Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload
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Amid the hand-wringing over the death of "true journalism" in the Internet Age-the din of bloggers, the echo chamber of Twitter, the predominance of Wikipedia-veteran journalists and media critics Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel have written a pragmatic guide to navigating the twenty-first century media terrain. Yes, old authorities are being dismantled, new ones created, and the very nature of knowledge has changed. But seeking the truth remains the purpose of journalism. How do we discern what is reliable? Blur provides a road map, or more specifically, reveals the craft that has been used in newsrooms by the very best journalists for getting at the truth. In an age when the line between citizen and journalist is becoming increasingly unclear, Blur is a crucial guide for those who want to know what's true.
is getting bigger online. So is the long end of the tail. It is the middle that’s suffering.8 Why, then, are traditional news destinations still suffering? The problem isn’t fundamentally a loss of audience. When numbers from their new and old platforms are combined, many traditional media venues are seeing their audiences grow. The crisis facing the news industry created by technology has to do more with revenue. The technology has decoupled advertising from news. Many advertisers no longer
police, social scientists, and those who work in other realms of empirical knowledge often have more refined ideas about sourcing, which some of the best journalists have adopted. The fourth step in evaluating the news involves assessing evidence. This book will explain the difference between observing and understanding and the difference between inference (forming a hypothesis about what something means) and evidence (proving or establishing that this inference is true). Next we will explore
people who talk about important people with power; they are not the important people.” This approach develops sources who come with information at some risk to themselves and often no obvious benefit to be gained. From these sources, Risen collects supporting or contradicting evidence. By working his way up an institution, he begins with those not wed to policy outcomes and thus more likely to offer different opinions from those of their superiors. Gathering information from those at various
loser Rush Limbaugh, he thinks because he’s got a lot of money and a lot of stations that he’s a success in life. The guy who can’t hear because he did so many drugs, that had no self-discipline and character has now taken his first shot at me … Come on, you fat pig. Let’s get it on.”8 And here’s Limbaugh on October 8, 2009, talking about fellow Republican Joe Scarborough: He’s a “neutered chickified moderate.” Scarborough fired back at Limbaugh the next day: “I would be careful if I had put my
with you accordingly.” No story may have epitomized this notion of journalism as a public act, an act fraught with values and morality, as much as the series she produced with photographer Monica Lopossay called “The Angels Are Coming,” about a dying twelve-year-old Baltimore boy named R. J. Voigt. The series, wrenching and raw, explored the issues medical professionals and families face in caring for dying children. In a later essay about the series, she said she struggled with the line