Monday, August 20, 2018

Tim Pool explains how activism is encroaching on journalism, out of economic necessity



I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the asymmetry of today’s blogger journalism, and I came across a major “Timcast” in May 2018 by Tim Pool.

The video is called “How Mentally Distressed Activists Took Over Journalism” and he often flashes a screen in bold letters “The Current State” which is like a subtitle.


Tim talks about what is today considered “fake news”.  Not all of it is untrue.  But the first category often does comprise fake, made-up, tabloid-like stories that are false, from small companies, individual bloggers, or bots overseas.  These are more likely to wind up being driven to “echo chambers” that keep Americans divided, as we have been hearing.  (I don’t think my own stories are fake.)

The next category is “Mission Driven Storytelling”, which Tim returns to at the end of the 20-minute video.  The third is “Hyper-Partisan”, where Breitbart is an example on the far right.  Tim is careful to note that most of the stories in these two categories are actually true.  The fourth is “satirical”, which may be like the Onion in print; but in today’s world many visitors don’t understand how to read satire, and sometimes satire has been taken down by social media monitors who don’t understand the ironies presented.

Tim then discusses the devolution of print media and the poor state of the job market in journalism, which is especially true of local news.  On August 9, I already wrote a blog post on a new company called “Civil.co” which wants to use digital currency tokens to pay journalists.  Tim pays heed to the student loan issue for many graduates in journalism.

He returns then to mission-driven story telling, which aims to go beyond factual reporting to encourage readers to take action, which may be political activism, or which may be genuine service to help others, or some mixture of the two.

Pool mentions that some activists see (perhaps gratuitous) "objective" reporting that is not deferential to oppressed minorities as "hate speech" by implication. 
   
I am concerned about this from the viewpoint of my own second career as a blogger, which has gone on essentially since the late 1990s, and which picked up after my 2001 career ending layoff in IT and some other interim jobs. I will come back to this again, but there is concern over the asymmetry of my own blogging, which simply depends on search engines to have political effect.  Even though I don’t put up impressive numbers, I know that it is effective.  But I get questioned on why I don’t do more personally for other people or support specific (often partisan) causes, some of them intersectional in nature. From a moral viewpoint, and even the practical “Black Swan” risks of the “skin in the game” argument (of Nicholas Taleb) that is getting more attention, that’s a good question that I will have to come back to soon.
Pool has a more recent video about journalists being attacked by Antifa, here.  Extremists or combative groups view journalists as "watchers" who benefit from "oppression" of "the people". Everyone must fight, in their view, rather like conscription. 


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