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Bad Journalism

I am no fan of what passes for journalism on the internet, but I've got to admit, I have been taken aback by the sheer amount of bullshit that's been proliferating all over the web about our Stagecoach Foundation initiative... some of it posted on what I would have previously regarded as reputable news outlets with familiar names, but almost all of it off-base and, well... wrong.

There seems to be some sort of grotesque echo chamber effect going on here. These stories are not only full of errors, but they are the same errors. Rather than checking facts with the primary sources, the writers here (I will not call them 'reporters') are just copying from one another.

When I was in journalism school at Northwestern, we were drilled in the head every day with Joseph Pulitzer's famous maxim, "Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy." That seems to have gone out of favor, at least on the internet.

Instead I am put in mind of Jonathan Swift, who said, "Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it."

So please allow me to come limping up long enough to say:
-- the Stagecoach building is not 30,000 square feet. Someone pulled that number out of their ass, and dozens of other reports have repeated it. That's a rough approximate figure for MEOW WOLF, an entirely different place on the other side of Santa Fe. The Stagecoach building is perhaps a third that size,
-- I did not "build" Stagecoach. David Weininger did that in 1999, as the headquarters for his compnay, Daylight Chemical Information Systems,
-- I am not "opening a film studio." Stagecoach is a non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing more film and television production to Santa Fe, it is not a film studio,
-- there are no sound stages at Stagecoach (though there are several here in town, at the Santa Fe Studios and the Greer Garson Studios). It's an office building, and will be used primarily for pre- and post-production purposes,
-- I am not going to be "running" a foundation, much less a studio. That task I've given to a dynamic young lady named Marisa X. Jimenez, who helped open Santa Fe Studios here in town, and who will have total charge of the day-to-day operations of Stagecoach, under a board of directors.

If there are any real journalists out there who would like to do an accurate story about the Stagecoach Foundation and our plans for it, Marisa is the person to contact, at Marisa@stagecoachfdn.org. She'll be glad to send you our press release and answer your questions. In the meantime, hey, can people please stop making shit up?

Comments

( 42 comments )
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ADragonDemands
Mar. 19th, 2017 07:13 pm (UTC)
To whom much has been given, much will be demanded.
To whom much has been given, much will be demanded.

Sentimental words, but ones I've tried to live by.
mercedene
Mar. 19th, 2017 07:13 pm (UTC)
Fake news, as Joffrey Trump would say. It's sweeping the nation.
gman109
Mar. 20th, 2017 01:40 am (UTC)
lol
Joffery Trump...LOL. How is it I've never seen that anywhere before, you need to talk to George about TM'ing that. Hilarious.
geekfurious
Mar. 19th, 2017 07:16 pm (UTC)
lazy journalism
I blame EIC's for allowing their reporters to turn in inaccurate stories and for not checking sources before allowing the information to be posted. Some of these issues could so easily be checked for errors by virtually ANYONE in the chain of command at these news sites and blogs that there is little excuse for it happening so frequently. Speed to print and hits/money being the greatest priority for posting a story is to blame for reporters simply siphoning off other lazy writers. But allowing it to continue is the fault of management.
norvernmonkey
Mar. 19th, 2017 07:19 pm (UTC)
Denzel Washington said it right on the FENCES red carpet. He said its "the need to be first, not even to be true anymore"
srdrbr
Mar. 19th, 2017 07:22 pm (UTC)
Disgrace
You cleaned up the confusion quite nicely, I don't know how they got all those false ideas, since I informed myself pretty well just by reading your post about Stagecoach here. If only those "journalists" read it they would knew what it is all about.

Being a journalist myself I am ashamed (come to think of it I am not, am just angry) at what passes for journalism on the internet. Endless plagiarism, copying, lack of checking and real investigative spirit.

Usually when I have some bigger story, you know like extensive research and such I have to spend half the page explaining what did idiots in daily newspapers and online news sites (gunslingers I call them because to them it is most important to shot first, to be the first to publish, really appropriate with the Stagecoach and all) do wrong. With enjoyment, humorous quips and scathing remarks I have to admit, but bad journalists deserve to be laughed out of the room alongside editors who condone that kind of behavior.

