Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kudos for Stephen

Warren Kinsella has recognized Stephen Taylor's excellent work in today's National Post, "Keeping the Media Honest".

Unfortunately, the article is behind a subscribers' firewall, but it is well worth the read if you can get your hands on a copy today.

...Along with exposing a significant media misstep, Taylor's work again suggests that a new era is upon us. As my colleague Andrew Coyne has noted elsewhere, reporters have to be much more careful now: There are "20,000 fact-checkers" -- bloggers, in other words -- watching everything the mainstream media do, ready to object to any factual error...

Well done, Stephen! We are all proud of you.

55 comments:

RGM said...

Very hearty kudos to S.T. indeed. We bloggers are becoming quite the force.

Excellent letter in the Letters section too by some guy in Halifax talking about the UN and democracy promotion. ;)

Sara said...

funny Brison's team were aware of how strong we were too....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hey, awesome letter, RGM!!!

Way to go. Wow, two Blogging Tories in the Post today!

Riley Hennessey said...

I am tired of shoddy journalism.

I have had to stop reading the Toronto Star because literally my blood pressure pops. I only like reading Linda Diebel's pieces for her insight which usually is interesting.

I think bloggers seize on stories and then add to either the legitimacy or discredit of the story.

Kinsella is bang on,

bloggers keep reporters honest and expose the crud we sometimes get fed.

jdave34 said...

If only bloggers were willing to hold themselves to the same standards of honesty and integrity that they're so willing to hold the MSM to.

Maybe then we wouldn't have to put up with BS like "Canadians are finally proud of their country again" or "89% of the Parliamentary Press Gallery voted Liberal".

Oh wait, since bloggers aren't 'professional', they shouldn't have any standards of truth or integrity to live up to.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If only bloggers were willing to hold themselves to the same standards of honesty and integrity that they're so willing to hold the MSM to.

So, fire me.

jdave34 said...

LOL...awesome answer:

You can't kick me off the web, so I can continue to make stuff up as I see fit.

Bloggers policing the MSM is like Klansmen investigating hate crimes.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

"89% of the Parliamentary Press Gallery voted Liberal".

Refresh my memory. When did I say that?

jdave34 said...

Not you, DBT.

I wasn't talking strictly about you. Just bloggers who whine about the MSM, then engage in the same behaviour they supposedly abhor.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thank you for clarifying that.

jdave34 said...

I'm all about the clarification
;)

Anonymous said...

hey jdave34:

bloggers tend to wear their partisanship on their sleeves, making it easier to tell where their opinions come from. Journalistas do not announce there partisanship, and try to pass off their writings as unbiased fact.

is that clear enough for you?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Journalistas do not announce there partisanship, and try to pass off their writings as unbiased fact.

Yeah, especially when it's the freaking CBC that we're all paying for and that is supposed to be delivering the news; not an editorial!!!

jdave34 said...

anonymous:

Bloggers are entitled to their own opinion, but they are NOT entitled to their own facts.

There's a difference between stating "I think the media votes Liberal" and "I read a poll that said 89% of Parliamentary Press Gallery reporters voted Liberal". Especially when that poll DOESN'T EVEN EXIST.

I have no problem with people stating their opinion. But I do have a problem with people twisting, distorting, and even inventing facts to support their opinions. And I have an even bigger problem with these same bloggers complaining about the media's distortion and invention of facts.

Is that clear enough for YOU?

And btw: what's with the use of the word 'journalistas'? you ARE aware that the word in English is journalist, aren't you?

Sara said...

Nice one Jo,,, and better answer Jdave that was a good laugh someone fire me too please!


or shoot me lol


yah I do my facts no one elses. If I do reality then I show where I get my info from, it is not made up. But blogging false truth can hurt some, mind you I love bloggers but unless you can backup what you say I don't believe you.. sorry but thats just me

Zac said...

I saw that clip on the ST site. Its pretty damn bad.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sara, I agree that bloggers should be able to back up what they say with facts. If they don't, they will lose credibility. Even the media lies, they lose credibility too, but also money in terms of circulation or viewers or whatever.

The important thing is that facts should be presented as such, and proof should be available. However, if you have an opinion, it should be presented as such.

