Friday, June 16, 2006

override the real reporting/editing.

* re my post about the changing Rove story in the NYT - anon in the comments writes:
I'm an MSM insider.

It is common for online versions to be changed in updates. And the "no comment" change seems on the surface just to be changed to conform to newspaper style (KISS).

But ...

It is extremely worthwhile to watch these changes and compare/contrast bylines. Not all reporters and editors are coming from the same professional values these days.

The changes make me suspicious that there is a story line being driven from the top down to override the real reporting/editing.

I keep a list of bylines I suspect don't come from old-school journalists. Your post adds one to my list. Thanks.
that goes to the heart of my concern/question.

thnx anon


rimone said...

The changes make me suspicious that there is a story line being driven from the top down to override the real reporting/editing.

i don't dig Hillary as a candidate but can't help but think how she was like hooted out of town for her 'vast rightwing conspiracy' remark.

if this is true--and i've been cynical enough to suspect this for ages now, we're truly fucked unless the larger population has reason to believe this as well.

look over there! missing white girl!

Don said...

Speaking of our favorite Porcine Political Prick, courtesy of Daou, we have this from the NY Observer:

He recalled an episode from last month, when a report on the liberal Web site, written by Jason Leopold and citing “high-level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting,” claimed Mr. Rove would be indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators, the results of a marathon session of negotiations in Mr. Luskin’s office that he claims never occurred.

(Mr. Leopold and his editor have stood by his report.)

“I think, by and large, the mainstream media was trying to do the very best that it could,” Mr. Luskin said, “recognizing that they felt accountable—I mean, you know, for what they said—and at the same time, I think, feeling some considerable pressure from the blogosphere.”

Another right-wing rimjob courtesy of your Mainstream Media. Remember kids, if we don't tell you, it's really not that important.

Anonymous said...

MSM insider adds ...

The truth is that MSM is so far lost that the only hope now of correcting it is for the masses to hold each reporter and, perhaps more importantly, their sources accountable for disinformation and distortions.

These discussions need to take place in the newsrooms, which now are so chilled Walt Disney's head would feel right at home.

The corporations, the so-called ombudsmen and the other "top down" don't give a crap what you think and laugh all the way to the bank with their $12 million annual salaries while the rank-and-file have no choice but to suck this up and keep their mouths shut just to put food on their table and gas in their car, so they can work 12 hours a day on fluctuating schedules on demand.

A holiday -- a company "benefit" -- coming up? That means we all work an extra couple hours (without pay, of course) every day for a week to get the work done, because the work doesn't go away and no one is employed to do it for us for the "holiday."

Newsrooms are borderline slavery now that a cartel of about 10, give or take, corporations own more than 95% of all the potential jobs of professional American journalists.

Libertarians and conservatives need to wake up and see the Orwellian truth that "free enterprise" without FCC regulation is neither free nor enterprise. It's fundamental fascism.

lukery said...

thnx again 'insider.

in australia the media concentration is even worse. there are only 2 publishers, essentially - and one of them is murdoch.

just curious - do you think that TruthOut should out their sources? Only if the sources acted in bad faith?

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what Truthout promised their sources or what is Leopold's professional training (not meaning to imply doubt, just dunno).

I can speak only for myself and my own experiences. I have never, ever promised anonymity to sources in my reporting, and in the common circumstance in which sources try the "of course that's off the record," upon hearing from me that I do not EVER go off the record, in every single circumstance my source has told me everything on the record.

For the life of me, I don't understand why not one blasted Washington reporter seems equipped to try that simple technique.

I also cannot fathom why they don't wonder why these public officials, especially those in the so-called majority of the majority that own all three branches of government and now also the Fourth Estate, would NEED anonymity for the baseless crap they are spewing and the MSM stenographers are "reporting."

The "off the record" generally means only that they want it out there but want us, the reporter, to be accountable for its authenticity instead of the source. To me, that's a no-brainer. NO! Although I stand by our need for reporters' privilege, I am ashamed that our abuse of it defeats the valid arguments for it.

lukery said...


further to that, I love the fact that in the last couple of years reporters have 'tried' to give explanations for granting anonymity - which is usually completely effin meaningless. laughably so. eg 'we decided to offer anonymity because the person wanted to be anonymous.' great.

the other thing that's really absurd is granting anonymity to someone who says something positive above, say Bush. That's enough to make me scream. loudly.

I can understand why people on the intel beat - say, Laura Rozen and Larisa - might use anonymous sources - but I agree with you - most other beats don't require it. Is there anything particular about the subject matter that you write about that lends itself to being able to have everyone on the record? Or you think yuor experience is directly transferable across all beats?

calipendence said...

Lukery... Do you watch Australian SBS's International Dateline? I've been watching it more and more each week on Link TV and appreciate its reporting more each time I see it. They were landmark in their covering of what happened in Abu Graib and just the other day they had some pretty vivid stories about what's been going on in Timor of late. It's been a long time since I've ever seen journalism like that out of the U.S. Democracy Now has the right approach on stuff here, but I get the feeling that International Dateline does better with its reporters in the field.

Anonymous said...

No, nothing in particular about my beat. Anonymity has become so common that sources assume they can just say "oh, and this is off the record" -- even (laughably) AFTER they've told you everything -- and it's a given.

It's not, at least not for real journalists.

Anonymity, an off-the-record deal, is a two-way contract. If someone thinks they need it, we are to find out why, AND authenticate that reason why. Is his life really in danger? Her job? Real reporters don't just take his/her word for it. We check THAT out before entering an OTR deal. OTR is serious business, or at least should be.

Then real journos consider if the info is likely to be worth the compromise of their own credibility, because ANY anon source IS a compromise of their credibility.

I can't take seriously any reporter who attributes to "a senior White House official" who asks not to be named. Any real news reporter with anonymous sources better cite damn good reason why to me as a reader, or I don't want to read that reporter's byline again.

American, any, media consumers simply have got to become more savvy about this.

And you are right to point to Murdoch. I do have a little inside insight on that, and he is a large part of the blame of the deterioration of the American method of objective news media. It no longer exists, on the whole. But it couldn't have happened if Murdoch hadn't had willing and greedy partners here. We should have thrown him out on, as you say there, his arse.

lukery said...

calipendence - sbs is amazing. i've previously said "i'd argue (SBS) is perhaps the best FTA TV station on the planet." (altho i obviously dont really know all of the other stations - so it was a dumb thing to say.

their nightly news is superb too.

lukery said...


good points all. i've front-paged your comments on anonymity.

re Murdoch, let's hope that there really is a hell, and there really are special circles...