HamWalowitz
Mar. 19th, 2017 07:41 pm (UTC)
In the words of the departed Great, Chuck Berry, 'Go, Georgie, Go. Go!'
_wwwera_
Mar. 19th, 2017 08:08 pm (UTC)
don't bother yourself with this bullshit, we love you and your projects all the way :)
8_santababy_8
Mar. 19th, 2017 08:10 pm (UTC)
Lazy journalism
Thank you so much for bringing attention to this. Lazy internet journalism has been a fixture of the web for a while, but has only started becoming a big issue in the past few years. I'm glad to see people with big voices and integrity finally weighing in on it. Keep fighting the good fights!

As a side note: do you ever plan on attending cons in the Louisville, KY area?
grrm
Mar. 19th, 2017 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Lazy journalism
No immediate plans, though I do love Louisville... I have fond memories of the Galt House and the Belle.

Whenever my book tours take me to Kentucky, however, they always send me to Lexington, not to Louisville.
Re: Lazy journalism - 8_santababy_8 - Mar. 19th, 2017 08:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Mar. 19th, 2017 08:36 pm (UTC)
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nerdoldnerdith
Mar. 19th, 2017 08:43 pm (UTC)
Sadly, that's how journalism seems to work these days with the free market of online publications competing for clicks and views. At one point in time journalists had a reputation to uphold by breaking stories and reporting facts. Since these sites are mostly free now, their main source of revenue is from ads. Their modus operandi is to use buzzwords and big names (especially yours, since a lot of people want to know what you're up to these days) to get people to click on their articles and then the ads they place next to them. The content of these articles is more or less irrelevant so long as people show up. Fake news really is a huge problem with the new internet face of journalism.
demonicnuisance
Mar. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm (UTC)
Bad Journalism
I totally agree. I literally check at least 2-3 times daily for updates on winds so I'm constantly seeing examples of people just making shit up and pulling so called facts out of their asses. What's worse is that the next person regurgitates the previous BS while adding another steaming pile of crap that he/she conjured up onto the last one. Eventually you've got an article so full of falsehoods stretching back 6 months or more it's like they're playing ridiculous a game of telephone. That's why I always check here first. It would definitely be refreshing to read something from one of those so called news sites that actually contained a fact or two. Alas no matter how annoying I see no end in sight because sadly not many people these days take pride in their work and would rather take the easy road than the bumpy one.
gman109
Mar. 20th, 2017 01:46 am (UTC)
Re: Bad Journalism
Yes, it's really sad to see how far so many "reputable" publications have fallen, from all sides of the political landscape. Every single one has been busted for outrageous cases of exaggeration, and outright lying. For journalism majors, like George, my wife, others - it understand how it's personal and is pissing them off, I get daily earfuls about just how pathetic it's getting.

After Trump winning, both sides in the press have been on the warpath, and the fallout is now affecting everyone, look at this incident, a small but great story about a new GRRM endeavor - even though as he's explained he isn't holding the reigns directly - is getting screwed over by it.

What happened to America? It's hard to know how to feel, daily swings from disappointed, to angry, to apathetic, then back around to furious. Where have all the great news men, and women, gone?

It's just so typical, right when the world figures out to have us all connected and have instant access to news, we decide to have the news be twisted into something dishonest, more frequently used to settle vendettas than to spread accurate information.
Re: Bad Journalism - sdschaffer - Mar. 21st, 2017 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
sdschaffer
Mar. 19th, 2017 11:13 pm (UTC)
Why should they bother? There's no money in accuracy. There's a lot more money in clickbait: celebrity gossip, adorable viral videos of puppies and so forth. There's also money in feeding people's ideological preconceptions with 'news' (reality based or otherwise) tailored to tell them things they want to hear and nothing that challenges them.

Accuracy requires time and effort and, ultimately, seems to be irrelevant to a large portion of the American public, who will basically just go on and believe whatever most flatters their existing attitudes anyway.
Williamjames Hoffer
Mar. 20th, 2017 01:02 am (UTC)
Lazy Journalism
Ooops. They got to you didn't they? Don't let them get you down. As long as you do what is right, the rest will surely follow. Nah, I'm just kidding. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, you get beat. To quote a movie, the only thing I do anymore besides ASOIAF quotes, it is not in the fall, but in the rising afterwards that you find the measure of the man.
evan_adams
Mar. 20th, 2017 01:16 am (UTC)
gutenberg printing press
Imagine how got would be different if old Town invented a gutenberg printing press. Imagine the journalism by Raven.
Stringer Bill
Mar. 20th, 2017 01:33 am (UTC)
There is always the Christian Science Monitor.
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