, NPR, RollingStone, etc etc etc.

No really sure what my point is... but having bias is the norm, not the exception.


They're not biased when they agree with my point of view.


I know you're being tongue in cheek when you make that comment, but one of the more important realizations a person can make is that their personal opinions are biased.

This is however, a completely different question to how correct their opinion is. Judging that is a whole different ball-game.


Do it one better and realize even your own culture is biased and largely arbitrary and then you will really have a broadened POV.


I don't subscribe to the notion that all cultural values are of equal value, or are even worthy of respect.

Just that people tend to not see bias when it agrees with their personal notion of truth.


How can you be tolerant of culture without being tolerant of cultural values?


I'm not tolerant of a cultural value that virgins should be thrown into volcanos to ensure a good harvest. There are plenty of others I am not tolerant of, as well, such as the cultural value that some groups of people are subhuman.


What about Reuters and Associated Press?


I was absolutely shocked by the abysmal coverage by Reuters of the Fukushima disaster. Many "quotes" from Tepco and the Japanese government were blatantly mistranslated to the point where Reuter's version was the opposite of what was said. I used to keep links to some of those stories, but I seem to have misplaced them. If you dig back into the archives of the wikipedia page you can still find them. One of the most notable incidents was when Tepco was first considering whether or not there had been a meltdown, Reuters reported that Tepco had said that there was no meltdown. What they actually said (in Japanese) was, "There is a possibility that there is a meltdown. We have to wait because the data is consistent with there not being a meltdown as well."

I'll have to apologize for not digging up good references because I don't have time. Several years ago there was a scandal in the Japanese press where one of the news outlets admitted to printing fictitous stories with an anti-nuclear agenda. This was before Fukushima (and I'm struggling to remember which news outlet it was, so I won't try to guess). I suspect that what is happening is that Reuters (and probably other news aggregators) are quite happy to take stories from established reporters on the ground. I think they do not rigorously check the facts, though. I have occasionally noticed other similar mistranslations, for example when the Japanese finance minister speaks at G8 summits, etc. Surprisingly often the report that gets picked up in the English news services is virtually the opposite of what is actually said.

My rule of thumb: If it is a contentious issue and it is happening in a country where English is not the main language, the odds that you will get an unbiased report in English media is virtually 0. The closer to home you get, the more likely you are to get good reports, but even then if you actually check the sources yourself you can find glaring errors in a shockingly large percentage of the stories.

People are people. People are busy. People don't check other people's work. Entertaining fiction sells better than complicated fact. It's really never going to work out. As long as you know that, it's fine.


Reuters is not US. AP is pretty good for big news, yea.


AP has its biases, in particular they are seen as anti-Israel with the whole saga of changing a headline from "Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem." to finally "Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station." being one of the better know headlines. The original headline remained on many sites.


Yea, some qualifiers about big news.

Also, there's roughly 0 unbiased coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict at this point. You kinda have to just read multiple sides from different news outlets and try to sift through the bias yourself.

E.g. most recently, it's hard to tell from a headline about an IDF executing an unarmed guy lying on the ground with a headshot whether or not it's a fair interpretation of the situation.


only way to get unbiased news is from a source that doesn't have advertisers, so they can truly speak their mind and report on the real news.

No Agenda Show [1] (podcast) is pretty reliable source of information as they're 100% listener funded. They basically 'deconstruct' traditional news media, politics and world events and go above and beyond anything that will be ever produced by 'mainstream news'

The show is hosted by one of the 'founders' of podcasting.

[1] http://www.noagendashow.com


What makes you think advertisers are the only bias? Listeners want to hear what they want to hear, too.

What does help is getting some news from outside the country. At least that will give you a different view.

(Eg I remember all the German newspapers blowing in the same direction about something Deutsche Bahn did a while ago, while only the Neue Zurcher Zeitung (from Switzerland) dissented.)


I would see the difference between a non-sponsored host openly displaying bias through their own opinions versus a sponsored host presenting a bias based on their advertisers.


>WSJ has floors of smart, trained, inquisitive journalists who assemble real original data and break real original stories, and who try hard–through single, double, and triple verification–to ensure the accuracy of every single figure and fact they report.

All of which is taken, considered, and thrown out the window if Rupert wants a story that's mean to Obama run instead.


I don't see it as a moral disgrace at all, but it really is an inconvenience. I have no way of creating this myself, but why doesn't the "Netflix" of journalism exist? Or why can't I just pay X$ more to my ISP, who has deals with publications such as the WSJ, to offer me access to their articles? I'd rather just browse and read, not manage subscriptions.

