Superman 2012

What if the Man of Steel worked in the brave new era of post-print journalism?

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  • Twitter is the new all seeing God of the masses, the Oracle. Twitter caused all of the “successful” revolutions in the middle east, with the help of the holy ghost known as facebook. The belief that people typing random bullshit on the internet can tell us what is important is hilarious. Less hilarious is that the media now actively discourages real journalism. It used to be the lazy guys would laugh at guys that did actual reporting, Now they actually argue that it is not as good as using twitter.

  • exkiodexian
    March 7, 2012 5:59 PM

    @patron002: Couldn’t agree more. The hysterical assertions about Facebook and Twitter with respect to the “arab spring” were nothing short of embarrassing. What’s happened is that the web has enabled delusions to become self-fulfilling in a way. The hive mind takes over and all-of-a-sudden, voila! Facebook and Twitter caused a revolution!! And where is it reported? On Facebook and Twitter of course! It’s recursive inanity.

    More than anything the web has enabled the rise of mediocrity. Mediocre product and mediocre opinion. Expertise is no longer valued in any domain, just output.

  • OK, I just don’t buy this nostalgia for older forms of media….what’s the big deal?

  • Aggie, its not that the old forms of media are better, its that the new media has affected quality, you know how the news used to have a small segment where they went out and talked to people about the daily news and got their view? Now they don’t bother with the news part, its just constant crap, There was an actual 10 minute segment dedicated to twitter users thinking Madonna was ugly, and some thought good looking for her age, seen the difference, they didn’t ask people about the Superbowl show, they scanned their comments and found that people thought Madonna was ugly, and that was the news.

  • Funny and all that, but weren’t the remaining “real papers”, like the NY Times the ones that helped Uncle Sam lie and get the country into two (three?) needless wars? And aren’t the same usual suspects actively trying to get the US meddled in Iran? So much for “original reporting”.

  • alex_the_tired
    March 8, 2012 2:57 AM


    As briefly as I can (because it is 2 in the a.m., and I am exhausted):

    Traditional print media has one quality that the Internet models lack: The former requires a lot of people and a lot of time. At least half a dozen people review an article in a “real” paper. The amount of time it takes to put the article together, along with the multiple reviews and viewpoints, provides a delay in which to become aware of errors. You know that feeling you get a second after you hit the send button on an e-mail? Yeah, you tend to not get that in print journalism.

    Print journalism is a finite commodity. You get the paper, once a day, and it has X number of pages. X is significantly less than the number of atoms in the universe. Online news? It comes at you 24/7, literally at the speed of light, and you can never reach the end of it. Reading a newspaper makes you feel that you’ve accomplished something. Clicking through a bunch of stories online gives you a bloated feeling, like you’ve just finished off the second plate of buffet chicken wings, and there’s still so much food left to shovel into your piehole with your hooves. Print journalism is more like getting fed once a day. The servers of that one meal (the editors and writers) therefore try to mix it up for you. The Internet’s more like a candy machine. The closest to healthy that you usually get are those orange cheese crackers.

    Print journalism is far more conducive to contemplation of what you’re reading. Ever clicked a link, seen a second link on the page before it jumped, made a mental note to go back to it, and then can’t remember what the link was about when you jump back and the links have all changed? Yeah, the reason you can’t remember is because your brain is constantly hitting the “shuffle” button every eight seconds now, thanks to how the Internet has trained us all to get bored after four seconds with whatever we’re reading. The feedback mechanisms, as well, are better. Back in the day, someone had to really, really have a strong feeling about an issue, one way or the other, to write a letter and mail it in. Now, shrill hysterics fire off letters in seconds. The writer’s a communist. the writer’s a whore. The person described in the article is one of (you know) “Them” and what can we expect.

    Seriously, take a look at the comment sections of some of these aggregators. It devolves into a screaming match nine times out of ten. No actual discussion occurs. Why? Because usually someone who is bored and who thinks they know enough about global warming or supply-side economics or monetary theory decides to write in and lecture the “so-called” experts: “Dr. Jones might have 20 years of experience and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale, but I have a gut feeling, and that’s just as good!!!”

    Reading a print newspaper means you are stationary. You aren’t at work, doing six things while you read links every couple of minutes. You’re either on the bus or at home. Maybe you’re eating breakfast or dinner. But you aren’t checking e-mail and paying bills and this and that and the other. As a result, you are reading because you have a few minutes to spare all at once. Thus, you are able to read a long article and concentrate on it.

    Because of the need to constantly feed the beast (imagine how hard it is to provide infinite content), the sites simply crank out the stuff. End result: mediocrity in huge quantities.

    As Greg Palast has pointed out, the breaking of the Watergate story was an exception (such a massive exception that a movie was made about it). Reporters frequently just act as stenographers and rewrite artists for press releases. So I’m not saying traditional print was some golden perfection. It wasn’t. But procedurally, at least in theory, it was miles better than the Internet.

  • Uh, Ted?
    The cartoon I’m viewing at this minute is dated 03-14-12 and titled “AMERICANS: WE RULE THE WORLD.”
    Somebody’s messing with your time-line again. [And I – for one – can find Syria on a map. 😉 ]

  • «It [Online news] comes at you 24/7, literally at the speed of light», No, alex_the_tired, not «literally at the speed of light», only figuratively. Otherwise your point is well taken….


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