If I say that I am prouder to be a Canadian now, than I was before, it is an opinion, obviously. Anyone who things otherwise is crazy. You can't measure an opinion or a feeling. It is what it is.

The CBC, on the other hand pretends to give facts, when in fact they are spoon-feeding their opinion (quite often), but disguising it as truth.

And JDave, that is my OPINION!!!!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

(Sorry about the rant).

jdave34 said...

Joanne:

You stated not that you were more proud of your country, but that others are proud of their country again. It was written as if Canadians had been ashamed of their country before Harper was elected.

Have you read any of what I've written today, or am I talking to a brick wall?

jdave34 said...

Joanne:

You stated not that you were more proud of your country, but that others are proud of their country again. It was written as if Canadians had been ashamed of their country before Harper was elected.

This is a perfect example of " spoon-feeding your opinion, but disguising it as truth."

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You stated not that you were more proud of your country, but that others are proud of their country again. It was written as if Canadians had been ashamed of their country before Harper was elected.

Even brick walls don't need things repeated twice.

Speaking of brick walls, I told you before that people calling into a talk show said that! I am not responsible for what comes out of other people's mouths!!!

jdave34 said...

Even brick walls don't need things repeated twice.

Apparently they do, and you'll notice that the comment was posted twice because I wanted to add to it.

Speaking of brick walls, I told you before that people calling into a talk show said that!

jdave34 said...

"Speaking of brick walls, I told you before that people calling into a talk show said that!"

OK. you've had your chance to reinvent those comments. Now let's look at what you actually said:

"I notice a lot of people actually feel proud to be a Canadian again. I haven't heard that for a long time."

Funny, no mention of radio at all. Just you saying that Canadians haven't expressed pride in their country in a long time.

Once again: Are you actually reading any of what I'm saying?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Funny, no mention of radio at all. Just you saying that Canadians haven't expressed pride in their country in a long time

Next time I'll write for the transcripts.

Sara said...

we are here for our opinion that is a blog, basically an online journal...

the media is there to tell the truth whether they like it or not, but after the last election I don't believe the media anymore.

Liberal, Conservative, NDP or even green it doesn't matter who you back as a voter but it matters if a huge MSM backs one group, same as the unions it is just not right to use corporate opinion to persuade a personal vote... it is not right

Gabby in QC said...

jdave34 Thu Aug 10, 01:56:01 PM EDT said:
"There's a difference between stating "I think the media votes Liberal" and "I read a poll that said 89% of Parliamentary Press Gallery reporters voted Liberal". Especially when that poll DOESN'T EVEN EXIST."

I would call jdave34's attention to a series of articles from the Celestial Junk Blog entitled "MSM Bias: 101 A Ten Part Series" found at:
http://www.mediaright.ca./MSMbias.htm

Therein, jdave can find links to sources to verify his statement "that poll DOESN'T EVEN EXIST."

From (http://tinyurl.com/kztsu)

See chart where 34% of journalists (US National Press) declare themselves to be liberal, 54% moderate and 7% conservative. 5% claim to not know where they stand.
Unfortunately, I'm technologically-challenged and was thus unable to upload the chart for your viewing pleasure.

Yes, I know. It's a survey of American journalists, and it doesn't indicate how they voted, but it does illustrate where the majority of journalists situate themselves on the political spectrum.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sara, good point. The YWCA childcare study is a good example of that.

Regarding blogs, if anyone finds a blog to be less than factually reliable, and if that bothers them, then I suggest they not bother visiting the blog anymore.

jdave34 said...

gabby:

Thanks for proving my point. Another blogger read that original poll, but said that it referred to the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery.

When I asked him to provide a link, he told me he wasn't going to do my research for me. So I looked and looked, and I asked him again. 3 weeks after the original statement was made, he FINALLY fessed up and said he had it wrong.

Too late for all thepeople who saw the original post and took him at his word, but I digress....

Sara:

Thanks for the refresher. I was getting confused between DrRoysThoughts and the National.

I'll repeat again for the extra-thick:

We are all entitled to our own opinions. We are not however entitled to our own set fo facts.

