Another old-school journalist who just doesn’t get it

The Los Angeles Times again has a columnist who just doesn’t get it.

This time it’s Bill Dwyre’s turn to say something stupid.

We blog before we report, when it should be the other way around.

We write more about ourselves than we do about our subjects. We have Facebook and YouTube, and we see the world as being all about us, on all topics, every day. News isn’t news unless we agree with it.

Let’s settle this once and for all: blogging is just a tool. That’s all it is. You can have a just-the-facts blog or you can have a just-opinions blog — just like written content in a newspaper.

We have reporters and columnists. Bloggers can be either one — or both.

The smart papers do blog before they report — if you take “report” in the sense that a 62-year-old reason why the Times is the Titanic of newspapers like Dwyre wants you to believe. He’s one of those people that believes news can only be “reported” in the printed pages or with a traditional news story.

The smart news companies (the LA Times is firmly a newsPAPER) report in whatever manner makes the most sense. News breaks? They have a breaking news blog, they use twitter, they use something — anything — more immediate than a full-fledged 15-inch story (or 30 in many cases).

News organizations that get it report as news breaks. They inform readers when they know the facts, but they don’t wait until they have a traditional news story, because the traditional way of reporting news is the old way — the wrong way — to report on the Web.

And we should be using social sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc to help connect with your audience, to help be apart of the community and to have a conversation.

When you look at the papers doing the worst, you know why. It’s because the top people just don’t get it. They think they own the news.

No one owns the news.

  • Rather than a tit-for-tat, he-said-she-said round-up of who has said something stupid, how about links to the people you think are good at this — news organisations who do report breaking news via blogs, who do use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter as part of a conversation with the audience? So that those people out there can learn from others’ mistakes?

    This post is a whine — you’re saying “it should be so” and then saying “but somebody else should figure it out”. Much better to post your suggested solutions to problems rather than complaining about who got it wrong.

    And for the love of God, and your own body, can we please deep six the “get it” and “don’t get it” bs?

  • pat

    If you’ve read my blog, you’ll find plenty of examples. I’m not going to rehash them every time I post.

    This post was about a specific column and columnist. If I was taking the column out of context, I wouldn’t have linked to it. That’s called context.

    There is a lot I disagree with in the column, but I choose to pick one part of his column to deal with. Britney Spears IS news, despite what he thinks. The media has just done a poor job of reporting on it properly.

    Mental illness if very serious. Her recent troubles should be a launching pad to talk about a bigger and deeper issue. She is a great example to use. The media, however, likes to take the easy way out with titillation.

    When you get it, I’ll drop the phrase. Deal?

  • If it wasn’t evident from me posting a comment on your blog that I read it, I apologise.

    But not everyone does read it — some people will come to this particular post from a search engine or a link from another blog. Surely, just as a service to your audience, you could flesh out who does what well immediately after you trash the bad stuff. That would be constructive.

    Your post gave none of the context of the event that Dwyre was writing about — he wrote 946 words on racism, irresponsible reporting and the scramble for internet ratings, among other things. You quoted 52 of his words — about five per cent — to make your case that the Times is the Titanic of papers. That’s not context — that’s completely selective packaging of a soundbite to suit your agenda. But you linked to it, so that’s ok.

    Maybe you should go back and re-read the column because he makes exactly the same point about Britney Spears that you do. And at least he managed to spell her name correctly.