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back to article Announcement of 'churnalism detector' gets furiously churned

"Churnalism" - it's terrible stuff, isn't it? When so-called journalists pick up a press release or announcement from an organisation and simply reprocess it (perhaps even cutting and pasting chunks or the whole thing verbatim), adding nothing and doing no useful analysis or investigation before placing it in front of their …

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Happy

Hilarius stuff.

Personally I'm rather excited by the mass media conglomerates mass rejection of the proposals.

It'll be interesting to see if the libel hit they take in later cases was worth the stand

BTW requiring a 2/3 majority of all MP's to change how a body is run makes it a damm sight tougher for any govt minster to change than slipping in the old "statutory instrument" into legislation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hilarius stuff.

I'm somewhat mystified by it all. There are really only two things that need to happen:

1 - existing laws actually get enforced

2 - fines need to be adjusted to the point where they actually become fines and not an encouragement to do it again.

My apologies for relying on common sense. I know it's uncommon.

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Churnalism = London's 'Metro'

I've noticed that today's morning Metro = last night's Evening Standard.

I've stopped reading the Metro and just read the ES instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hilarius stuff.

Indeed. This is something that various organisations have pointed out.

The failure by the police forces to apply existing laws to the various breaches by the journalists accused says more than this faffing about with a Royal Charter hammered out in a back room in Whitehall on a Friday evening without the participation of those the Charter is to apply to.

As much as I would love to see a regulator with teeth, the backroom deal between Labour, the Lib Dems and Hacked Off was a farce. Apply the law, that's what it's about!

Journalists in various countries with less... err... liberal press regimes (notably in near Asia and Africa) have already pointed out the irony in Britain preaching on about a free press in their regions, yet wanting to reign their own press in with state regulation of sorts. Journalists particularly in Africa are cringing at this.

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Re: Hilarius stuff.

"BTW requiring a 2/3 majority of all MP's to change how a body is run makes it a damm sight tougher for any govt minster to change than slipping in the old "statutory instrument" into legislation."

and a damn sight less democratic too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Churnalism = London's 'Metro'

You know metro is national right? (although it does have a few localised items so London Metro does make sense) - but I doubt it will be all from last nights ES - plus, spookily enough, last night's ES contained a lot of what was in yesterday morning's Metro.

The rule is just to read the 'latest' paper to get the latest news. In the morning the metro will be more up to date than last night's ES, but in the evening the ES will be more up to date that the morning's metro- it's quite simple really.

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Re: Hilarius stuff.

""BTW requiring a 2/3 majority of all MP's to change how a body is run makes it a damm sight tougher for any govt minster to change than slipping in the old "statutory instrument" into legislation."

and a damn sight less democratic too."

There's nothing democratic about parliament anyway, except a brief flurry of lip-service every five years before they go back to doing what the rich tell them to do.

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"We know perfectly well when we're doing churnalism..."

And you'd be told sharpish by your readers.

No danger of that here - a useful and informative article, though I'm not sure if the connection between the Sunlight Foundation and Hacked Off is really ironic. Both organisations, for apparently different reasons, seem to want to but a brake on free reporting.

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Anonymous Coward

Death of investigative journalism...

Churn is one thing, but the lack of old-school investigative journalism in the era of the internet is far more disturbing. The void merely serves to fuel misinformation or outright conspiracy theory. In the end it just leads to more noise, more spin, and the slow death of truth.

What happened to undertaking investigative research into corrupt politicians without lazy and illegal hacks into their phones or online accounts? When a revelation comes out its usually because someone screwed up or because of wikileaks etc. Rarely is it because of a new breed of Bernstein & Woodward...

For instance why was there no independent corroboration on the alleged Iraqi WMD's prior to the War? In addition, why was there no insight as to why hundreds of professional architects met in NY soon after 9/11, to claim that the twin tower collapse was a controlled demolition?

Now, take the latest Boston tragedy. The MSM were too busy debating whether the perpetrators should get the death penalty or not. They were too preoccupied to explain how and why the FBI had fingered these two guys! However deeper information was available there on the ground. In the ensuing void of insight, conspiracy theorists had a field day, claiming this was a False Flag Op executed by Blackwater. For example, all CNN did was keep showing the same 10 second video clip in a loop highlighting two men strolling with backpacks. No wonder it fuelled misinformation.

We need more independent corroboration from journalists, and that means gritty investigative reporting. Sadly that all but seems a lost art! Wikileaks is the only deep-throat source we have anymore.

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Meh

Re: Death of investigative journalism...

Demands of the news cycle I think- it has to be got out quickly and it has to be got out cheaply. When those are the primary goals, taking the time to investigate goes out the window. TV overcomes it occasionally with programmes that specialise in in-depth reports (e.g. Panorama) but occasionally they get it really wrong, partly I think as a result of a lack of specialist knowledge.

El Reg sometimes breaks the cycle too, e.g. with Lewis' articles on military spending. I suspect however that this is more of a happy coincidence and that he wasn't originally employed to write these articles and might not be paid extra to take the time to do the research. (I hope I'm wrong- Reg, give him money if I'm right!)

One interesting thing happening in the legal world at the moment is that a lot of barristers (partly to market themselves and partly because they're pissed off with the seemingly deliberate misinterpretation by the MSM of certain cases) are writing some really good explanatory pieces on legal news. Trouble is, they're not journos by trade and have an insiders' perspective (you won't find a single one examining possible merits of cutting legal aid for example).

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Re: Death of investigative journalism...

