Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Priory_of_Sion

Failures in Historic/Scientific/Military Journalism

147 posts in this topic

This is actually a big deal in Russian historical circles. For the uninitiated, here's a quick summary:

 

In the fall of 1941, Panfilov's 316th Rifle Division fought against German tank armies in the defense of Moscow. They fought at Volokolamsk and did a pretty damn decent job considering that they had no proper anti-tank weapons aside from anti-tank rifles. The result of the division's fighting earned it an Order of the Red Banner and the title of Guards (8th Guards Rifle Division). 

 

Soon after, a story appeared in Soviet newspapers about a company of 28 men who destroyed 14 tanks at Dubosekovo at the cost of their lives. Conveniently, the journalist who wrote the story did not witness the battle. A lot of details he writes in the story don't add up, plus some of the men who allegedly died turned up later in the war, embarrassingly enough one of them was a German collaborator.

 

Documents-wise (since we all love our documents), there is no record of this feat in the journal of the division (the division claims 4 tanks in that sector) and no German record was found. However, aerial photographs show trenches in the area and archaeologists discovered about 700 bodies in the vicinity. 

 

Most positions on the issue seem to be that while the myth of 28 Panfilov's Men is just a myth, the entire division fought heroically and there's nothing wrong with a movie about that. Calling the movie "28" lets them hook onto a nice story for marketing purposes. However, there are always outliers, like the usual suspects calling everything Soviet a lie and the opposite, those who state that wartime tales of heroism are beyond reproach and attempting to investigate them is an insult to those who fought and died.

 

As for the movie, I haven't seen it yet, but I intend to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somehow I doubt that USA today:

Quote

The United States military has dropped a 22,000-pound bomb on ISIS forces in Afghanistan, ABC News confirmed through sources at the Pentagon.

It's the largest bomb the U.S. has ever used in combat.

 

http://archive.is/9Xzwq

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am somewhat surprised the thing has gotten so much attention in the media with recent events, but I suppose the 'Mother of all bombs' part, plus Trump being president, is rather enticing to write about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Journalists are retarded, inbred magpies.  They are attracted to things that are shiny, new, controversial, and that are easily misapprehended by their vestigial brains.  If the US Army chromed all the artillery shells used in the Mosul offensive and wrote "DICKS FUCK PUSSIES" on them the journalists wouldn't be able to shut up about it for a week.  It would have no practical significance whatsoever, but the Bloviating class would fellate each other for their chattering and award themselves Pultizers galore for their hard-hitting war coverage and Speaking the Truth to Power.

 

Not that any of this is news.  Everyone worth speaking to has known that journalists are sub-human for several decades.  What is novel and interesting is that the Age of Trump has shown that in addition to being useless idiots, journalists are also very predictable useless idiots.

LoooSeR, T___A and Jeeps_Guns_Tanks like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone is upset about a USA TODAY TODAY TODAY! info graphic being wrong?

 

This has never happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just nitpicking wrong.  It's so wrong that it undermines the whole point of the infographic.  The fact that this is routine shows how utterly useless these "people" are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Collimatrix said:

It's not just nitpicking wrong.  It's so wrong that it undermines the whole point of the infographic.  The fact that this is routine shows how utterly useless these "people" are.

Sorry. This is my "insider" aspect coming out since having been a newspaper reporter once upon a lifetime and attending various journalism function, "McNews" as USAToday is derisively called by other journalists is kind of notorious for being a heavy on pictures, light on content publication.

 

That's not saying the other newspapers are better, it's just that USAToday is the one that gets a lot of the guff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I guess another thing, the individuals who are charged with laying out the paper, making sure pictures go here, pretty little sidebars go there, a tasteful amount of white space goes in between this 800-word block of letters there, don't even read the stories they're putting onto the paper. Which is why the headlines to a story are often totally different than what the story says. That infographic of the the person and bombs was designed by someone in an entirely different news department by a "graphic artist". 

 

So "Jim Michaels" and "Tom Vanden Brook" who wrote the story that this infographic was attached to had little to zero creative control over it.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/13/mother-all-bombs-dropped-isis-tunnel-compound-afghanistan/100420948/

 

Now I'm not saying they did a good job either in their article, it's just the way it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Donward said:

And I guess another thing, the individuals who are charged with laying out the paper, making sure pictures go here, pretty little sidebars go there, a tasteful amount of white space goes in between this 800-word block of letters there, don't even read the stories they're putting onto the paper. Which is why the headlines to a story are often totally different than what the story says. That infographic of the the person and bombs was designed by someone in an entirely different news department by a "graphic artist". 

 

So "Jim Michaels" and "Tom Vanden Brook" who wrote the story that this infographic was attached to had little to zero creative control over it.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/13/mother-all-bombs-dropped-isis-tunnel-compound-afghanistan/100420948/

 

Now I'm not saying they did a good job either in their article, it's just the way it is.

 

Interesting.  I'm a little hard-pressed to imaging how doing it that way would be more efficient, or at least, would increase efficiency by an amount that would justify all the fuck-ups it would inevitably create.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reason is that layouts used to take a lot of time and effort, and they just kept those jobs around because the people doing them would be pissed if they got replaced by streamlined media software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

I think the reason is that layouts used to take a lot of time and effort, and they just kept those jobs around because the people doing them would be pissed if they got replaced by streamlined media software.

