A day late and a dollar short...online "news" outlets think a union will save a dead profession.

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Vox and BuzzFeed think getting unionized will change their fortunes. Unions are antiquated and haven’t kept up with their strategies. Journalism is still dead.

Unions cannot avenge this death. It was self-inflicted.

And their structure is ill-equipped to handle changes. The entire profession walked lockstep…and nothing. That’s not just a US problem, but a Canadian and UK one as well.

Easy, bandaid solutions have been unsuccessful for the profession in the past, and their current self-righteous narrative isn’t getting them anywhere, either.

If their own owners lobby groups have struck out, their little unions aren’t going to far any better…

Propaganda Chains: Leaking by proxy to hack reporters is an old game.

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News feels like a re-run with BuzzFeed’s latest foray into getting used and they pretending they have a scoop. Many outlets are reporting this as if this were absolute fact without so much as attribution.

BuzzFeed is an easy target. It’s pure garbage. CNN may have a short-term memory and not read BuzzFeed, but just blindly defend a fellow partisan propaganda mill, but BuzzFeed has had many instances of their garbage being called out. They are desperate, and it is easy to put out feelers and play games. You leak garbage in the trash can, and then back away from it.

And with Robert Mueller’s office denying it, we can see that this game is a common ruse, and why news outlets are hotbeds for political propaganda and war games.

The news is classic bait that is the brick that gets thrown to get a jade: watch the reaction and the counter-strategy, and that’s how you find out where to strike.

I have had opportunities in my career to play the game. I always begged off. For the record, none of the “leaks” were true or in the right context. There was always an angle.

Because most of journalism is cringeworthy and in the realm of yokel. Watching a local newscast has over seven minutes of news about how cold it is going to be tomorrow. There is snow! In the winter! Be careful when you shovel! With two reporters reporting on making sure you shovel your fire hydrants!

I worked in that business. I had more than one editor think that bridesmaid dresses would be a fun thing for me to write about. That’s not what I was there for nor was I using my job for my own marital aspirations — considering I am going to be 46 and never had a spouse, you can be sure the topic wasn’t making me giddy.

And when it comes to political or corporate propaganda, it is easy for a reporter to get sucked in — they get spoon-fed “serious” stories, and their pseudo-source gets to pollute the information stream. Defence attorneys often use the press to make their client look innocent. Executives battling for control spill gossip. Even America’s fading A-list stars will engage in it when they are getting divorced and want to grab or keep as much cash as they can.

Most of it isn’t news, however. Nor it is even true. You can tell a lot more of reality by working backwards from the story: who has the most to gain by presenting the narrative and why? Leaking by proxy who then leaks to a hack reporter is a propaganda chain: the person who has something to gain hopes other media outlets report the story because what is reported first sets the narrative and in the pre-Internet days, would be believed without opposition.

However, when someone has to build a Propaganda Chain is actually bluffing. They are in a position of weakness, but hoping throwing the grenade with shatter the stronger opponent and control the narrative and the optics. It is manipulation, nothing more.

If you want to know the truth, move back link by link, ask the hard questions, as you expose each link, and that’s where the real story lies…

Memo to BuzzFeed: Boycotting Fox News? Sure, and people should boycott BuzzFeed News. You are propaganda on the opposite side of the same bad penny.

I never understood ideological control freaks.

They want to rig things so it is just their ideas that are acceptable, and, naturally, those ideas benefit them only.

Nice try.

We are in an Age of Propaganda, and one of the more obvious propagandists happens to be BuzzFeed.

They lack the intelligence and the experience to do the partisan manipulation covertly.

They are are on a tear on how people should “boycott” Fox News:

Fox News Isn't A Normal Media Company. We Have To Stop Treating It Like One.

Assholes: neither are you.

You are Leftish propagandists, and I have said some of it on Metafilter, but you are very patronizing Leftist propagandists with your nerdy and cringeworthy brain dead quizzes, and your creepy advertorial-esque celebrity obsessions.

You spew garbage that looks like used candy wrappers, and you want people to boycott Fox News?

They should boycott you, too.

Your publication is the worst sort of smug, worthless garbage that has no factual valid or utility.

You are not news. You are partisan bullshit.

No better than Fox News.

If only everyone would censor ideologies that are inconvenient to BuzzFeed, then the world would be just perfect, eh, fellas?

You could just puke sophistry with reckless abandon, and never be made to prove your arrogant delusions.

We need facts. The more facts we have, the more propaganda becomes obvious and silly-looking.

And we don’t have enough facts to see it…

The re-launching of Chaser News, Part Thirty-One: Impossible times call for sensible measures.

Patient is a virtue.

And I am patient as well as persistent.

I make mistakes and frequently, but I work at improving myself, admitting errors, correcting them as I learn and improve, and then move on.

I don’t know everything. That is the reason I am such a rabid researcher.

I think and I muse, but I also test and experiment.

You’d think journalism would be the same way.

It’s not.

It is the reason the profession flounders. When you cannot admit your weaknesses, you lose your strengths in the bargain.