EDIT: Apparently I'm replying too fast. Note that I quoted Netflix, implying similarity and not identity. I can also see the potential problems concerning Net Neutrality, but I don't think it has to be a problem. If done properly, no throttling is needed as the news sites can still serve ads to non-paying customers. You're just distributing your money in 1 place instead of 10. It's solely for convenience.


> why doesn't the "netflix" of journalism exist? Or why can't I just pay X$ more to my ISP

There are many, many reasons.

One somewhat pedantic difference is Netflix deals with evergreen content. Any bundling of print journalism (especially with ISPs involved) is going to look closer to cable company bundling. Personally, infrastructure providers should not be in the business of selling content. I won't rehash those arguments here.

So, the ISP aside, the question becomes, who should you pay for a subscription to print journalism? Note that you already pay separately for a Netflix subscription; there would be no difference here.

Content is already bundled at the site level, eg a NYT sub gets you all the NYT articles. If we were to go up another level, eg buying a combined sub to NYT + WaPo + WSJ + Buzzfeed + HuffPo + <tabloid-blog> + etc -- then people would be complaining about the opposite, paying for content that they never read. Which is effectively the complaint that many people have with cable television.

The open question for these sites is is whether lower per-subscriber revenue, from a third-party bundling service, would altogether be greater than trying to solicit subscriptions on an individual basis. That might be the case, but sites also certainly don't want to straitjacket themselves in the manner of HBO, where bundling is their only form of allowable distribution.

Note that most cable networks would never be viable with an a-la carte model: it is only through massive bundling across millions of users that the smaller networks can achieve enough revenue. And not everybody can be HBO. That effectively rules out micropayments for most sites, and I still have my doubts that micropayments would even be feasible at the scale of the WSJ.


For one thing because it would almost certainly not work economically.

More importantly, that would be a major blow to net neutrality. I really don't want my ISP to be negotiating deals of what news I'm able to access.


The ISP I use in Australia, Internode, re-streams a lot / most of di.fm's streaming radio channels at 256kb - so equivalent quality to paid membership of di.fm. They're not the cheapest ISP, but with the NBN rollout (FTTH) differences between ISPs are disappearing.

I continue to use Internode almost solely because they provide a service I want. I've never heard anyone claim this is a net-neutrality issue.

If ISPs provided bundled premium / membership access to other sites I'd see that as a differentiating factor not a net-neutrality issue. So long as they weren't intentionally throttling other services, but they we would expect their bundled services to have higher QoS priority otherwise we'd complain the 'free' content was shoddy.

Personally, I view the whole net neutrality saga as a restriction on the freedom to enter in to contracts. But I'd probably change my mind as soon as it affected me personally. Biases hey.


> why doesn't the "Netflix" of journalism exist?

Blendle (blendle.com) seems like it's aiming to be that


ISPs probably wouldn't get enough customer adoption of such a service to make it worth their while. Someone needs to resurrect micropayments and figure out a way to make them work. There are a lot of people who don't necessarily want to subscribe to a news site but would be willing to pay a few pennies to read individual articles.


"Resurrect"? I don't recall any time period in which micropayments were successful.


Not in the west, but they're very successful in developing nations. Africa being the primary example.


Isn't this Google News, Facebook Instant Articles, and now Apple News? They all ofter a ranked service that also happens to remove the visual clutter in exchange for guaranteeing eyeballs.

Articles probably make less money per person, but it's less customer hostile and I bet in the end makes these original content creators more money.


Probably for the same economic reasons that Netflix isn't actually what you're implying it is. I keep a Netflix subscription because I enjoy their original content, but still pay a la carte to rent actual movies elsewhere.


I think the ISP bit is an unnecessary and distracting part, but the general idea is good, I think, for everyone to pay a fixed amount to get access to all content, and then the creators' slice of the payments is determined by what people are actually actually looking at. That way, no one has to think about whether a given article is worth it, nor sign up for every service individually.

Jaron Lanier promoted that same basic scheme in You Are Not a Machine (2010).

It would also eliminate much of the incentive to bypassing paywalls.


Well, for one, they have fought new media tooth and nail every step of the way. Look what they did when Google started to index their stuff.


ISP idea == very interesting !


I actually had an Ask HN[1] with this question but it went completely under the radar. I was hoping for some good discussion!

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11467942


A+ thread derailing right here. As far as I can tell, all those trained journalists avoided the mistakes other media did while covering apples recycling report by avoiding the subject entirely.


> WSJ has floors of smart, trained, inquisitive journalists who assemble real original data and break real original stories, and who try hard–through single, double, and triple verification–to ensure the accuracy of every single figure and fact they report.

