4th of July and the baseball All-Star break are time markers: pauses – during which we relax, exhale and return primed for whatever. For Big Journo, the break couldn’t come sooner. In just the past week, the MEDIA has turned several easy plays into bush-league errors.
First up: CNN, and don’t forget Fox News Network, for both blowing the real ruling by the Supreme Court on ObamaCare in their first reports. Then, the Chicago Tribune’s deep-red face when it came out that Journatic (rhymes with fanatic), a hyper-local service, was using fake bylines. Journatic, like AOL’s Patch, is another example of outsourcing reporting jobs to mostly inexperienced people who work long hours for next to nothing. Hyperlocal may sound cool, but it really means everything extreme, from obsessive to overexcited to overdone. It’s a news trend that should be over and out.
Journatic was knocking out so many stories by so few reporters that it looked better to the editors to create bylines to give the appearance of a larger staff. The cable news nets’ mistake was to jump the gun to be first with the high court’s ruling. That rush to judgment returned a guilty verdict for gross misconduct. Guys, even hot dog eating champions practice and have a plan. The dog days of August never looked better.