Tag Archives: NY Times

Spotting BS

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Yesterday’s rant was on the need to check out facts before finalizing opinions. A great example of this is in today’s NY Times piece on last night’s debate – it simply states what the candidate said and what multiple sources say on the same subjects to back up or question what was said. Hopefully the paper and many others will continue to do this right through the election next year.
But what happens when you do try to verify facts and find that there are multiple, conflicting data points? Could it be because some of them are fake? Continue reading

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Cooler Heads

I’d really like to write about politics since I think there is so much going on that’s grounds for an interesting discussion. But I won’t. Want to know why? It’s because I want you to finish reading my stuff and not dismiss it because of some political position I’ve taken.  It’s because too many folks get aggravated just by the thought of discussing political matters and that aggravation gets in the way of a productive discussion. It’s really interesting how a simple question about anything in current events can lead to polarized yelling.  People see their positions, not words,  and quit reading.  So while you may think there’s some political message coming, you’re wrong. Continue reading

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Bulletin: Research Demos Common Sense

“Because I say so” is a line guaranteed to get you in trouble as a parent. It means you’ve reached the end of your rope in terms of logic and are resorting to the tried and true tactic of bullying. Having been there myself, I’m not criticizing – I’m just saying…

The reason I bring this up is that it sometimes we all use that line with respect to stuff we just know. It’s true because we say so but also because we just know.  You just know Bruce is going to put on a good show (he did!). You just know no matter what one political party does the other one will criticize them (boring). And you just know that good customers get more angry with you when you screw up than do casual customers. Except today there’s some research that says so too. Continue reading

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The Town Crier

Way back when, I suspect that no one much cared what was going on in Washington (and I suppose there are a great number of folks who feel that way now, but this is NOT a political blog!).  The things they cared about were what was going on in their own backyard and maybe the backyards a town or two over.  Media – basically the newspaper – was inherently local since in general news didn’t travel fast enough to make it timely for the daily or even weekly paper.

Fast forward a couple of hundred years.  The Times printed a story today about how newspapers are cutting their national and world reportage to focus on local.

Half of all papers said they had increased the amount of state and local news they published, especially “hyper-local” community news…the shrunken newsrooms have taken on added duties in feeding their Web sites, like producing subsites covering specific towns or neighborhoods, or posting articles in the morning and updating them throughout the day.

Given that a story in Moscow is on the web and known in NY within minutes (maybe sooner if Twitter was ever up and working), I’m not sure why this is a bad thing.  World and national news has sort of become a commodity.  Good local reporting is rare and there aren’t enough people in any town doing it.   Any brand needs to distinguish itself in some manner and regurgitating the same AP story as every other news outlet isn’t doing that.  Frankly, besides the Times, Journal, and a few other major papers, there isn’t a whole lot of original content happening outside of the metro desk.

So why do the news guys seem upset about this?  If I’m them, I get to the head of the line in my town before the radio, TV, and local web guys get there first.

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