Gabby in QC said...

jdave34 at Thu Aug 10, 03:34:24 PM EDT said:
"Thanks for proving my point. Another blogger read that original poll, but said that it referred to the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery."

Actually, my intention was to prove that there is more of a liberal bias in the media than a conservative one. As I stated at the end of my post, the survey I referred to was for US journalists, but I don't think Canadian journalists differ THAT much from their US colleagues.

Maybe there has been a similar survey done among Canadian journalists, but I am not aware of one. In any event, if I already mistrust the media's credibility, why would I believe the answers they would furnish on such a survey!?

BTW, do you EVER post something without including some kind of insult? Comments like "brick wall" and "extra-thick" don't add anything to your rebuttal.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, do you EVER post something without including some kind of insult?

Gabby, that's his trademark.

jdave34 said...

Gabby, sweetheart,

If people would read, absorb and understand the simple points I'm trying to make instead of dodging, deflecting, and denying (Hi Joanne!), I certainly wouldn't have to refer to any one as a brick wall or extra thick.

You'll notice I had to clarify my already-clear point 3 or 4 times.

Perhaps there is a left-wing bias in the media. But that would depend on your source. Does Global News lean left? What about the Sun chain? Fox News?

I wish I could find the article I read a few years ago that addressed this very issue. The author's theory was that for a lot of journalists, particularly correspondents, who have seen poverty, suffering, and misery up close, their shift to the left was the result of years of being out in the world where they saw the little guy get trampled on, corporations getting away with bullshit, and innocents caught in crossfires. The author's point was that after being exposed to this kind of stuff on a daily basis, it was hard for some journalists to NOT become bleeding hearts and not take a side.

I'm not saying I subscribe to this theory, nor do I think that it excuses bias in the media, but it gave me something to think about.

Gabby in QC said...

There you go again, jdave34. I am not YOUR "sweetheart." And simply because people disagree with you does not mean they cannot "read, absorb and understand" the points you are trying to make. Condescension does not become you.

"You'll notice I had to clarify my already-clear point 3 or 4 times."
Your readers will determine whether your point is "already clear."

As for journalists' shift to the left because of the reasons you describe, then they should change their job description from "reporter" to "pundit" or "commentator" or "editorialist" which I believe is what Joanne was saying.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gabby - Amen!

liberal supporter said...

Even more recent example I read in today's Sun:
Reuters got caught doctoring a picture of Israeli bombing damage in Lebanon to make it look worse than it was.
Caught by them damn bloggers, apparently.

I keep recalling an old story about East Bloc countries just after the end of the dictatorships. Supposedly you could sell them anything using the kinds of commercials we used to fall for in the 50s and 60s. But they became media literate very fast, and no longer do things like automatically associate a nice suit and a smile with honesty.

I'd like to see something that allows us to see the relationship between what the newsreader is reading and the source material. Comparing the actual news wire feeds with what the newsreader presents. Comparing what actual items came in on the wire (from all the services CP AP UPI Reuters etc) with what got on the air, which items did not make the air, which items were carried verbatim on all wire services (indicating they just plagiarized each other).

Like the recent controversy over whether the two Israeli soldiers were actually a mile inside Lebanon or not (not withstanding they may have been pursuing cross border shooters). Every "they were in Lebanon" report sounded (wording etc) like it was originally written by the same person. My bias says said report was written by Hezbollah media wing. I'm sure they have their "acredited" journalists too...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - Yeah, that was an awesome catch by LGF.

I saw something on CNN the other night. Anderson Cooper was talking about how staged the news reports are from Lebanon. Hezbollah runs the show and tells them what to report, and what pictures to take. I'm glad Anderson got out of there safely today!

jdave34 said...

"There you go again, jdave34. I am not YOUR "sweetheart.""

-Can I call you sugarti--? Never mind. Just because it works for Mel Gibson, doesn't mean it'll work for me.

And simply because people disagree with you does not mean they cannot "read, absorb and understand" the points you are trying to make.

-You're one-hundred percent right. The fact that they deflect, dance around, and misinterpret my points means that they cannot read absorb and understand.

Condescension does not become you.

-Funny, a lot of people say that I condescend with flair and style.

