Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Woodward and Bernstein did it without computers

[Guardian photo]

Adding a bit to my earlier post on trusting BigMedia, here's The Guardian on the destruction of their computers. Not sure which iteration of the story this might be but I'm told this is not a photograph of destroyed hard drives.

Read it and see if it makes more sense to you, but for me the real tell was the last graf:
"I hope what [the Miranda detention row] will do is to send people back to read the stories that so upset the British state because there has been a lot of reporting about what GCHQ and the NSA are up to. What Snowden is trying to do is draw attention to the degree to which we are on a road to total surveillance."
As I said when the story broke, Miranda's detention was entirely predictable. And as I asked John Cole, who would have known Mr. Miranda was even traveling if he hadn't been detained? I didn't. And really? No other route  to Brazil available except going through Heathrow?

Clickbait journalism is all about traffic. As Politico editor-in-chief John F. Harris said in an interview, "We have an obligation to be interesting. We don’t think of ourselves as the electric company or the water company: Well, we have a responsibility ...”2 That was a mindset in a previous generation of journalists. That mindset might have even been legitimate."

In other words, the big money is in infotainment. It's about amusing the people for profit, not some quaint, last century concept about a responsibility to inform the public.

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