Sunday, November 13, 2016

When News Crosses the Line

By late Thursday, the New York Times had done something that shocked some folks.  They put out a one-page memo to the general public....admitting they'd screwed up massively, vowing to reform the newspaper, and report HONESTLY.

Why?

For about six months, the NYT had gone and laid out various stories which were slanted to a anti-Trump theme.  On Tuesday morning....they had their graphics all laid out and they actually had one slide which indicated it was a 84-percent chance that Hillary would win.

Oddly enough....virtually every major state-run news service in Europe....copied off that NYT theme....for six months as well.  Even here in Germany, they had a slide come up and noted the 84-percent chance, and that Trump's chances were virtually impossible to achieve.

Twelve hours later....you could sit and watch ARD reporters stand there in utter shock and basically unable to explain to German viewers or themselves what happened.

My humble guess is that they were on their Twitter and Facebook account with the Washington Post and New York Times friends.....trying have them explain what went wrong.  French reporters were doing it.....Danish reporters.....Italian.....Spanish.....etc.

The journalists for the NYT were embarrassed by their lack of attention and inability to capture what was happening in the US.  They were living and reporting within a sphere.  They weren't in Tulsa, or Coos Bay, or Dothan.  They were writing mostly imaginary script for their 'fantasy world'.  The amusing thing is that they were selling this internationally to other folks as fact, when it was just good creative writing and polling.

And now?  Rededicating?  To what?

I look at the state-run news media of Germany.  They both produce different segments for each day, and run tons of regular news and documentary-type news pieces.  Some follow the same mentality and philosophy of the NYT.  These are people who also live within a sphere and use their position to 'preach' to the general public.

Oddly, I've come to notice editorial pieces done on both networks now.....maybe five or six times a month now.....by journalists.  You never get some editorial piece by some Bamberg hairdresser, or some Stuttgart IT guy, or some Trier used car-dealer.

In some ways, I see the German state-run news media as walking down a fairly long pier and talking non-stop until they realize they might have made up some whopper stories, slanted a few stories too far, or made some fantasy script that can't work truthfully.  Like the NYT, I think some day will come where the staffs at ARD and ZDF will meet (like the Times managers), and discuss the fact that they really screwed up, and they need to rededicate themselves to writing factual material.

As for the Times recovering?  I would have my doubts.  But if you are at the absolute bottom on trust.....there's only two ways to go....stay on the flat line of creative stuff, or start to really tell truthful stories.

1 comment:

Frank Stiner said...

We always knew that the news media supported certain politics. BILD is the most famous example since they were always pro CDU/CSU and against left ideas. However, some media like Spiegel had the reputation to drill down to the truth. Still we knew they supported more left/liberal ideas.
I think what all media today overestimate is their influence of the opinion of the people. People mostly know what they see in their daily life whether the statistic support this or not. They then make their decisions whether it is true what the media/politicians tell them.
Voiltare always said: If you want to find out who wants to control you -> criticize! He meant that as soon as you criticise those who want to control you will try to belittle/punish you to get you back on their line. This is what I see now labelling people with other opinions as stupid, illegal etc...