Come one, come all! (Sheesh.)
Want to know why the news media are having to beg for audiences? Why newspapers are going under?
Markets are different, sure, but the main thing is: They don't even respect themselves, anymore.
They invite user participation. "What Do YOU Think?" "Sound Off!" "Log On To WWW.NewzKrap.Com, And Give Your Opinion!."
Remember when you had to be a trained journalist to end up in the newspaper? Or at least have your letter vetted by an editor, to appear on the editorial page?
Nowadays, they put up Comments sections of their news sites. Worse, the comments are allowed to be submitted anonymously. Still worse, there's no review of them before they are posted.
Case in point: Yesterday, the story came out that a mentally ill young man was shot with a taser by Fort Worth Police officers, and the man died. They precise mechanism of death is unknown. The precise actions by the officers before the tasing are unknown. The exact actions of the deceased and the description of the setting are unknown.
But there's a comment section following the sparse NBC story. 1/2 of the comments say the cops are thugs who should be put in jail for killing that poor little black boy (Oh, did I mention that there was a racial component to this?), and 1/2 the comments declare that any cop who kills "one of them" is a hero, regardless of the circumstance. The comments run into the hundreds, and eventually turn into a back-and-forth, which becomes less about the story than jibes at each other.
While I know that this is the Age Of The Common Man, let me just point out that when the journalists seek amateur input and it seems common and natural enough, we'd either be horrified or laugh our collective butts off if an amateur tried his hand at impromptu attempts at other professions, like surgery, or aircraft piloting, or electrical engineering.
Everyone is NOT special. Everyone, including me, is NOT a writer.
Your opinion? Just might not matter enough that I need to read it.
Hey? News venues? Turn off the comments to your stories. The irritainment just isn't worth it.
"Everyone is special, Dash."
"Which is another way of saying no one is." (At 6:10)
"You won't even go to your own son's graduation."
"It's not a graduation. He is moving from the fourth grade to the fifth grade."
"It's a ceremony!"
"It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity!" (At 6:12)