Beancounter Journalism: Playing with spreadsheets isn't the solution.

You can see the panic in journalism, like the bratty kid who is danger of failing, and then sits up straight for the last month in order to pass.

The problem is the year has been over for a very long time.

The attempt at relevance has become beancounter journalism: throwing numbers to show It Is A Very Serious Problem.

The Toronto Star has a number spew with how Ontario has doctors get a free ride in this province, even if they lost their licence in the US or abroad.

The Star has been carping on this topic long enough that those who are responsible for this scandal have already dismissed it as far back as 2015:

As if we didn't already have enough on our plates, the Toronto Star now wants us to add: serve as judge and jury when doctors mess up to our list of things to do. 

In all that bean-counting, the newspaper isn't see the real problems. The point of journalism is not to throw faceless numbers at an audience. It is to provide relevant facts to them. You have an arrogant temper tantrum from 2015 -- there is a good starting point. Overkilling with facts without questioning the authorities who provided them is anything about journalism.

The Globe and Mail plays the same game, with this article on "femicide".

Again, another nebulous number spew, but nothing that is as thorough as it is presented. No questioning of the facts. No actual context, but a narrative that doesn't align with the reality of the situation.

Gricean Maxims are handy to know in any communications industry, particularly journalism.

And yet they seem to ignore the human element of connection as they count those beans.

People aren't looking to be battered with endless numbers gathered by authorities who have a vested interest in exaggerating or downplaying information. They want a map so they can navigate.

Journalism never got the memo, and they continue to be disconnected without a clue what their purpose is and why they have collapsed...