We get the journalism we spend our attention on

You saw my last post where I showed how our journalistic resources are being squandered on a sporting event.

But now is time to look into the mirror. Truth is there’s lots of great journalism being done to uncover the important issues of our day. We just don’t care.

Rick Smolan is one of the most successful photographers of our time. His book, Day in the Life of America, is still the only coffee-table photo book to reach the top of the New York Times Bestseller list.

Yet last week when I visited him in his home in New York City he told me that only three newspapers reviewed one of his latest works: Blue Planet Run, which includes stunning photojournalism from hundreds of the world’s top photographers about the coming water crisis (which is already killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world and is a more immediate problem for billions of people than Global Warming).

Look in the mirror. Do you care? I don’t. I’d rather watch a sporting event.

Our server logs demonstrate you are the same way. You’d rather watch the Olympics too and you know it.

Anyway, Rick and Amazon are giving away the book for free now so you can see some great photojournalism. It’s a stunning book. Shocking.

Speaking of sporting events, I interviewed the guy who designs sports stadiums around the world (he designed Seattle’s Safeco Field, Los Angeles’s Staples Stadium, among others. I learned a lot about his creative process).

I also, last week, interviewed one of the developers behind NBC’s Olympics Website.

See, even I am giving my audience what it wants: sports! :-)

We get the media we spend our attention on.

Comments

  1. Yeah, I pretty much agree with you on this. Although we might disagree on the cause of it, I personally believe it’s the generation that really doesn’t care about anything, but they like to make themselves (and others) think so.

    BTW, the Amazon link isn’t working for me.

  2. Yeah, I pretty much agree with you on this. Although we might disagree on the cause of it, I personally believe it’s the generation that really doesn’t care about anything, but they like to make themselves (and others) think so.

    BTW, the Amazon link isn’t working for me.

  3. Funny thing I haven’t paid attention to the games at all, I see people twittering occasionally or a blog post like this but I can’t tell you what’s really happening there, I just don’t care. Ever since the move to every 2 years for obvious additional sponsoring dollars and the lack of true live coverage on tv, it really doesn’t interest me. It’s a marketing opportunity for the Networks and little else.

  4. Funny thing I haven’t paid attention to the games at all, I see people twittering occasionally or a blog post like this but I can’t tell you what’s really happening there, I just don’t care. Ever since the move to every 2 years for obvious additional sponsoring dollars and the lack of true live coverage on tv, it really doesn’t interest me. It’s a marketing opportunity for the Networks and little else.

  5. HMM

    Maybe this is why PR people act the way they do. Journalism has slipped to low level events, celeb gossip and sports. Journalists are forced to pump out content and don’t have time to truly do their research. Its amazing how many hacks will take Google and Facebook announcements as binding truth and not question them.

    Journalism is going down hill, forcing PR to act the same. Its a two way street. Things need to change

  6. HMM

    Maybe this is why PR people act the way they do. Journalism has slipped to low level events, celeb gossip and sports. Journalists are forced to pump out content and don’t have time to truly do their research. Its amazing how many hacks will take Google and Facebook announcements as binding truth and not question them.

    Journalism is going down hill, forcing PR to act the same. Its a two way street. Things need to change

  7. I think your right with the exception of adding the point that the mainstream (most popular) news sources do seem to be drastically swayed by shock value and celebrity.

    I personally want the facts about issues and events and your post is correct that I can go find that when that is in fact what I want.

    I still have this little bit bitchy point that I wish I could find that easier. I wish I knew about this water shortage picture book as readily as I knew about the Olympics. Not more, just the same.

  8. I think your right with the exception of adding the point that the mainstream (most popular) news sources do seem to be drastically swayed by shock value and celebrity.

    I personally want the facts about issues and events and your post is correct that I can go find that when that is in fact what I want.

    I still have this little bit bitchy point that I wish I could find that easier. I wish I knew about this water shortage picture book as readily as I knew about the Olympics. Not more, just the same.

