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Welch
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Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:15 am

Seriously.... regardless of where I read it seems like the idea of an editor is dead! I never thought I'd be THAT guy, but wow! Things misspelled, common phrases butchered because the author clearly doesn't know what they mean. It's like listening to Charlie from, It's Always Sunny!


http://www.droid-life.com/2016/03/01/ga ... l-apps-sd/

Is it sad that I couldn't get paste the first paragraph? It may have been a great read otherwise. Such a dumb mistake but I've just seen way to much of it from people who write proffesionally or semi pro anyhow. Almost as though they are typing from their phones (which I'm doing right now). Do they not even read over their own articles?

Again it is minor rant stuff, but how do you take online authors serious when they make multiple grammar mistakes that are 100% avoidable by a basic read through? I'd rather it be some complicated misspelled word, or a slip of meaning but that's not usually the case anymore. It isn't like I expect anyone on the forums or comments to maintain perfect engrish.. but if you're writing something you want lots of people to read... then damnit, show up with your head in the game.

For the record, the article I linked was just the one I came across right this moment and for all I know the rest is flawless. I'd say 6-7 out of 10 articles I read a day regardless of how credible the sources have similar mistakes in them.

Is basic journalism dead? I ready know the integrity of it died long ago.
Last edited by Welch on Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:30 pm

Yes, journalism is dead. What we have now is essentially bloggers with good PR contacts, and bloggers don't have editors.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:33 pm

Blame auto-correct ;)
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:03 pm

It's pretty sad when the quality of the editing on mainstream news sites is on par with (or worse than) the typical blog. NYT still seems to care more than most, but it's a low bar these days.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:09 pm

Don't get me started on this topic.

Even worse, don't get Jeff started on this topic.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:37 pm

The online publishing business model has somewhat of a fundamental pull to eliminate pesky things like editors. Media companies are better off in terms of the bottom-line by focusing on quantity and controversy versus quality and nuance. Basically... trying to support everything with ad views and clicks means you have to get more pages out and in a shorter amount of time.

Plus a site like "Droid Life" really has no pretense of high quality journalism in the first place. I really wonder just how much revenue that site generates. Heck, I'd be curious as to what percentage of their viewers are blocking the revenue streams in the first place. I bet its, to most, shockingly high.

Now a company like Gawker Media who does all of these things plus much, much worse... now that really bothers me.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:44 pm

morphine wrote:
Don't get me started on this topic.

Even worse, don't get Jeff started on this topic.

Ha!

Yeah that's exactly what I was thinking. I mean, sure, things get through editors from time to time, but man. The editors themselves don't have it all nailed down at many sites.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:26 pm

I find it funny that there were multiple typo/auto-correct mishaps in the OP. I agree though that this is ridiculous and horrifying. Droid-Life is especially bad. I complain to my friends about that particular "intense Android news community" very often.
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Welch
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:36 pm

DancinJack wrote:
I find it funny that there were multiple typo/auto-correct mishaps in the OP. I agree though that this is ridiculous and horrifying. Droid-Life is especially bad. I complain to my friends about that particular "intense Android news community" very often.


Yeah, I typed it from my phone and as stated I don't care nearly as much about people just talking. Only when it is under the guise of news, journalism or other "proffesional" reporting articles. If only we all had editors for our posts :lol:

TR has been fairly good about it, although there are times where I'll see something and say something in comments. Seems like the common one is using something like "is" or "it" multiple times where it makes no sense. Like they were going to type the sentence one way then changed their mind mid-sentence.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:47 pm

slowriot wrote:
Plus a site like "Droid Life" really has no pretense of high quality journalism in the first place.

Now a company like Gawker Media who does all of these things plus much, much worse... now that really bothers me.


Droid Life is probably more of a fan site then anything approaching serious journalism.

Hah! Gawker. If there was one place you could burn down and it was wiped off the face of the Earth with no hope of coming back, where on the list would Gawker be?
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:48 pm

DancinJack wrote:
I find it funny that there were multiple typo/auto-correct mishaps in the OP.

You mean to tell me, "Where is the editors" isn't proper American English?

