Scripting News for 5/5/2007

Today’s links 

24 hours of Flickr.

Todd Cochrane on good and bad re-syndication practices. This is bound to be controversial, even so it’s good to ground this perennial discussion with specifics.

I don’t believe in ‘gotcha’ 

I don’t believe in the mythological “gotcha” moment reporters like to dream about, for a couple of reasons.

1. I’ve never seen it happen, in years of being interviewed, and knowing people who are often interviewed. I’ve never seen a reporter ask a question and get an answer that revealed something unusual that was actually understood by the reporter, and made its way into print in a form a reader could use.

2. I’ve seen really interesting juicy stories out there, ready to be reported, on the record, attributable, with dozens of supposedly ambitious and relentless fact-diggers swarming all around, and instead of going for the gusto, they cling to the safe tried-and-true nauseatingly boring and insignificant overtold bedtime stories.

In other words, if you fancy yourself a Woodward or Bernstein, stop boasting and go out and do some work and take some risks. Until then I don’t see why you need to talk to someone for 25 minutes for a 12-second soundbite. I don’t see who that serves. I don’t think very much listening is happening in that process. I think if the subject spent the 25 minutes blogging instead, the world would be a much better place for it.

So here’s a question for the reporters who may be listening. Did you learn anything in the discussion about interviews, or did we just talk over each others’ heads?

What’s wrong with this picture? 

The NY Times announced their new public editor, the person who, more than any other person on the Times staff, represents the interests of the readers of the Times.

I’m sure he’s a fine person, great reporter, watchdog of politicians. But — what the Times needs more than anything is a reader to represent the readers. Someone to tell them, without a lifetime of training in the politics of newsrooms, what they’re doing wrong.

More likely, they’re getting someone who will tell them and us why the public is wrong.

As with everything else on this blog — imho.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by RB on May 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Dave, maybe, just maybe, there’ s still hope. Mr Hoyt is from Knight-Ridder.

    According to Moyers’ recent work regarding the sale of the Iraq war to the electorate, Knight-Ridder was on to the scam.


  2. Posted by Jim Posner on May 5, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Here’s my contribution to the flickr 24hrs from Austin.


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