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Should be required reading …

July 9, 2012
by

… for all news consumers. But, given the constraints of the calendar and the syllabus, I can’t even require it of you right now. Still, I strongly recommend that you read SCOTUSblog’s long deconstruction and analysis of what went wrong — and right — with the news media’s initial reporting on the Affordable Care Act ruling. This is one of the most incisive critiques of news media I’ve read in my 30-plus years of reading almost nothing but. Fascinating insights into journalistic practice, especially new media infrastructure and processes. Includes anecdotes about a major (failed) hacking attempt to bring down SCOTUSblog’s website right at the crucial minute and about how SCOTUS’s recalcitrance to distribute news of the announcement (it opted to unbox hard copy of the decision, delayed its posting of it to the web, then sat foolishly as its weak site crashed and stayed down for nearly a half-hour), paired with POTUS’s system for receiving the news not only left the president without reliable, actionable information for several minutes (not that the timing should have mattered to him) but also left markets vulnerable to manipulation (as they always are). This part of the bottom line should come as no surprise since we learned about it that same day: CNN and Fox both fouled up big time. What may sadden us but should, instead, stimulate your imagination about better potentials and possibilities out there, is how badly the integrated electronic media networks — and social media in particular — served news consumers. Few people seem to want to read this part of the bottom line these days, but: Journalism’s core value of getting it right still matters most.

P.S. This is not the post your Droid is looking for. For this week’s graded assignment, be sure to comment on the post below. (Although, I welcome comments on this post, too.)

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