I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about my opinion of what some of my people like to call “old media.” The print edition of the Washington Post is my daily lunch companion and it bugs me when I’m forced to skip reading it. That said, sometimes I wonder at the perspectives of the people who work there.
Today’s a perfect example. In the business section there’s an article by Rob Pegoraro that could have been a good coverage of collaborative bookmarking sites like DIGG and REDDIT. If you’re not familiar with them then you’re likely also not my people. I’m not a fan or a user myself, but I’m aware of their existence and what they are. Rather than write an article about them and their relative strengths and advantages, however, Pegoraro’s article is titled “The News Is There, but You Might Have to Search for It” and opens with “Whatever the traditional definition of “news” might be, it can seem far from what fills the headlines at some of the Web’s more popular news sites. On a Tuesday in presidential primary season, here are some of their top stories:”
You know Rob, it’s funny you should mention that.
Today’s Post print edition has front page stories Results Refocus Democratic Campaign and National Dragnet Is a Click Away, Even in Victory, Clinton Team Is Battling Itself, Coloring Outside Curriculum Lines To Depict the Drop in Arts Education, Russia Pumps Tens of Millions Into Burnishing Image Abroad, and DHS Strains As Goals, Mandates Go Unmet.
If you want to read about how the FBI has broken the law by misusing national security letters and admitted it in front of Congress you’ll have to turn to page two. After all, it’s presidential primary season and there’s internal campaign matters to discuss. Surprisingly the Obama camp says they’re going to win and the Clinton camp says NUH-UH! Or you could look at the paper yesterday, which trumpeted headlines like Clinton Beats Obama in Texas and Ohio. A little less prominent – way down in the articles, in fact – was the fact that this beating in Ohio got Clinton 78 delegates and left Obama with only…. 69. Wow, stunning upset there, eh?
My point isn’t to beat up on the Post, though I have been unimpressed by their primary coverage, but to point out that when it comes to making you “search for” the news, they could give lessons. If you want to write about the collaborative sites you can talk about their underlying “wisdom of crowds” concept and the (well established) ways in which they subvert that concept by showing you what others though before getting your input. You could provide some guidance in how to get started looking at these sites, talk about, say, DIGG’s friends support that lets you see not only what the world in general is looking at but what people you know and/or trust are checking out, and what that might imply for how we consume media individually while finding and judging it collaboratively.
Or I guess you can just bitch about the splinter in their eye while ignoring the 2×4 in yours.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs