In my little bookgasm I have going on, I let Mission Al Jazeera by Josh Rushing jump the queue today. I’d ordered it because I’d watched Control Room last summer and couldn’t figure out how the guy I didn’t like very much in the movie became the guy I do like on Al Jazeera. I’d been following him on Twitter and had seen him on Fault Lines but it didn’t connect until it came up on Twitter, I think. It was kind of a whoah moment. Supposedly the book could tell me how he got from one to the other. (It did)
Anyway, what I find funny is that I see Control Room as less about Al Jazeera than about the war in Iraq and how we didn’t see what was really going on (It’s on Netflix in Canada and it’s also here.) and that I see Mission Al Jazeera as more of a critique about our media and how far it is devolving than about Josh’s story. It answered all the questions I had and it was like sitting on the couch having him tell you what happened. Was well worth full price hehe.
This seems to be a theme in what I’m reading the last few days. With the truth vigilante question posed by The New York Times:
I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.
Then the fallout, which has been pretty awesome and hilarious. (I have come to the realization that whenever I see the word ‘fact’ now my brain says ‘prove it’) Cenk Uygur sums it up perfectly:
Then yesterday, this blog post by Kai Nagata came through my feed again. I had read it in the summer, but this time it clicked. http://kainagata.com/2011/07/08/why-i-quit-my-job/ We don’t seem to get a Canadian perspective on this often. It is well worth the read. Especially now that Harper is being Harper and what he is saying hits home to more of us. Also this would explain my girl crush on Anita McNaught:
The problem with the CBC:
Aside from feeling sexually attracted to the people on screen, the target viewer, according to consultants, is also supposed to like easy stories that reinforce beliefs they already hold.
I was thinking I didn’t have conclusion for this post, but I do. I’ve been wandering around watching this whole media/ journalism thing for about a year now. I know what I know from books. Other than in spurts, I haven’t been much of a news watcher, I have never been much of a paper reader, other than when they would be sitting around work on lunch breaks. I think this is why the difference is so jarring. To me it hasn’t been much of a slide because I haven’t watched; it is more of a jolt. I don’t quite understand when news stopped being news. I don’t see my news fascination ending any time soon, I don’t have much of a stomach for mindless TV now, other than a couple of shows.
I’ve got huge respect for what the reporters and journalists etc go through to bring us stories. I don’t know if they do it because they love it or they are crazy. But I think highly of most I have found this last year, but my idea of ‘media’ is pretty wide. Go through my Media list on Twitter and I’m not so sure they would be considered media to everyone else. There’s Media.. then there’s bloggers, and tweeters that I trust to send out good information.. and some media that get ‘downgraded’ to the people list because I don’t trust them so much..
Why this list gets so varied is 1. I like conversations in my list to round out what is going on. 2. The bloggers a lot of the time are the ones who seem to be doing the real investigative stuff. It isn’t the media, and that’s frustrating. It seem to be bloggers who find a lot and ‘journalists’ that regurgitate it, if they pay attention at all. With the Ethical Oil links to the conservative party coming up the last couple of days, why are bloggers finding it? Shouldn’t this be what the journalists should have been doing way back? We are just supposed to smile and nod and take it at face value? Who is telling us what the real facts are on the oil sands? There used to be a day, way back, where I trusted media more than people yakking on the internet, sadly it is the reverse now.
Twitter is to find out what is happening right now. The media is supposed to put it into perspective and go find the truth. If what I watch on tv or read in the papers can’t help me with that.. sorry I will go find other places that will. And I don’t really give a flying fuck about if you are losing revenue or not. If you can’t produce a decent product. Suck it. Which basically leaves me with articles I like, people I trust and AJE. I can’t honestly say there is any website or ‘news’ outlet that I really trust other than AJE right now, and even then.. well.. I still yell at my tv.. but it isn’t “you call that news??” That’s a plus..
Updating, Jan 20th:
Kai Nagata keeps coming up in my feed (not him, people talking about him) wonder if he knows he is the topic of conversation? He has another blog post that is worth a read: http://kainagata.com/2012/01/16/sustainable-journalism/
Something we could really use is an organized set of resources to support citizen journalism and to let us support each other. That’s one of my next projects. I think we need a free, open-source handbook that can fill in the gaps and make your journalism better, whether you’re a professional or not. What I like about the wiki model is it’s organic – it adapts both to external forces and the needs of its users.
Next I would want to couple the handbook with a network to allow skill-sharing and support, so that people in different communities could collaborate to get stories produced that might not be on the radar of the big outlets.
Phil Donahue came up in conversation the other day, oh yeah, talking about Titanic and how the domestic abuse wasn’t looked at then as it is now and how when it was tackled on Donahue it was still controversial. Then we talked about how I’m old because I know who Donahue is. Seems he is still around, I just don’t see him. Been digging through youtube today watching Donahue videos, I think he needs a show again.
Here he is talking about Media:
This, I did not know.. wow…