My book on what we now call “fake news” came out in early 2005. The Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland tried to combat it in their own flawed and unempirical way and it shows.
No science, no method, and what you have is someone pointing out things without understanding. My book did it better and was more thorough.
And yes, I keep a track of those things. Notice they merely talk about “hoaxes”, not propaganda, manipulation, or public relations.
It is my business to know the goings-on in j-schools.
Because you can see that j-schools don’t know what they are doing because journalism collapsed.
The methods of information verification aren’t actually taught.
And these days, journalism has been reduced to being a system of anarcho-slavery: you have properties beholden to political parties for survival, meaning all you have is propaganda, but no guiding force to ensure it is actual information.
And when Poynter asks Did we just experience the hardest decade in journalism?, the answer is, Yes, and you ain’t seen nothing yet.
The worst is yet to come.
Journalism is a house that people who own it neglected it, justifying the archaic wiring, the asbestos, and the rotting foundation. It’s tradition! Don’t touch a thing! How dare you suggest we need renovations? Are you a Russian agent or a fascist?
I am neither. I am, however, a Method Researcher. What that means is I have the ability to inspect structures because I study them, test them, and fix them. I know what is up to code and what is a hazard.
And the house collapsed. You don’t have to be a Method Researcher these days to see it.
There is no end to the self-pity and self-aggrandizing, just look at Splinter News’ little cringey bullshit they recently spewed: why don’t you tell “young journalists” that they are as much of the problem as the old guard: all, regardless of lack of experience or exposure, that they have their set scripts and opinions, and are nothing more than obnoxious propagandists whose ideology is no solution to anyone’s problems, including their own?
When you go into a boxing ring, you are going in to fight. You don’t just train: you are developing strategies based on your opponents and your own strengths and weaknesses. You know you are going to get hit, but you understand the risks, and you keep moving.
The way you fight a war. You are going in to fight. You don’t go in blindly.
But journalism never saw itself as a profession that had to bother with strategy. Read the textbooks of the profession. For an industry that has people brags with “war stories”, there isn’t much of their ways that resemble strategic combat.
It is more like bullies and snots of high school. Playground taunts and temper tantrums is what we see.
When I entered journalism, I had an understanding of boxing. I understood that you don’t just slap around hoping to hit something: you have to have a plan.
And if I could uncover everything that I did with Method Research, why weren’t journalists doing the same thing?
One reason is that journalists are idea stealers and observers: they think that just observing and cribbing someone else’s ideas will make them passable experts. Newspeg is a nice way of saying something is newsworthy just because other people are talking about it and reporting it.
That kind of intellectual arm’s length relationship makes it difficult to know what you are actually dealing with — how many people have strong opinions on things they know nothing about: their “logic” and “reasoning” applies to the outer layer — the façade. The atomic make-up of the issue is something they know zero about.
That was always journalism’s biggest problem.
I didn’t have that arm’s length problem. When you are among those you are studying, you cannot make up narratives, nor do you fall for the groupthink.
It’s like trauma: it doesn’t just go away even if it goes away. It stays because it left an impression. That’s why people become humbled when you were passing judgments on people who have gone through something traumatic and then have it happen to you. All of the sudden, you don’t whip out easy solutions like an arrogant moron.
When you observe at arm’s length, you do not allow things to whisper their enigmatic secrets to you, and you have something significant to work with. The non-obvious things.
We are made to connect to other people, but these days, people are too disconnected: that’s why it is too easy for people to try to destroy people on Twitter. No connect or understanding of empathy.
Journalism always faked their ideas of objectivity. It is the reason the profession collapsed. They never bothered to define or quantify their terms, let alone conduct studies on how to better do it, or use those methods as journalists.
It is why we have a world groping in the dark: we need facts. We need a genuine love for them as well as an understanding of what facts means or how to apply them.
I wanted to understand journalism. I wanted the facts.
So, I became one. I never assumed I knew what it was all about because I was arm’s length away from it.
So I went into its heart and did tests. I observed and I listened to its echoes as I walked inside.
I had front-row seats.
It never had to be this way. I cannot stress this enough: its collapse was entirely avoidable. Do not blame the Internet. Do not blame Donald Trump. Do not blame other people.
You do not take care of your house, it will crumble. You can paint it, add some potpourri, and a brand-new doormat, that doesn’t deal with the roof, the wiring, or anything else.
It needed Method Research. It needed open hearts and minds. Journalism as a profession deserved better than what it got from those who worked in it…