As for journalists' shift to the left because of the reasons you describe, then they should change their job description from "reporter" to "pundit" or "commentator" or "editorialist" which I believe is what Joanne was saying.

--Fair enough. But what I was saying, for those who are having trouble reading absorbing and understanding, was that if bloggers are going to demand honesty and integrity from the MSM, then they should be prepared to demand the same of themselves. Not getting paid is no excuse for distorting and inventing facts.

All clear now? Read, absorbed, and understood? Thanks babe!

Gabby in QC said...

jdave34 said:
"-Funny, a lot of people say that I condescend with flair and style."

Indeed, it is hilariously funny! And that you should believe them as well.

"Not getting paid is no excuse for distorting and inventing facts."
So what's yours?

Anyway, jdave34, I see you're the kind of person who likes to have the last word, so "hasta nunca."

jdave34 said...

Foxy Mama:

What's my excuse? Show me an example of me distorting or inventing facts. Please. I'll give you a shiny quarter for every one you find.

Y a usted, le digo 'hasta nunca' tambien. Porque veo que no le interesa discutir los temas. Me parece que eres como todos los otros que vienen aqui: Ves lo que te conviene, y inventas enemigos donde no hay ningunos.

Saludos, guapa!

Anonymous said...

jdave34 said:
"What's my excuse? Show me an example of me distorting or inventing facts. Please. I'll give you a shiny quarter for every one you find."

Well Jdave, that might be hard to find. You are not exactly a prolific writer. Lets see, a few posts in Feburary and one in April? It seems you would rather tear up other people's posts than post your own.

Jdave34 said:
"Y a usted, le digo 'hasta nunca' tambien. Porque veo que no le interesa discutir los temas. Me parece que eres como todos los otros que vienen aqui: Ves lo que te conviene, y inventas enemigos donde no hay ningunos.

Saludos, guapa!"

Wow! You can use babelfish just like everyone else! Impressive Davey baby

Gabby in QC said...

jdave34 said:
"Y a usted, le digo 'hasta nunca' tambien. Porque veo que no le interesa discutir los temas. Me parece que eres como todos los otros que vienen aqui: Ves lo que te conviene, y inventas enemigos donde no hay ningunos."

Cuidado, no mezcle la forma de "usted" con el "tu" puesto que usted dice poner las cosas en claro.

Discutir sin insultar la gente, ¡claro que me gusta!

Anyway, it is rude to speak or write in a language others may not understand, and I apologize to other readers for having started. Never again, I promise. And no, I am not Spanish - not that there's anything wrong with it!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Gabby, no apology required! I was hoping someone would jump in here and put him in his place in Spanish!

Gabby in QC said...

I doubt I have the power to put anyone in his/her place, no matter the language.

I just find it sad that we (meaning the blogosphere, not a reference to this blog in particular) sometimes sink to name-calling instead of simply presenting our views and agreeing to disagree, or - what a concept - saying "hey, I never thought of it that way."

A lot of commentary does seem to be a game of one-upmanship, unfortunately.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well said, Gabby. I've learned a lot from you, and Mac, Zac, Riley, Sara and a host of others. I don't think I've ever learned a thing from JDave though.

Riley Hennessey said...

Oh my lord...

can we put a rule on here that nobody responds to JDave34??

His attacks are annoying so why don't we collectively ignore him til he goes away.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Riley, that is brilliant.

Please don't feed the bears. Thank you.

Zac said...

Honestly, I think JDave had a very good point here:

if bloggers are going to demand honesty and integrity from the MSM, then they should be prepared to demand the same of themselves.

Makes sense to me.

Just because people don't like JDave doesn't mean that he doesn't have a valid point to contribute.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, no doubt that bloggers should try their best to be accurate.

I recall a huge front-page spread from the Post not that long ago about people having to wear defining marks on their bodies or clothes if they were Jews or whatever? I can't remember the exact article. But the point was that the story wasn't true.

So, JDave should maybe give us an example of proper blogging before he criticizes? I'm not feeling too worried right now if he disagrees with my blog. He can cancel his subscription anytime!!!

Zac said...

Yeah, the post dropped the ball on that one.

