Of all the great ideas Jay Rosen has had, I never really understood what made this one anything but self-evident. Fact-checking the news in real, or-near real-time, has been an obvious need for over 20 years, and the technology to do it was old school even before blogging, Twitter and Facebook. It's just that no one did it.
But sometimes it takes a famous journalism professor and social media geek to make the MSM see the obvious thing. And actually making them DO the obvious thing is a remarkable achievement; especially in this era of entrenched mediocrity in almost everything. With assists from people like me on Twitter, Jay Rosen hammered this idea home with Meet The Press, ABC, and just about anyone else that would listen. Jake Tapper finally did.
But in fact the whole Sunday format has to be re-thought, or junked so the news divisions can start over with a new premise. Of course the problem is that the people who would have to make that decision are the same people whose entire knowledge base and skill set lies in producing the "old" style of political television. That is what they know, so that is what they continue to do. I guess it's not hard to understand complacency of this kind. But do they really think we don't notice the growing absurdity of bringing to a common table people who agree on nothing?
Bags of kudos to Rosen for putting it on paper in his typically cogent way, and to Jake Tapper for having the good sense to nibble at his master's reigns and try something different.
This entire project is near and dear to my own work, so I have a vested interest in seeing ABC do this for more than a week. But even if I didn't, it would still be a big interest of mine.
There are clues to our future in projects like this, on many levels. So I will tune in to this on Sunday, and see if I can help it gain a little traction.
Please Retweet this post below using green button below. This "experiment" deserves everyone's support.
About Politifact.com — a project in which its reporters and editors "fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups"
About Jay Rosen — Jay Rosen is a press critic, a writer, and a professor of journalism at New York University. He is a strong supporter of citizen journalism, encouraging the press to take a more active interest in citizenship, improving public debate, and enhancing life. His book about the subject, What Are Journalists For? was published in 1999. Rosen is often described in the media as an intellectual leader of the movement of public journalism
Press Think (NYU) Rosen's Journalism Blog — Today we say media instead of "the press." But it's a mistake. The press has become the ghost of democracy in the media machine, and we need to keep it alive.
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