Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tipping the inverted pyramid over (and then some)

Feeling morose just now, after hearing a shocking announcement from a friend.

I won't begrudge you about it, so don't worry. Just feeling a little blue after hearing the news, leaving me in shock and awe.

I was just looking for some items that I've bookmarked, and found these two articles that you might want to read:

Where do young people get their news?

Young people perceive traditional media as more accurate, trustworthy and reliable than new media, but many get most of their news and information from another source entirely - family and friends.

That is one of the key responses from 10 innovative focus groups of young people in 10 countries that is part of a major research project on how young people get their news.

The goal of the research was to have young people from around the world confirm or challenge hypotheses regarding their media usage habits and attitudes. The insights will be used to guide the next phase of Youth Media DNA, a quantitative study in which 1 000 youths between 15 and 29 years-old will be surveyed in every country that participates in the study.

Read more here.

And for journalists out there, here's an interesting commentary by John Edward Ames of The Christian Science Monitor on the way we write our stories nowadays. What do you think of this article? Any insights?

Hey, journalists, enough with the fancy leads already!

It's the old bait-and-switch, compliments of tabloid culture: A newspaper headline grabs my eye, and I start to read the front-page story beneath it. But instead of immediately learning the pertinent facts, I'm treated to something like this: The demure woman in a beige pantsuit gazes from glazed eyes at what used to be her life's dream.

"It's the cruel irony of it," she repeats in a wistful tone. "Just before my husband died tragically, he predicted this."

Such language is served up widely now that news writers have abandoned customary tenets in favor of a go-as-you-please fiction style. Declining subscriptions and America's obsession with electronic diversions have forced a determined campaign in the print media to "connect" with their readers. That spells hard times for the old-school reporter, that all-seeing fly on the wall whose motto was "shoot it up the middle."

For much of their sometimes seedy history, American journalists have been perceived as tenacious seekers of the facts. Quill drivers, newshawks, ink slingers – reporters have been called many names, most of them not very complimentary. But at least they usually respected the difference between news and pulp fiction.

Now the fly on the wall is an "author" in a camel's-hair sport jacket – one who obviously takes sides with his characters and wraps up a few facts in a tortilla of melodramatic technique. Maybe this paltry piffle helps newspaper circulation, but it's sad to see good reporting replaced by "flash fiction."

I miss the crisp writing and quick, logical flow of information. Accuracy, brevity, and clarity used to be the bywords of a newspaper reporter. Now it's suspense, setting, and back story. Once called the "cynic tribe," many reporters these days are sharing a soap-opera love feast with Oprah.

Read more here.

1 comment:

luthien said...

actually, reklamo din yan ng kuya ko. lagi nyang nirereklamo sa kin ang _______ for such leads. pero to tell you the truth, yung mga editors ang me pakana dyan. nagugulat na lang minsan ang reporter sa nangyari sa lead nya. pramis. mejo masakit nga lang minsan kasi yung mga reporters ang tampulan ng reklamo na kami pa ang nagmumukhang engot eh hindi naman kami ang gumagawa ng head at minsan ng lead. hindi naman sa sinasabi ko na walang problema din sa reporters, actually madami kaming engot ding magsulat. pero sana malaman din ng mga tao na editors can do whatever they want sa storya at ang itinira na lang ay yung byline ng original author.

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