<InsertJournalNameHere> has floors of smart, trained, inquisitive journalists who assemble real original data and break real original stories, and who try hard–through single, double, and triple verification–to ensure the accuracy of every single figure and fact they report.

> Which is why it's sometimes annoying to see people treat paywalls as though they were moral disgraces.

The reason people don't like the WSJ paywalls is because they behave differently for google (allowing the page to be indexed) than for the readers. Care to provide a source for 'Paywalls as moral disgraces' that would convince me it's not a strawman?


WSJ is one of the wost offenders for this. Their origional content is often a mix of public datasets with a visual and deeply biased stories that are practically propaganda. It's a simple test pick 10 major stories from this time last year and look for inaccuracy's. Last time I did this they and several other papers scored a flat ZERO.

Several papers could not even get everyone's name correct.

Going this day from last year I picked a short strait factual story at random. http://www.wsj.com/articles/spanish-teacher-killed-with-cros... and reading the two comments I saw at least two possible innacuracy's vs http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/20/teacher-killed-... how many wounded and was second teacher shot or stabbed. Thinking about it the spin is the fact they are not rating the attack by a 13 year old as a criminal case. It also starts with "Madrid-" then says the attack is in Barcelona, which is odd but I am willing to let that slide. Feel free to dig into this one or pick something else.

PS: I started this first time around because I had seen several stories I knew about in a few papers and not a single one was completely accurate.


It also starts with "Madrid-" then says the attack is in Barcelona

A location in the beginning of a newspaper story is taken to mean the location of the reporter, not the event.


To clarify, they are ~400 miles apart so I can see not traveling the distance. But, reading it seems they are reporting what they saw on the news instead of any kind of first hand account. Sure, they called the local police, but in terms of actual reporting it's a bit thin.


You work for Rupert?


are those the guys who said it's a myth that the government played a central role in the development of the Internet?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB100008723963904444643045775390...

WSJ is not even a shadow of what it once was.


That article is in the opinion section.


If your paper has a fantasy fiction section so fools can live in a dream world, it doesn't get my subscription dollars, no matter how many floors of journalists it has.


I'm wondering when there ever was a golden age of journalism. In the 80's, I was working in an office building that had a natural gas leak for hours and then blew the roof off.

I taped the news broadcasts that evening on multiple channels. Each TV news anchor recounted a different set of facts, all them wrong. It was an eye-opener for me. And it wasn't even a case of any agenda, it was just laziness and doing as little work as possible.

It makes me wonder how much we think we know about history from the history books is completely wrong.


Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy: "Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Knoll


In the early 90s there was an incident that happened to my house that ended up in the local news. The details reported in the news seemed like they were totally made up from someone who happened to be driving by and then told someone else what they thought might have happened. They reported the house was vacant rather than interviewing my family or the other tenants of the not at all vacant 6 family house! We were home the whole time! We didn't see a single reporter or news station even do a drive by of the house before running the story. They would not even have had to knock to ask us what happened - we were outside cleaning up for most of the day as the incident caused a huge mess.

It shocked me that such little effort was made to actually find out what happened before reporting it as fact to the public.

I actually think that they would be less likely to do that today with social media.


I was once a member of a canyoning trip that had a bunch of young teenagers on it (13 - 15 years old). We encountered horrendous weather on the climb out of the canyon and decided to spend the night in an overhanging shelter rather than continue to climb the 300+ meters of cliff face in torrential rain.

The next day we successfully (and safely) made it back to the campsite from which we'd started only to be met with reporters and cameras looking for the story. Basically, they wanted some quote, from somebody, that they could use to pin-point the delay onto a single person, and exaggerate the danger that we were in. The fact was that we decided to take the least risky option in the face of unpredictable, extreme weather. The reporters didn't think this was enough and there was a multi-week long witch-hunt to try to blame it on trip leaders, despite the fact that no-one was harmed (if we'd chosen to continue the climb out in the horrible conditions we faced, then someone would have very likely been harmed).

This was my eye-opener to how the media operate. Instead of "Group of young adventurers safe from freak storm" it became "Irresponsible trip leaders cause near-death of youths".

If it won't sell, it's not news.


(For example, one reporter called it a "warehouse", when you could see it was an office building.)


Check out who won the pulitzers in news this year: http://www.poynter.org/2016/here-are-the-winners-of-the-2016...

Best investigative journalism: Tampa Bay Times & Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Ever heard of them?

This is availability bias.

Good journalism is all over the place. If you're looking at CNN and MSNBC and Fox News and lamenting the state of journalism vs. fluff in the modern era, you're looking in the wrong places! You're literally singling out the shitty news and assuming that represents everything.

