March 4, 2009

JOURNALISTS TELL US THAT WHEN NEWSPAPERS FOLD, WE’LL LOSE IMPORTANT REPORTING. Which would be bad. On the other hand, there’s this performance from the Chicago Tribune, which reminds me how little important reporting we’re getting now: Chicago Tea Party Gets Scrutiny but Scant Coverage.

Perhaps they read it here in the Tribune, or the New York Times, or heard in on the Mancow Muller radio show on WLS, who repeated the claim today (while saying a well put So What?), but the general story coming from the media (all based on a rather wild article from Playboy Online) was that the protest against spending was not a grass roots movement. Mind you, neither the Tribune nor the New York times carried a word about the actual Tea Party protests, even though the protest occurred right outside the Tribune lobby, the only coverage was that there may have been some type of scripting involved. . . .

So we are left with some stranded stories, covering a “controversy” but ignoring the actual protest itself. At last count there were 130 stories on Google News claiming some type of controversial scripting of events, from the likes of the Tribune and the New York Times, and 75 stories actually covering the event, from the likes of the Chicago Daily Observer and some increasingly relevant blogs.

The Tribune covered the anti-protest smear, but didn’t cover the protest itself, leaving that to blogs, etc. And we’re supposed to cry for the disappearance of newspapers? Maybe if they actually did what they claim they do, people would miss them more when they were gone. Heck, maybe if they actually did what they claim they do, people would actually subscribe now. You never know.

Like Dave Winer says: “Dear news people — WE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE JOB YOU’RE DOING.”