Flatland_Spider: Droid Life routinely breaks Android stories, particularly when it comes to Verizon-exclusive devices. They bear more responsibility than the typical "fan site" in that regard, so they should at least try to write properly. But they're far better than Gawker Media. Gawker would be way up high on my list. Nuke it from orbit.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:20 pm

Is it sad that I couldn't get paste the first paragraph?

Perhaps easier said than done!
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:38 pm

Do any of you guys read HONY? They like talking to everyday people, convicts, etc in a human way - not the controversial stuff. Kinda refreshing, compared to the crap in the mainstream media.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:58 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Flatland_Spider: Droid Life routinely breaks Android stories, particularly when it comes to Verizon-exclusive devices. They bear more responsibility than the typical "fan site" in that regard, so they should at least try to write properly.


They post everything from their phone?

I either have a very low bar for stuff posted on the Internet, particularly on random websites, or I have very high standards about what qualifies someone to be called a journalist. It might be both.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:14 pm

Welch wrote:
Is it sad that I couldn't get paste the first paragraph?

Paste huh? :P
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:39 pm

biffzinker wrote:
Welch wrote:
Is it sad that I couldn't get paste the first paragraph?

Paste huh? :P


Beat me to it.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:26 pm

Do you think the online readership's attitude has anything to with attracting new journalists and editors? I refuse to publish anything on the internet other than forum posts and article comments, and not because I'm afraid of writing skills. I presuppose that I would not be able to properly deal with the unconstructive criticism that is bound to follow most articles.

Seriously, Welch, you've given us all a chuckle here. Well I can't speak for all of us, but I've laughed several times at the topic of thread followed by the execution of your quick-typing. :lol:
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:40 pm

What about Kindle books?

I find the formatting to often be horrible. I've run across books which were clearly converted to Kindle format using OCR and no one bothered to check over the results with even so much as a spell checker. There's a feature in the Kindle application to report errors, but it appears to go somewhere that's never actually read. I've stopped bothering to report errors and have followed that up with rarely buying Kindle titles any more.

I think poor editing is just part of the new Digital Culture. Enjoy!
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Welch
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:44 pm

MOSFET wrote:
Seriously, Welch, you've given us all a chuckle here. Well I can't speak for all of us, but I've laughed several times at the topic of thread followed by the execution of your quick-typing. :lol:



Ahaha, not a problem. True that while typing it out on my phone at nearly 1am from bed I said to myself "Damn, I'm going to make so many typos now that I'm b****ing about them." As I mentioned though, it's not so much a big deal to me when just making a post to have a conversation. I usually get a chuckle out of my own posts the next day after I have the inclination to rant about something.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:03 pm

Welch wrote:
I usually get a chuckle out of my own posts the next day after I have the inclination to rant about something.


Awesome, so I'm not alone there! By the way, it would take me about an hour to get this simple post correct on my LG G3.
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Welch
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:13 pm

I'm surprised at how comfortable I've become posting from my Samsung S5. When I was first posting on the forums and comments with it I about wanted to cry at the thought of the pain I knew I'd feel in my thumbs. I guess my brain forgot this because I often find myself finishing 6-7 paragraph posts before I even know it. On a desktop I usually type out my post, look it over very fast and post it. Then re-reading it, edit little mistakes even though I'm sure someone else has seen it, then read it again until it sounds about right, edit, rinse and repeat.

The other downside is that if I want to try and do any editing and checking things in other tabs from my phone, is that it will often refresh my current tab when I come back to it. So if I've typed a lot of information and then check on the spelling of a word in another window, I can potentially lose EVERYTHING. Numerous occasions I've found myself SOL, so I just shut my phone off and sigh. I've got in the habit of typing things out, selecting all and copying before switching between tabs. I can only assume this is related to the amount of memory that the S5 has being near capped out for cached pages currently open. Nothing makes me more frustrated than losing something I've painstakingly typed up.

Getting back to websites with proper articles, I feel like 99% of the time TR is still dead on. Rarely do I come across those head smacking mistakes. Again, I don't even mean punctuation mistakes like misusing a comma vs semi-colon. I mean things like "Where's the editors" :lol: or "We purchased a AMD card" or "Well, this is right here is why people threw a bit of a fit."