I've read some blogs that post false information. When I read outlandish claims and things purported as "facts" I just stop reading them. No problem.

Even with that said, JDave's point was logical but somehow got lost over the 40 some odd comments.

I understand what he was trying to say, it makes sense to me.

liberal supporter said...

"I recall a huge front-page spread from the Post not that long ago about people having to wear defining marks on their bodies or clothes if they were Jews or whatever? I can't remember the exact article. But the point was that the story wasn't true."

It was "half true". Mainly it was what you might expect from Iran's government these days, but it had only been discussed, not actually passed, according to Iranian diplomats.

http://tinyurl.com/evg8u

So the National Post did screw up. But that particular case caused such a hue and cry that Iran now distances itself from the idea. It certainly lets them know everyone is keeping an eye on them.

Chuckercanuck said...

Stephen Taylor did a great job - as always.

What does "holding to the same high standards" mean?

Stephen Taylor caught out a serious distortion in reporting news. Shit happens - and we have checks and balances to correct the record.

To hold bloggers to the same standard, other bloggers have to point out the errors/distortions and correct the record.

Its not asking the MSM to be self-regulating as individuals and its not asking bloggers the same thing.

PGP said...

I thought jdave had a good point on the topic ...as long as a blogger complains about about MSM incompetence or dishonesty they should apply the same standard of criticism to their own postings.

Too bad though that the self righteous jdave felt it necessary to continue.... "Oh wait, since bloggers aren't 'professional', they shouldn't have any standards of truth or integrity to live up to."

Apparently jdave himself has trouble separating observation from opinion.
And yet he goes on .....with posturing and sneering remarks that are supposed to show us all his superior intellect?

This is the mark of a very insecure little bugger!

Nice try jdave! You were close but then you blew it.

Mac said...

I was raised before Dr. Spock's influence. My mother always said if you don't have anything good to say, it's best to say nothing at all.

As a result, I don't have anything to say about jdave or his little buddy, blake.

If I take issue with something you post, Joanne, I will present my issue in a polite and respectful manner and provide good reasons to support my position. By doing so, that affords you the opportunity to consider my concerns without feeling denigrated or provoked.

Those who choose to spit vitriol are only doing so to get a reaction which says much about their personality. As Joanne said... don't feed the bears or the creatures who dwell beneath the bridges on the information superhighway.

Kudos for Stephen, indeed! Well done, sir!

For far too long, journalists have had a 'free ride' while insisted on having privileged access and demanding much under the guise of the public's "right to know" while acting as if theirs is a noble calling and profession although they had no accountability whatsoever.

If journalists want respect like a profession, let's see some integrity and standards! Show us a Journalist's Code of Ethics & Conduct! How about a professional organization like lawyers, engineers and other professionals including a mechanism for public complaints so citizens, whether bloggers or not, have the ability to register grievances and expect redress!

Blogging, as an activity, is evolving and as diverse people participate, it will continue to evolve. In a curious way, blogging is like a huge experiment in communication. There are bound to be some interesting side effects from this but just how wide-spread those effects will be remains to be seen. At the same time, other forms of communication are also springing up and taking traction. Who knows where all this will lead? I'm hoping media change will be one of the main effects but we'll see...

Want a 'for instance'?

My nephew struggled to complete his written homework in high school until his girlfriend got him using MSN 'Chat' where he developed keyboarding skills and suddenly something 'clicked' for him and written work wasn't an issue. How many other kids have had similar experiences?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S., Chucker, Zac, PGP, Mac, thanks to all of you for your input.


If I take issue with something you post, Joanne, I will present my issue in a polite and respectful manner and provide good reasons to support my position. By doing so, that affords you the opportunity to consider my concerns without feeling denigrated or provoked.


Exactly. Although the substance of a comment may be valid or worth considering, it is lost to the reader when he or she is attacked on a personal level. Pretty hard to be rational or logical when you have a knife sticking in your back.

Too bad some people feel they need to put down others in order to raise their own level of self-esteem. As PGP observed, it is a sign of insecurity (or jealousy?).

Sara said...

being professional would mean you got paid and last time I checked my pocket book is empty!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Me too, Sara. Maybe we should set up some tin cups beside our blogs!