I guarantee if you go to your local paper or local news station and check out their investigative journalists, you'll find some incredibly talented, passionate people who report on real stories.

Yes, the economics are such that for every in-depth investigative piece, you have a ton of press release reports, and fluff. But that's true on blogs as well.


But that's just the problem. Who goes and seeks it out? Most of the country does not, but at the same time does not share ( or doesn't have the wherewithal to follow through on) the skepticism in this thread.


Do you ever notice how the news media will pick someone totally at random to represent how a whole nation feels about a problem? For example: "One <Inhabitant of Area Experiencing Controversial Situation> said....". Except, it's not totally at random, it's whatever interpretation of events that they want to push. Do you think they just print whatever the first person they talked to said?

Same goes for what news stories they cover. It has to align with the narrative that the editors are trying to push.

It's arguably a necessary part of the news media because they have to choose which stories to put in front of you and which people to quote given limited space. Pretending that we can experience everything that goes on in the world from reading a paragraph or two on a situation involving hundreds if not more is not entirely realistic.


As I understand it, the sloppiness of "old media" sources is due (at least in part) to the need to compete with "new media" sources. When people started turning to blogs and twitter and such sources because they were quicker to break stories and/or more entertaining, the "old media" sources had to try to break stories quicker than their processes currently did in order to catch up, which in general means less verification and proofreading and such than they used to do.

So now you get things like this where Vice corrects a CNN story. This is exactly the type of correction that the old media places would do to the new media stories, and then new media (and those who looked to them for news) would just call them sore losers.

Please don't mistake this one instance (or even the few instances that are probably already jumping to mind) as being indicative that CNN and its ilk are less reliable than Vice and its ilk. I'd be willing to wager that on average, the old media places are still quite a bit more reliable than the new media places. Things may indeed be changing, but I don't think we're there yet.

Edit: I just wanted to say: All that said, I still don't think CNN is necessarily a good source of news. It was a lower rung even before any changes due to new media's rise.


Just to be clear: most the media outlets that misreported this story typically issue corrections more frequently than Vice/Motherboard.

The credit of this article goes the the writer and not Vice. Vice has a long history of history of making up stories for content.


There was Al Jazeera America, but it couldn't make itself profitable. But we still have Al Jazeera English:

http://www.aljazeera.com/


Al Jazeera use to be a reliable source of news, back when Donald Rumsfeld called it a propaganda network. Today it's pretty much just another part of the US/EU propaganda network.

People like to think NPR or BBC are different, but they're not. They spit out whatever is handed to the in government/company press releases.


> There was Al Jazeera America, but it couldn't make itself profitable. But we still have Al Jazeera English:

Al Jazeera is a non-profit ran by the Qatari government. It was never meant to be profitable. It did shut down because oil prices went down and the Qatari government had to make some cuts.


I think you're being too extreme.

Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and to a lesser extent the NY Times are all still reputable, even if they all still produce occasional junk. I don't believe there is a single reputable news source on earth, if the qualification is never producing junk articles.


The Washington Post was the paper that investigated and then wrote an article explaining that Bernie Sander's average campaign contribution is not actually the famous "Twenty-seven dollars", but in fact $27.88.


That sounds about as serious as this article from Vice. It's just click-bait.

The worst thing they found (as far as I can see) is that the government required Apple to have a recycling program. What a horrible thing the first article was hiding from us.


The point is, that every manufacturer in the USA has a recycling program, as required by law. Why does Apple's press release get published as news?


Because one way of making new things is to take two existing things and combining them into some new arrangement. It's pretty much humanity in a nutshell. So they took "the us govt requires companies of a certain size to set up recycling programs", combine it with "Apple sells a lot of stuff", and bingo, you've got "apple recycles a ton of stuff" as a new story. It's kinda lazy, but it's low hanging fruit.


So, can we expect "Dell recycles a lot of stuff" next week, and HP the week after, followed by Sony?

Dell have an equivalent page: http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/id/corp-comm/us-goodwill-rec...


That's a fair point, but it's not a lie like the article asserts.


Are you being facetious or was this a real story? I'm not in America and have not heard of it.


It's real, and it's not in the Opinion section. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/04/18/be... (Paywall)


I didn't believed you until I read the article.

"$137 million divided by 4.7 million is ... $29.14.

More than 4.7 million contributions means, at most, 4,749,999 -- or else the campaign would round up to 4.8 million. Even with that higher number of donations, the average is $28.95. Which is more than $27."

This is laughable...but I haven't yet decided if it's in a good or a bad way. I mean, really? they are complaining about a 1-2 dollar difference from what BS says?


It wasn't behind a paywall for me at least. The article has a sensationalist headline but the content is what you would expect for a discussion about averages and pseudo-random quasi-uniform distributions : the average moves slightly. Big deal!


The Wall Street Journal is getting less so. Being a Murdock owned publication it was/is bound to happen. After the purchase, the political coverage has taken a decided more conservative leaning. I wouldn't be surprised if it's also infected the financial reporting.


People make the mistake of equating editorials with political news. They are not the same thing. The opinion section, the pages that have OPINION in big bold text at the top, are forthrightly conservative/libertarian, even though they have at least one regular liberal opinion columnist (William Galston) and constantly have guest articles written by politicians and business leaders of all stripes. The news sections are totally different and are pretty unbiased.


The news sections are always biased, if only by what they cover. For example, the New York Times, until the past month or so, was constantly running news stories about Hillary Clinton's chances in the general election against various Republicans. However, they obviously betray a bias since they considered all of the Republicans running, and only one of the Democrats. (Curiously, they started running more serious articles about Sanders only after it became clear he wasn't going to win the nomination.)


This is precisely what conservatives say about Fox News. Is the editorial firewall more effective at WSJ than at other News Corp properties? If not, you're being duped.


> Is the editorial firewall more effective at WSJ than at other News Corp properties?

Yes, it is. I know a number of liberal journalists who work at the WSJ and would never work at Fox and definitely wouldn't give a conservative tilt to their stories.


Yes.

I know someone on staff at the Wsj, and know their political views. I have seen their reporting and it is generally balanced. Yes, the papers always have an editorial line they are following, but it's not necessarily biased to push a view, but more so to match their buyers. Running a newspaper is not a public service for the Wsj.

The big surprise for most people is that people at institutions like Wsj and ny times try and be as professional as possible. They aren't acting like click bait interns at gawker.


Curious - I would have flipped the Post and the Times in your sentence.


>the washington post

their agenda and the political leanings of their new master is clear

http://fair.org/home/washington-post-ran-16-negative-stories...


> What does it say about the world we live in where blogs do more basic journalism than CNN?

To me it says that people who thought the Internet would kill journalism were wrong.


But that doesn't follow at all. Others have pointed out (in this thread) it's possible that old-media outlets have become sloppy _because_ the sloppy new-media outlets are out-producing them and gaining a major share of attention. I don't think this data point supports either conclusion more than the other.


Why? erikpukinskis didn't say the Internet helped journalism, merely that it didn't kill journalism.


Really? To me it says they were right.


When it comes to news bias, our expectations are totally out of whack.

I don't think there ever was a time when news sources were unbiased. In fact, I think in the past journalists were just much less worried about being perceived as biased.

A good post by Aaron Swartz on this subject: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/newobjectivity


Unfortunately it is very difficult to know which blogs have good journalism. Social media aggregators tried to collect the best from around the internet, but ended up even more sensationalist and biased than traditional media.


Any outlet providing citations, sources, verifiable data is a good start.


Even PBS and NPR while very good, push narratives these days. Same goes for wikipedia. Journalism is dead and nobody seems to care about facts anymore.


CNN, MSNBC, and the other "network news" companies rarely do reporting. There are literally thousands of reputable articles published by US outlets yearly - from The Atlantic to the Washington Post. Not everything they publish is good - quality correlates more with the author than anything else.


> more basic journalism than CNN?

CNN has been a joke for a long time.


I had this reflex to stop reading anything but Mailing Lists or 'close to the work' sources only. Way too much noise and fluff floating around.


We seem to not care about science anymore for more or less the same reasons.

Media outlets report a single study or conclude something and all of a sudden the world decides the science is done there's no reason to discuss things anymore.

Then the moment someone says something differing from this opinion he is wrong. Even tho he may be proving something factual.

Mass media has ruined a lot of things :(


It says what has always been true, but what we're only now having the ability to regularly publish: FOLLOW THE MONEY.


CBC is pretty good, especially Peter Mansbridge. He hosts a good roast, when the powers that be bring the pork.


Recycled click bait travels a score of furlongs before basic journalism has its boots on. Investigative journalism is still sleeping in.


Information wants to be free, so it isn't worth paying journalists for the time to do this.


I hope you're ironic, because that statement doesn't make any sense.


To state things explicitly: "It is commonly believed that 'information wants to be free, therefore I should not pay for it', and so people are opposed to paying for journalism. As a consequence, organizations that exist to do the sort of vetting that the parent talks about find it harder and harder to get revenue from that activity. Therefore, they not only have no incentive to pay people to do that, they in fact risk going bankrupt if they do that."




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