Sunday, August 26, 2012

This is Not a News Story

(but it's the BEST JOURNALISM EVER!)

Every. Single. Time. some tragedy happens, members of the "New Media"--or "Old Media" outlets with web content--release, and promote, the same article (both the same as before and the same as everyone else's). It is quite possibly the most template-y, "insert X here" type of article imaginable. Therefore, it is the best. It's ingenious. Journalism is supposed to be easy, after all--easy to do, easy to write, easy to read. As a reporter, you just repeat stuff that other people repeat! How much thinking could you possibly need for that? Again, it shouldn't be hard--if it is, you're doing it wrong!

When you hear about a tragic event or major news story, your first thought, save perhaps concern, prayer, or both, is to ask for more information.

And The Huffington Post, among others, ingeniously answers a question you didn't even ask.

Sure, you may wonder, "What are the details? What led up to, and followed, this moment?"

However, what you really want to know, if you'll take a second to think about it, is:

"But what do celebrities think about this event?"

Wait, wait! Don't panic! It's okay! The Huffington Post and E! Online have got your back. You've come to the right place for the hard-hitting, heart-pounding journalistic acumen required to look at the brief, irrelevant thoughts on any random celebrity's twitter feed in order to repeat those words verbatim. It takes a rare kind of skill to spend a few minutes screen-capping twitter messages from celebrity accounts. (Don't worry: if you can't find enough of those, gimmick twitter accounts will do just fine! They're... kind of like celebrities!)

Too often does this hard work go unrecognized. This, this right here, is real journalism. You can tell because it's such a finely-tuned formula that it's capable of being reused any time it's needed! You can't say that about the leak of the Pentagon Papers, can you?

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