The mantra of media in the digital age might as well be "this used to take hundreds, and now employs tens. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/16/2017 at 10:50 AM, Collimatrix said:

 

Interesting.  I'm a little hard-pressed to imaging how doing it that way would be more efficient, or at least, would increase efficiency by an amount that would justify all the fuck-ups it would inevitably create.

 

I can only speak for newspapers since that is what I worked at. Television news has something similar where producers are the ones who do all the work of actual journalism and they get good looking people to be in front of a camera in order to say lines.

 

But newspapers are an actual technologically sophisticated entity that involves a team of individuals working like an orchestra to transmit bales of paper that comes in 500 pound rolls into little folded sheets with writing and pictures on them that are delivered to your doorstep. And as such, a lot of different tasks have to be accomplished by differently trained individuals who have various deadlines to hit.

 

At smaller publications, many of these are performed by one overworked and underpaid and soon to either quit or get fired or move to another job employee. But at larger publications, there are different departments. And we're not just talking the sports department or the photographers but a variety of ad staff who are trying to sell ads. And you have the ad production people with the graphic arts knowledge to make the ads. Classifieds team. Legals team, which are in charge of putting together the legal notices that appear in papers. Secretaries. Security guards. A newspaper librarian. And going in the opposite direction, you have various copy editors, assistant editors, editors of various departments (sports editor, photo editor, etc). You'll have the news editor who is in overall control of the news reporters. And a managing editor who oversees the entire creative department. And that person will report to the publisher who oversees the financial running of the paper (ad sales, distribution, liaisoning with owner/investors).

 

Getting to the original topic. Graphics designers are essentially Arts majors. Your average news reporter will not possess the skills to also be a graphic designer. They're basically English majors. And even if they did have the skills, they don't have the time or the inclination. Their job is to pound out stories, get them written by various deadlines, and make any factual corrections to the story that is needed. Afterwards, a block of text is directed towards the newspaper layout team (copy editors and various department editors) who then produce each section of the paper. News. Local. Sports. Editorial/columns. Lifestyle for instance. Each department will be producing little mini-newspapers that go together when they are sent down to the printing department. In the old days, this was all done manually with linotype, which are big contraptions which had molten lead which were formed into letters and words which were then transferred in trays to the press. I was involved with the final days of offset printing where one would physically print off a dummy of the paper, where you would physically cut and piece news stories together along with photos and headlines and the masthead and whatever.

 

This dummy paper would then be taken to the print shop where it would be... umm... printed. It involved a fucking HUGE camera which took giant negatives which were transferred onto transparencies which were fed into the printing press and I never really got into it in too much detail because the whole thing stank and spit ink and the guys working there looked the sort who paid for sex a bit too frequently.

 

Graphics design programs like Pagemaker and Indesign and whatnot allowed you to do all that work on a computer which sped up the tempo and you no longer needed to print off paper dummies but could just send off the digital file to the printers who could do whatever it is they did with it.

 

At a daily newspaper, generally the deadlines for stories which occurred that day are the late afternoon, early evening. Sports department is a bit later since baseball games frequently end at 10 or 11 pm and a hole in the paper is held for those sort of stories. So the reporter is done with their story like at 4pm to 7 pm and is gone home or is drinking or sleeping with an intern at the mayor's office. The people who are putting together the actual paper are working into the evening. And those are your assistant editors and copy editors and the sort who are forced to work late nights. One can imagine their quality. This is usually when the graphics stuff is getting finalized. Photos and infographics and things like that. So you can see the reporters don't really have a chance to talk and work with that department. 

 

Sometime around 11 pm to 1 am (depending on the size of the paper) the paper is "put to bed" as far as the editorial team is concerned and  a final product is delivered to the printing room. At that point the printing press fires up (actually it has already fired up and is printing the classified ads and sections of the paper with earlier deadlines like Lifestyles and the Editorial section). Front page news goes through, local section and then sports. Sometime at 3 am or thereabouts, the papers, folded, bundled and stacked by automated machinery (assuming it didn't break down) get sent to distribution where they are loaded onto trucks which deliver them to grocery stories, paper machines and your doorstep or post office box.

 

Now the world that I described is essentially one that existed up until the mid-2000s. The hey day of newspapers were in the 1990s where newspapers in major metro areas would sell for a half billion dollars or more. Now the only reason newspapers can stay in business is because many of them are selling their real estate assets to pay the bills. Or they become a vanity project like Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com buying the Washington Post so he can use it to smash his enemies.

 

Now newspapers still go through the same dance that I mentioned. But now they have webpages where newsrooms are in a constant race to give away their product for free by posting it online as quickly as possible with almost zero fact checking of articles that way consumers aren't forced to buy newspapers and which makes it so they no longer have to deal with pesky things like making revenue from advertisements or classified ads.

 

As such, you run into instances where mistakes are made on the newspaper's webpage which are run by the webpage goons who no doubt spend most of the day masturbating to anime. I never had much experience with that world. And when I did, the guys smelled of stale semen and despair. 

 

So if you are interested, you too can go to school to become a journalist where, if you're lucky and the right sort of minority, you can be hired and exploited for five years until financially you are no longer able to endure the work schedule and quit. Whereupon you'll be replaced by another indistinguishable ethnic sounding byline. 

Toxn, Collimatrix and Scolopax like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0