CNN’s resident clown Jim Acosta may have gotten back his hall pass, but principal Trump has new rules, and even though reporters say they will still ask follow-up questions, the problem is a briefing is a canned, event, and hence, meaningless because it is pseudo-order used to mask chaos.

Participating in it is a disingenuous act that keeps the charade going.

It isn’t just the truisms and rote habits that have the profession behaving impossibly.

BuzzFeed wants to merge with “rivals” to have even fewer voice and venues, and then have a paid subscription to their stupid quizzes and listicles filled with stupider gifs.

It is an impossible strategy that is doomed to fail.

Chaser is about sensibility, even during impossible times.

It will not follow rules, nor will it be dysfunctional.

It is based on a flexible matriarchal structure based in emotional literacy.

It doesn’t ignore content or intellectual literacy.

But it is about a multi-faceted balance.

Even in the worst of times…

Why journalism's woes are a global one

I have been reading a couple of "woe is us" pieces regarding the press in China: about one reporter for BuzzFeed who was forced out by means of a denial of a visa renewal, and another how one journalist left because of all of the constraints of the job.

I find it interesting that we don't talk about more horrifying examples in other places.

Or how journalists have been co-opted by special interests.

There is always the selfless martyr narrative in these sob stories, never a step back and logical and realistic analysis at why journalism has always been so undisciplined and sloppy.

There is quote in the second article I found interesting:

News assistants often play the role of middlemen between various government agencies and the media organizations who employ us.

Assistants. Often played. Why would someone who serves as a liaison be an assistant? That would be more important than the mere relayer of information.

But it is the often played the hints at the chaos that destroyed a profession. There are no hard and fast rules.

And for all the self-congratulations of stories broken, they have done less than nothing for the world or the profession. Your work is making things worse, not better. More people are tuning out. Corrupt regimes get stronger. Journalists dither too in love with scraps they expose, never questioning why they have no system or method to entrench themselves.

As a profession, journalism never matured because their core was always rotten and you cannot build on a rotten core. You need a separate stream of people who do this work in order for it to properly function.

But it was never a sophisticated machine. It was always primitive and backwards, trying to use flimsy wallpaper to cover up the problems. The problem is everything has collapsed, and no one cares about the bold pattern on the wallpaper at all...

How unprofessional are journalists? Let's ask Ali Watkins.

I have said two things for a very long time: (A) journalists's Trump-hate is personal, and (B) Trump knows exactly who the news media happen to be as he knew how to play them for years as he got great publicity from them once upon a time.

When he realized he can bypass the news media, he ditched them, and then unleashed, letting the world know who they really were, and the press never forgave him for speaking the truth.

If journalists were in a stronger position, they would get back at him for telling the world how rotten they are. 

I won't recount New York Times' reporter Ali Watkins' horrific ethical missteps mixing business with having affairs with political sources. Of course, she succeeded at a faster rate than the more honest variety of reporter. You can get the memo herehere, here, here, and here, with a pathetic attempt to spin this as a "chilling effect on journalists" narrative here -- and with BuzzFeed once again proving it has no resemblance to an ethical news outlet as it knew all about it, but kept that transgression to themselves.

This episode is beyond bad. It is unprofessional and cannot be #MeTooed. It cannot be deflected in any way because a journalist cannot bed a source. It corrupts the journalist and rightfully calls into question their motives and angles.

It also gives the government the absolute right to snoop into the faux reporter's emails, notes, and phone records. We do not allow judges to bed witnesses because it would taint the trial beyond repair.

And Watkins tainted her product beyond repair in a different way, but for the same underlying reasons.

Journalists are now seriously worried about the optics -- and as the Washington Post confessed:

Yet this particular reporter-source relationship was also a romantic one, a twist that introduces questions about journalism ethics and could buttress Trump's characterization of reporters as creatures of the Washington swamp who will do anything for scoops.

Not could. Did. 

This proves that journalists are untrustworthy and have underlying motives for doling out positive press -- and negative press.

Watkins is not the only one. She was just stupid enough to get caught. That she is a New York Times reporter sullies the Times and gives them no clout to go after others because they allowed it to happen. They should have caught the liaison and promptly turfed out Watkins on her backside.

But they were too busy focussed on hate rather than facts. While they were outlining their nemesis's every sin, they blithely ignored their own when they were in no position to do so.

This scandal doesn't just make the profession vulnerable to governmental enslavement; it merely reinforces what alienated audiences believed all along...

BuzzFeed's woes worsen.

BuzzFeed France is saying adieu.

This scuttling is no surprise as it wasn't doing anything different than the traditional outlets, save having narcissistic life-sink quizzes to distract readers from their on-the-job duties or having to figure out why someone in their household is seriously depressed.

The theory is BuzzFeed is for those not-as-fresh-and-white-hot Millennials who are getting a little long in the tooth for advertisers who realize that generation is poorer than what what they were hoping for.

We now have multiple generations who were not raised with the news, and we have a very archaic media who still think the future is digital and pandering to that demographic. A day late and a dollar short -- and the model to pander to the fresh meat is proving to be just as inert and disastrous as legacy's media's strategies.

It is not a good thing, but then again, neither is BuzzFeed...