"why was there no insight as to why hundreds of professional architects met in NY soon after 9/11, to claim that the twin tower collapse was a controlled demolition?"

Oh, I know this one! Because they didn't (and if they had then they would have been idiots).

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Eh?

"which has successfully campaigned for state control of the media in Britain recently."

If by that you mean toothless non-regulation of blatantly illegal actions by a bunch of useless spivs who should by rights be on the dole given their lack of any useful talents, then yes, very successful.

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Anonymous Coward

No, he means state control of the media. Which is what it is.

You're in denial.

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Bronze badge

Press is "the fourth estate", part of the national establishment, and should have definite constitutional limits and a constitutional relationship with other parts of the state to prevent it from exercising excessive power over them and over members of the public.

For instance, I would have liked to see Prince Harry respond to the indecent photographs of his sister-in-law by sttrafing the magazine offices from his helicopter gunship. I would have helped to load the ammunition for him, but I'm not trained. I'd love to watch the video of the terrified magazine staff leaping out of the windows and mostly falling to their deaths. Including the astrologer. Especially the astrologer, even thouh he probably had nothing to do with the photo thing. I'm pretty sure that the Prince has diplomatic immunity, and it would give the mother-murdering bastards something to think about before they do it again.

I'm not saying that this is how every case of press misbehaviour should be dealt with, but the press are filth.

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The Reg has commentards to stir the pot

So the new regurgitation is more entertaining here.

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At least you are honest about it.

So many sites are churnalists and pretend to be journalists.

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Anonymous Coward

No Matches

Neither your article, nor the boingboing post get any matches when run through the churnalism search. And the only match it gets for the Sunlight Foundation's own press release is an entirely unrelated article based on some other announcement from the SF that happened to have the same contact details and footer boilerplate "about the sunlight foundation" text.

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Journalist Caught In Writing Own Words Shocker!

Journalism needs more original content.

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Megaphone

Re: Responsible Journalism?

Was the Guardian story Lewis cites actually untrue or just not provable? I seem to recall that what was clear was that *someone* had hacked into the mailbox and deleted messages but that it wasn't definitely someone connected to the NOTW. Does that mean that if it was, for example, Piers Morgan doing it rather than Andy Coulson it is in some way alright and there is no need for any degree of press regulation.

Honestly the press sound like infants in a toy-throwing fit of pique. If television is more heavily regulated and yet there is much more quality investigative journalism on television, any claim that a tiny weeny bit of regulation will inhibit journalistic freedom is clear nonsense.

I guess on the upside we'll only have to deal with the print media making these kinds of claims for a couple more years before they go extinct altogether. In general I think that is something of a shame, but when I hear editors and press barons throwing their toys out of their prams in purple-faced screaming tantrums because they cannot tolerate the idea that their actions have consequences, it really doesn't seem so bad.

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Re: Responsible Journalism?

Re unaware, I was rather under the impression that the police were largely bribed, and not only not unaware of press misconduct but actively participating in it. Mind you, they often see us, the public, at our worst. That accounts for them forgetting whose side they're supposed to be on if you cross their palm with silver. Ah, I seem to be still cross about the astrologer. I don't know if they actually have those in France or if it's only a British perversion. Nostradamus was French, but that was quite a long time ago. I'd like to think that they've got over all that. I don't suppose that any astrologers predicted that France would fall to the Germans in the Second World War, at least not French astrologers, and if I was in that position then I'd find it expedient to find a more credible line of business, such as collaborator. That would be a mistake too, with hindsight, but it must have looked pretty good at the time. It wouldn't do my astrology rep any good, though - not unless I then got out to Argentina or wherever while I could.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

From the evidence given to the Leveson Inquiry, it appears that it was true that the NOTW had hacked into Millie Dowler's voicemail, but it could not be established if they or anyone else had deleted messages, or whether in fact the voicemail system itself might have caused this to happen after a pre-set period of time.

The recent IPCC report confirmed the hacking by NOTW but did not address the issue of the deletions, and the Guardian has acknowledged its mistake on this point: "There was no reference in the IPCC report to the separate issue of whether any of Milly's voicemails were deleted by the News of the World or anybody else – as had been originally but incorrectly reported by the Guardian." Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/apr/24/police-dowler-phone-hacking

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I come here for the gags in the headlines...

"and we always try our best to add something that you won't get elsewhere, even if it's just a gag in the headline"

And occasionally stay for the story

But it's writing pointless crap in the comments that keeps me coming back....

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"An alliance of wealthy and powerful individuals"

So, quite unlike the media barons, then.

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Meh

Infotaintment

There are multiple reason why journalism is vaporware these days.

Pay

Editors (see next)

Media owners with agenda

Demand (not enough readers to justify in depth writing)

Revenue (not enough readers AND don't piss of your advertisers)

That said, there are still bastions of heavy hitting journalism out there, but they are far and few between and in the oddest places.

Look up Matt Taibi.

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Decline of the majors

I think that this may be why newspapers have been failing. No new news or insight.

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Well it better NOT apply to comments!

Or "Churnments" as we see so often everywhere - yeah - what he said - let me just copy that last email and post it again to show my support...

What is there left in life for all those low-income retirees who have little interaction other than their meaningless, rambling posts on websites that still allow it without paying for the right to speak. It is not getting easier to make comments you know, especially with that twit-based "service" diskis or Diquis or whatever the moronic name is - they totally messed up easily half of my favorite sites for commenting.

This site has, without question, the best comments, churned or not!

What is you Brits say? "Cheerbye"?

:)

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