A couple weeks break in the family history project (Started July 2014, paused in July 2015).

I am going to take a couple of two maybe three week break from picture and family history blogs. I realized the other day when I started the random picture blog that I was getting bored with publishing pictures and family history only. I miss publishing reviews and more traditional Scott blog topics like Serial Stories and other things like that. So, a break is in order. I never want the family history project to be a chore.

Watching the jockeying for president right now I am concerned about the shift our country seems to have taken. It isn’t a horrible shift, but one that is a little concerning. The court of public opinion seems to be all consuming now.

That isn’t bad overall but it is new. Previously it was as important what you were about as what you said. Being the charged person meant you were innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Now it seems that people are allowed to convict in the court of public opinion rather than a court of law. In the court of public opinion it is as much who says what as anything remotely resembling facts. In the court of public opinion you are not always sworn in to testify you are simply activated by acquiring celebrity.

The other thing I find interesting is the information that explodes now rather than leaks. Organizations often leak information. The value of a leak is that they, the leaker controls the information that is released. You can effectively manage the nozzle that controls information flow. Once you control the flow of information you can manage the impact of that information.

Reality is that information that once leaked spread over a course of a week now spreads over the course of minutes. At a recent baseball game the crowd had gotten the rumor that one of their favorite players had been treated. They cheered his last at bat as if it were his last at bat for the organization ever. The ball player cried thinking that he would no longer be in the city and with the team. But the thing was the trade wasn’t real. So the rumor that became known by everyone in the end was only that a rumor and no one was being traded.

Journalism is the practice of building and managing sources. Of collecting verifying and ultimately validating information. The court of public opinion allows for the concept of celebrity based information providers. Not that celebrities are wrong. Many of them are wonderful intelligent people. Rather there are some celebrities that are famous because they will say anything.

We gain information in a heartbeat. We lose the validation and verification of that information. It becomes in the end a trade-off. What are you willing to give up? Are you willing to be a crying baseball player believing he has been traded from the only team he has ever played for? Or are you more interested in at least a more controlled process. Rumors are going to flow. But someone comes back and validates that rumor and if it isn’t true that becomes the story. Not the actual rumor.


back to just plain blogger

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