I'm fairly certain the DroidLife guy meant to say either "Well, this right here is why people threw a bit of a fit." or he meant "Well, this here is why people threw a bit of a fit." but his brain said "JUST DO BOTH!" (In Gilbert Godfrey's voice).

Hell we all make mistakes! I don't blame anyone for that. I've just noticed a LOT of this across all sorts of sites to include things like Reuters a few months back. I'm just curious if a lot of the online "News" sites have done away with having an editor on staff? I'm asking that as a serious question too. Is the position of editor a dying thing even for legit reporting groups?
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editors?

Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:43 pm

Flatland_Spider wrote:
They post everything from their phone?

I either have a very low bar for stuff posted on the Internet, particularly on random websites, or I have very high standards about what qualifies someone to be called a journalist. It might be both.

This is their livelihood, so they should take some pride in it. To me that doesn't matter if it's posted on the internet, printed in a magazine or newspaper, or read aloud on TV or in videos.

On the other hand, most people write like children, so maybe normal readers finds amateurish writing to be to their liking. On the other other hand, the local TV stations' news teams routinely post stories with defective grammar, spelling, and punctuation; single-sentence paragraphs; and general ridiculousness (random ellipsis?).

(edit: those links are all from today. I didn't have to look hard to find horrible "professional" writing)
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:05 am

Thought I'd read some science news. Very cool topic and article, yet I still found two obvious mistakes before finishing the first 6-7 groups. I say groups because they aren't really paragraphs, 1-2 sentences don't quite cut it.

Anyone else spot those or other mistakes in those same first 6-7 groups of sentences? I know nothing of this site's claimed or otherwise journalistic credibility.

http://mainenewsonline.com/content/1603 ... ng-signals
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:54 am

I can hear the lamentations of the grammar nazis. :lol:

I blame Web 2.0 and its successors (Tumblr, image boards, blogspheres) for the current state of online journalism. The sad part is that it is only to get worse.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:21 am

I am not so much bothered by the gramma as by the fact that what once were professional news sites now seem to be written by angst-ridden 20-years olds. These are news outlets which once prided themselves on remaining neutral and objective, but which now have no problem letting the personal biases and opinions of their reporters shine through in subtile (or less subtile) ways.

I wonder how many old-school investigate fact-driven objective actual journalists there are left in the world, those who solider on have my deepest respect but they seem to be going the way of the dinosaurs. I fear oligarchy and nepotism is what follows next, even more so than now.

"internet killed the journalist" - maybe not so catchy but it might come true, if it hasen't already.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:28 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
This is their livelihood, so they should take some pride in it. To me that doesn't matter if it's posted on the internet, printed in a magazine or newspaper, or read aloud on TV or in videos.

(edit: those links are all from today. I didn't have to look hard to find horrible "professional" writing)


Is it their livelihood? I just figured they posted between shifts at a Verizon store.

The world is full of incompetent morons.

Krogoth wrote:
I blame Web 2.0 and its successors (Tumblr, image boards, blogspheres) for the current state of online journalism. The sad part is that it is only to get worse.


The Internet in general decimated the news industry. Low cost of entry, quick dissemination of information, and no way to monetize your work was the perfect way to decimate journalism as a profession. Some good things have come out of it, but don't expect to get paid to be a journalist now.

TwoEars wrote:
These are news outlets which once prided themselves on remaining neutral and objective, but which now have no problem letting the personal biases and opinions of their reporters shine through in subtile (or less subtile) ways.


That's still journalism. It's just the tabloid model made popular by William Randolph Hearst. I hate to burst your nostalgia bubble, but the news was only there to entice people to read ads. It wasn't journalists trying to support themselves by selling ads; it was sales people enticing people to read ads by adding news. Hearst figure out that sensationalist stories sold well, and that is what his papers did.

TwoEars wrote:
I wonder how many old-school investigate fact-driven objective actual journalists there are left in the world, those who solider on have my deepest respect but they seem to be going the way of the dinosaurs. I fear oligarchy and nepotism is what follows next, even more so than now.


