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Comments on: TGIF 9/26/08 Chronicling the Decline of Newspapers and the Rebirth of Journalism Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:12:53 +0000 hourly 1 By: paulgillin Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:12:53 +0000 Guys: Thanks for all your comments and observations about the obvious liberal bias of Rosen’s experiment. I should point out that I posted the item in the interests of highlighting an interesting application of Twitter, not to make a political point. It frankly matters little to me whether the subject of the experiment is John McCain or Donald Duck. The point is that Rosen is attempting to enlist a crowd to aggregate information that might not otherwise be noted. Professors are given wide latitude to do these kinds of things under the blanket of “academic freedom,” and their political biases often show through. Someone could do the same thing for the Obama campaign and it would be equally noteworthy.

By: Rajiv Vindaloo Sun, 28 Sep 2008 20:06:19 +0000 No, Kevin, you’re far from the only one that noticed. I was shocked when I originally read this post on Friday, but I was using an iPhone (which these days crashes every 2 minutes or so whenever Safari is running) so I wasn’t much inclined to try to bang out my thoughts at the time. Now that Looking Glass mentioned it again over on, I was reminded to return and say something about it.

First, I’m a bit saddened that Mr. Gillin posted it without even noting in passing the mindboggling level of bias it entails (and let’s face it, Rosen’s bias deserves at least an entire post of its own, particularly on a blog where the very subject is what’s killing newspapers). I hope Gillin at least noticed it himself, even though he didn’t reference it, because there’s just no getting around the fact that as long as you’re intentionally alienating anywhere between 25 – 75% of your audience (depending on the location of the newspaper), you’re risking failure no matter how else you fight for survival.

Second (and on this, those of us appalled by Rosen’s actions can thankfully smile), his attempt to generate slanted coverage appears to have been a massive bomb. I am a hardcore Twitter fanatic, with a lot of links to lots of other Twitterers in journalism, and I’d never even HEARD of “#spinewatch” until Gillin made this post on Friday. Then I looked at Outing’s blog post and immediately noticed that it had been made two weeks ago. So I did some poking around on all the various posts tagged #spinewatch, and pretty much saw nothing I hadn’t already seen a million times on various liberal blogs. No new data, or even new rumors. Much of it isn’t even news (Letterman’s attacks on McCain, etc.). And there’s not even much of that … after an initial flurry of activity, #spinewatch posts are now coming along at the rate of only a few per day. Assuming anyone truly relevant in the MSM is even following the #spinewatch tag, they aren’t even being told anything they’re not already aware of. As such, the only possible influence Rosen’s “initiative” could have is to make ten or twelve journalists already in the tank for Obama a little more rabid than they already are … at least for a few minutes after reading their Twitter page. And they’d forget even that much after a few minutes anyway.

In short, so what? Perhaps a copy editor at the Indianapolis Star read some #spinewatch tweets and decided to leave TWO entire paragraphs about the McCain camp’s so-called “facts don’t matter attitude” in that AP story they were cutting down to make fit in the tiny space alloted for it in the next day’s print edition, instead of just one. Truly a game-changer, that.

(Apologies for the run-on sentences and all, but I’ve been up to my eyeballs in bailout coverage for the last three days and I’m getting a bit tired.)

By: Evil Pundit Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:54:20 +0000 No, Kevin, you aren’t alone.

The overwhelming liberal bias that permeates the media is quite obvious to most people outside the echo chamber. It’s one of the things that’s driving the downfall of the press.

Journalists seem to be determined tlienate half their potential audience and destroy their credibility.

By: Kevin Gregory Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:39:36 +0000 Am I the only one who noticed NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen has asked Twitter followers to submit examples of “untruths by the McCain campaign,” but not the Obama campaign?