The Business of News – There’s Something About Forecasts and Predictions

Saturday, 21 May, 2011

If you have to forecast, forecast often.” – Edgar R. Fiedler in “Across the Board: The Three Rs of Economic Forecasting — Irrational, Irrelevant and Irreverent”

These are my personal views and don’t represent anyone else or any organization. I recognize this is a hard debate that doesn’t have a “right” or “wrong” answer.

At some point, “reporters” in the news business have to ask themselves what makes a story? Should a news media outlet report on a “story” because some US stations started reporting on it? And then your local competitions (in Canada or anywhere doesn’t matter) start reporting it? Should reporters follow? Or may be news is sometimes just entertainment, just a business to make some money, and a looser standard is applied?

I posted this elsewhere yesterday, out of annoyance. For the record.

“Thank you press & media for reporting on crazy prediction in last few days AND tomorrow! We really have nothing better to do than wasting our time!

P.S. Thanks in advance for reporting on this same nutty group’s prediction in 2021 or whenever because stupid/nutty/crazy news widely reported everywhere is better than no news day, right?!”

P.P.S. I did not include any links in this post in order not to give the crazy story any added attention and, more importantly, to try to turn this into a general discusion.


Thank you media … for reporting on crazy/nutty predictions

Friday, 20 May, 2011

Thank you press & media for reporting on crazy prediction in last few days, tomorrow AND probably the day after! We really have nothing better to do than wasting our time, right?

P.S. Thanks in advance for reporting on this same nutty group’s prediction in 2021 or whenever because stupid/nutty/crazy predictions widely reported everywhere is better than no news day, right?! I mean, the show news must go on, right?


How To Report The News

Sunday, 31 January, 2010

UK Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker has this interesting and funny take on the news language, and “How To Report The News” in the following clip.

Here is an excerpt from Charlie’s column “‘Take Me Out is a cross between Blind Date and Boots’ Here Come The Girls campaign’

If you’re not familiar with the [TV show] format (maybe you had harpsichord practice last Saturday), it’s a studio-based cross between Blind Date and Boots’ mortifying Here Come The Girls campaign. I’m willing to bet Here Come The Girls was a working title. It’s hosted by Paddy McGuinness, who arrives on the studio floor by descending down a huge glittery pipe, like a showbiz turd being flushed into the nation’s lap. He introduces 30 women – yes, 30 – who march in jiggling their tits and blowing kisses at the camera, cackling and screaming and winking like a hen night filling the front row at a Wham! reunion. It’s a crash course in misogyny.

The girls line up behind a row of illuminated podiums, and the first of the men arrives, sliding down the same pipe Paddy used earlier (if you’ll pardon the expression). Said bloke must impress the women by speaking, dancing, performing party tricks, and so on, like a jester desperately trying to stave off his own execution at the hands of a capricious female emperor. If he does a back-flip and six of the girls didn’t like the way his buttocks shook as he landed, they switch their podium lights off, thereby whittling down his selection of available mates, and by extension, the gene pool.

[…] The clever bit – in format terms at any rate – is that the girls return each week, so we get to know their “characters”. And they’re all “characters”. There are mouthy ones, stupid ones, sweet ones, gothic ones, young ones, old ones, and identical twin ones. All human life is here, apart from anyone you’d actually want to spend the rest of your days with. Or more than about an hour on a Saturday night, come to that.In summary: yes, it’s horrible. But that’s its job.


May be later: Google Wave changes news

Monday, 23 November, 2009

Interesting read and some examples of “How Google Wave is Changing the News“. Very neat early day experiments.

At the moment, the early adopters of Google Wave are trying things out and playing with it. And this group is likely biased towards the tech savvy ones and spread around the world (thus not necessary local in your city nor even care about things happening in your country). I think it will be dangerous to draw much conclusions from people participating in Wave conversations and then concluding their views as representative of your town/city/society as a whole.

Surveying people “randomly” over the the phone in the early early days of telephone will bound to produce biased result with people who are “rich” enough and “savvy” enough to want a phone in their home. It is probably not fair to survey people on their satellite phones (or Google Wave) to get their views on Oprah ending her show in 2011 and then try to draw some general conclusion. :)

P.S. I think Google Wave has the potential to be a powerful tool, but we need to see how the experiments pans out first and also what we learn from these experiments. For example, a Wave that collects factual eye witness accounts of a notable event (a fire, a concert, an accident, etc) may be a neat way to use Wave.

Now I want to see some Canadian news media doing some Waving! How about CBC News, as the leader in many things internet, you want to give it a try?


%d bloggers like this: