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Some deep and meaningful thoughts on news filtering

Some deep and meaningful thoughts on news filtering

In times of important breaking news (see, Newtown and Boston Bombing), I find myself devoting substantial and increasing amounts of time towards filtering mainstream news media reports trying to figure out what is sufficiently reliable as to be worthy of passing on to my blog readership.

I find myself modifying mainstream news reports with terms such as “reportedly” and “according to reports.”  Or cautions to the readership to be “cautious.”

Wasn’t it supposed to be reverse, with the news media being the one doing the filtering so that the end result was something we could rely on?

I don’t get paid enough to do their job for them.


Some guy in pajamas in the basement eating Cheetos


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Yukio Ngaby | May 1, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Hmm. You must be racist.

Actually, I think the Grumpy One (first comment at the Cheetos link) pretty well nailed MSNBC.

Don’t forget Fake but Accurate.

(A guy drinking TANG, thinking of ol’ Buckhead, the ultimate pajamahadeen.)

OMMAG-2013 | May 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm

No kidding !

You can’t even watch a weather report without substituting “recorded average” for “average”, “variable” for “normal”, “unverified” for “human-caused”, etc. The premise for scientific validity is, after all, a limited frame of reference, and the system remains unwieldy and incompletely characterized. They should focus on reporting the weather.

In fact, I have stopped watching the “news”, and now prefer to read the presentation of events. I read multiple sources in order to improve the likelihood of identifying and resolving discrepancies. The journalists are not a good source of unbiased reporting. The government is worse.

Anyway, the “Legal Insurrection” filter (aka Professor Jacobson) has demonstrated greater skill than others. So, it (he) has become one of my primary resources in a never ending quest for knowledge, and, perhaps, truth.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Filter… Professor Jacobson.

SoCA Conservative Mom | May 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Orange stained fingers… can’t get it out of my mind.

Of course, those qualifications to unverified and unofficial information are exactly the sort of professional treatment journalists used to put in their own pieces when they cared about accuracy. Similarly, editors once made sure of it, for legal reasons if not for accuracy.

But all those “layers of editors and fact-checkers” have long since been laid off in the news business. The muck-raking reporters will get their own pink slips soon enough.

I don’t have a problem with unvetted breaking news, so long as they present it as such.

The night (and following day) the Tsarnaev Brothers got in the shootout with the cops there was a lot of stuff coming too fast to check. I was listening to the BPD scanner online and even the cops weren’t sure what was happening some of the time.

But if the reporters are relaying rumors or anonymous tips, they should say so.

OTOH – When they do the regular news the information should have been vetted.

    myiq2xu in reply to myiq2xu. | May 2, 2013 at 2:17 am

    The night of the Boston shootout/manhunt the amateurs on Twitter were doing a more professional job than any network, and their information was more accurate and up-to-date too.

If the news is always “breaking” does that mean it’s broken?

In response to myqid2xu, my opinion is that if the news is breaking so fast that the media does not know what is happening, they should keep quiet until they do know. Then tell us.

We have apparently become a nation of voyeurs, fed by the insatiable appetite of the 24/7 networks to fill air time with videos and sound.