Making the news
Rewriting Making The News
Thursday, 20 May 2004 20:43 Hrs
❝ 'It's not enough for journalists to be mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the messages and the myths that surround it' - John Pilger

Dan Gillmor is writing a new book, "Making the News" Oreilly yet to be published [0] and asking for RFC. Added some /. comments.

Subject: Ideas for Making the News ~ Ch 2
From: goon 
Reply-To: goon
Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 11:34:15 +1000
X-Evolution-Format: text/plain
Hi Dan, I've been reading through the preview of **"making the news"** and have a few comments...

re: Chapter 2: The Technology that Makes Making the News Possible

I've been on slashdot for a while (uid 2774) and there's a few things that I can observe wrt /. and how news can be portrayed. Just like mainstream media, alternative media is still subject to problems. With slashdot problems occur in:


Moderation judgement and bias (caveat emptor) High moderation gets eyeballs. Moderators can make an arbitrary decision (not necessarily based on how technically/factually accurate a post is) on what they think is a good answer. So answers to Microsoft questions/posts tend to garner negative moderation for valid responses. Moderators also gain moderator status due to experience not knowledge so the sig/noise ratio can be high depending on what topic a question is asked. (see for a better example of factual moderation. Talk to merlin aka randall schwartz. read to see what I mean about ~ signal to noise ratio over time.)

Story volume

More is (not) better story volume dilutes the talent pool. commenting on stories. I notice that in areas thin in people who actually understand the topic result in a lot of meta discussion on the topic and not facts. I miss reading posts from experts in field.


The lack of systematic follow up and sense of history /. follows up on stories but nothing like newspaper journalists look for stories. /. tends to cover what others (mainstream media) have covered with feedback.


Editors comment on the story (but don't have insight) /. editors are pretty green. they get away with murder (sometimes) matching a quick headline and comment to a story and apply 180 to what the linked story actually says. /. ed's are seasoned in some ways more than any journo trained editor for the tech insight, implications and technical context.

Story selection

How stories are chosen (far from transparent, can be manipulated) what is not reported can sometimes be as interesting as what is reported. /. gets the majority of stories from existing media, books or questions from readers. Stories not reported in mainstream media have less chance being reported on /. unless asked by a lone reader.


Why /. is in some way a electronic re-incarnation of the letters page in traditional print media. Rowdy, opinionated, funny and sometimes wrong /. is infinitely a more interesting than mainstream press. /. has grown through the cracks of mainstream media expressing it's multicast voice in an increasingly unicast press.

regs PR


[0] 2016JAN01, link rot strikes again. Originally at and The link now points to a more reliable slashdot article


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