They're out there. They're just on the fringe.

The Internet makes it too easy to post stuff online. That's kind of the thing. $15 dollars and some time will put you in business.

TwoEars wrote:
"internet killed the journalist" - maybe not so catchy but it might come true, if it hasen't already.


Idiot managers are the real reason. The Internet didn't help anything, but they didn't play to their strengths or iterate on what worked. They chased buzzwords and tried to replicate the "new media" model. I come from a newspaper family, and I've had a front row seat for the whole thing.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:04 am

The incentives in online journalism right now favor speed and sensationalism above neutrality and good English. 95% of the reader base probably won't get past the headline—much less to the last sentence of the article—just because there are a million other things happening across hundreds of thousands of other platforms. That means sites need to be as attention-grabbing and hard-hitting in their approach as possible.

Copy-editing and fact-checking both take precious seconds away from the time a story can be on the front page of a site. The fact is that most of the online reader base doesn't care in the least about the nuts and bolts of writing. So long as the basic facts are somewhat accessible and presented in a provocative way, that's probably good enough for the vast majority of the audiences these sites are trying to reach.

We're never going to give up our editing process, but Droid Life seems to be doing fine the way it is: https://www.quantcast.com/droid-life.com
Last edited by Jeff Kampman on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:07 am

Flatland_Spider wrote:
Idiot managers are the real reason. The Internet didn't help anything, but they didn't play to their strengths or iterate on what worked. They chased buzzwords and tried to replicate the "new media" model. I come from a newspaper family, and I've had a front row seat for the whole thing.


I don't know, it's always fun to blame management as a knee-jerk, but if that's the case you'd see some old media companies succeed by random luck of having better management. That's not what we see, though. We see variation in rates of decline, but I don't know of any old traditional news outlet that's thriving. The Economist Group has had some success, or so it's rumored, I'm not aware of any data being made public. It's also a specialist outlet, like Bloomberg or others, which is a little different. There will always be people willing to pay top dollar for news highly relevant to their business/interests.

I think Jeff Bezos will be a good management test case at Washington Post, since no one can really say he doesn't have management chops. He even threw the paper in for free, I think, with Prime for a bit. If he can't turn an old media company around, no one can.
 
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:28 am

Krogoth wrote:
I can hear the lamentations of the grammar nazis. :lol:

I blame Web 2.0 and its successors (Tumblr, image boards, blogspheres) for the current state of online journalism. The sad part is that it is only to get worse.

I blame you because you were writing semi-coherent sentences before Tumblr existed. :p

Pretty sure that for at least one or two Droid Life writers, it's a full-time gig. Kellex has mentioned in the past he'd at the PC for "10 hours a day" or whatever.
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Re: Online Journalism - Where's the editor?

Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:29 am

Jeff Kampman wrote:
The incentives in online journalism right now favor speed and sensationalism above neutrality and good English. 95% of the reader base probably won't get past the headline—much less to the last sentence of the article—just because there are a million other things happening across hundreds of thousands of other platforms. That means sites need to be as attention-grabbing and hard-hitting in their approach as possible.

Copy-editing and fact-checking both take precious seconds away from the time a story can be on the front page of a site. The fact is that most of the online reader base doesn't care in the least about the nuts and bolts of writing. So long as the basic facts are somewhat accessible and presented in a provocative way, that's probably good enough for the vast majority of the audiences these sites are trying to reach.


Very good summation. Even though I personally think The TechReport sometimes could afford to be a little more sensational to attract more traffic. Not all the way out there like Linus... but you could take a few pointers from him. Not all.... but a few maybe. You are a business after all. If you don't agree with me that's completely fine.

Flatland_Spider wrote:
Idiot managers are the real reason.


I'm not so sure it's that simple. I think it has more to do with human psychology and some kind of inbuilt need for sensationalism and quick dopamin fixes. You could put the best managers in the world on the job but going against the inbuilt drives of the human psyche is almost like battling a force of nature. A world filled with great managers might have delayed the process, but I'm not sure this change in social media and news delivery ever could have been stopped.
Last edited by TwoEars on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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