I read a fair number of conservative and liberal blogs. While each is pretty good at explaining their respective political philosophy, they all are absolutely terrible at economics. By terrible, I mean that, without a doubt, they are abject failures of the highest order. Let me give you a few examples.
Hale Stewart, The Big Picture. Memo To Political Bloggers: Please Stop Writing About Economics; You Really Suck At It.
FJP: But sometimes charts and graphs look so nice.
This happened to me for not understanding that I shouldn’t report on the social networks.
A note left with the beheaded body of a Mexican blogger in Nuevo Laredo along the Texas-Mexican border*. As we’ve written before, traditional newsrooms, bloggers, and social media commentators have been targeted by the drug cartels for reporting on their activity.
The victim, identified on social networking sites only by his nickname - Rascatripas or Belly Scratcher - reportedly helped moderate a site called En Vivo that posted news of shootouts and other activities of the Zetas, the narcotics and extortion gang that all but controls the city.
The beheaded body of another blogger, 39-year-old Elizabeth Macias, who contributed to the blog, was found in the same location in late September.
A young man and a woman were hung from a highway overpass earlier that same month. A sign left with their bodies said they too had been killed for their social media activity…
…With mainstream newspapers and broadcasters terrorized by the criminal gangs, whose violence has killed upward of 50,000 people across Mexico in five years, social media networks have become key information sources in many towns and cities.
A senior editor at El Mañana, Nuevo Laredo’s largest newspaper, was knifed to death after leaving work in 2004. Gunmen attacked the newspaper’s offices in 2006, crippling a journalist. The newspaper since has dramatically scaled back its reporting of the violence, as have other news organizations.
* Correction: We originally wrote that Nuevo Laredo was a neighborhood in Mexico City. Thank you wiredthoughts for pointing out our error.
He was inarguably one of the most interesting thinkers and distinctive stylists of the generation raised on Jacques Derrida, Strunk and White and Scooby-Doo.
Maud Newton, New York Times Magazine, Another Thing to Sort of Pin on David Foster Wallace.
Newton explores Wallace’s language and its legacy while bemoaning the fact that in “the Internet era, Wallace’s moves have been adopted and further slackerized by a legion of opinion-mongers who not only lack his quick mind but seem not to have mastered the idea that to make an argument, you must, amid all the tap-dancing and hedging, actually lodge an argument.”
I’ve been writing a science blog called Not Exactly Rocket Science for 5 years. I’ve also been freelancing for magazines and newspapers for most of that time. I have variously called myself a science blogger, a science writer and a science journalist, and I know people who would disagree with the last of those. In five years, I have seen this “debate” about bloggers and journalists rear its head again and again. Do bloggers “count” as journalists? Are blogs journalism? And I’ve come to realise that this debate is exactly like the film Titanic: it is tedious, it goes on forever, everyone’s a caricature and they’re stuck on a massive sinking ship…
…Here, I find it helpful to think of modern journalism in terms of mental disorders. The field of mental health is moving away from sharply defined diagnoses to spectrums of behaviours. In a similar way, there is a spectrum of journalistic values, norms and techniques, which are present to different extents in different people or even individual pieces of work.
I know I fall somewhere on that spectrum. Am I a journalist? Honestly, I care less about the answer than I once did. I am not being blase – I care very deeply about journalism, but there are few things more boring than journalists arguing over what counts as journalism. We live in a world full of stories, about amazing people doing amazing things and terrible people doing terrible things. I will use every medium I can to tell those stories. I will try to tell them accurately so people aren’t misled. I will try to tell them well so people will listen. If people want to argue about what to call that, that’s fine for them.
I would rather just do it.