Perusing some of the websites I checkout nearly every day, I come across this gem of a story from the Washington Post: Warm Conditions Offer Rare Chance to Dress Down – where yes, the whole stupid article is about how since it was warm yesterday people wore lighter clothes. REALLY? This article is perhaps the encapulation of what is wrong with old media.
This was a “oh crap nothing really happened this weekend in the district because it’s a holiday but we need an article to take up space” article. Snippets of the genius reporting:
“Despite overcast skies, drizzle and a breeze that put a slight chill in the air yesterday afternoon, T-shirts and light sweaters were out in force in front of the White House, along Pennsylvania Avenue. Tourists carried jackets under their arms, and scarves were loosened. More than a few people broke out flip-flops for the occasion.”
The reporter then needs some quotations, so he talks to a weatherman (ooooh) and a purveyor at the Dupont farmers market who claims they sold out of parsnips (WTF?).
This is what I hate about traditional media, a meaningless story just to take up space in the paper, and it needed to get out fast therefore lackluster reporting, pointless descriptions of tourists in flip-flops, and just stupidness. So much of old media is entrenched in old traditions that no longer make sense, but they stick to their mores because they don’t know what else to do. I ran across this a lot in journalism school, where I was penalized for having a too long lead, not including a quotation in the first third of the story, not telling a story in a “pyramid” theme… and I couldn’t help but think how pointless these conventions were and how they were going to kill traditional journalism. Well, here we are a few years later and traditional media is taking its last gasps of breath…