  9. Blue Planet Run is a *great* book. The challenge is when dealing with the “world’s greatest problems” in the media if it happens today, it is news…if it happens everyday…it is not.

    Media coverage of poverty, malaria, aids, emerging market innovation, developing markets education, millennium development goals, genocide. So many “better world” places and subjects the media could “shine a light on” but again, when it happens every day it is not news…even when most of those things affect 3.5 billion of the 6.5 billion people on the planet.

    Who is the new young Michael Phelps of making the world a better place?

    Who is the Microsoft of better world technology?

    So many people that could help make the world better in some small way, but leave it the “rich” and “famous” assuming it’s up to them to fix.

    Stay strong.

    N: Mark Grimes
    P: 503-502-0185
    W: http://www.ned.com/
    T: http://twitter.com/neddotcom
    C: Ned – a better world, every day
    M: 4888 NW Bethany Blvd, K5-222 Portland, OR 97229
    O: 107 SE Washington St, Suite 520 Portland, OR 97214

    2007 Ned Accomplishments & Milestones
    =====================================
    78,850 youtube neddotcom channel video views
    59 microloans: http://www.kiva.org/lender/neddotcom
    64 better world videos: http://www.youtube.com/neddotcom
    345 members: http://www.ned.com/

  10. Blue Planet Run is a *great* book. The challenge is when dealing with the “world’s greatest problems” in the media if it happens today, it is news…if it happens everyday…it is not.

    Media coverage of poverty, malaria, aids, emerging market innovation, developing markets education, millennium development goals, genocide. So many “better world” places and subjects the media could “shine a light on” but again, when it happens every day it is not news…even when most of those things affect 3.5 billion of the 6.5 billion people on the planet.

    Who is the new young Michael Phelps of making the world a better place?

    Who is the Microsoft of better world technology?

    So many people that could help make the world better in some small way, but leave it the “rich” and “famous” assuming it’s up to them to fix.

    Stay strong.

    N: Mark Grimes
    P: 503-502-0185
    W: http://www.ned.com/
    T: http://twitter.com/neddotcom
    C: Ned – a better world, every day
    M: 4888 NW Bethany Blvd, K5-222 Portland, OR 97229
    O: 107 SE Washington St, Suite 520 Portland, OR 97214

    2007 Ned Accomplishments & Milestones
    =====================================
    78,850 youtube neddotcom channel video views
    59 microloans: http://www.kiva.org/lender/neddotcom
    64 better world videos: http://www.youtube.com/neddotcom
    345 members: http://www.ned.com/

  11. I don’t know if all the cameras are $9000. Many are probably EOS 1Ds Mark II and EOS 1D Mark II which are down below the $5000 mark now that the Mark IIIs are out. (LOL).

    I think the thing you’re failing to consider is that the number of journalists and photographers is directly related to our insane copyright system. I’m pretty sure that all those photographers are working for multiple news outlets. Each owns their own photographs and cannot use the photographs of others.

    It is actually a fantastic model of how too much protection of “intellectual property” results in massive duplication of effort, massive wastes of resources.

    News outlets make decisions on what they believe is important to you and I and that is where they send their resources.

    I don’t know much about how the “journalism” industry works, but it would seem to me that pooling resources would be more effective. If there were photography companies that hired the photojournalists and posted them in different locations, and at special events maybe they would cut down on the number of lenses.

    Then again, looking at the photo you posted, is that really that many for the entire world?

  12. I don’t know if all the cameras are $9000. Many are probably EOS 1Ds Mark II and EOS 1D Mark II which are down below the $5000 mark now that the Mark IIIs are out. (LOL).

    I think the thing you’re failing to consider is that the number of journalists and photographers is directly related to our insane copyright system. I’m pretty sure that all those photographers are working for multiple news outlets. Each owns their own photographs and cannot use the photographs of others.

    It is actually a fantastic model of how too much protection of “intellectual property” results in massive duplication of effort, massive wastes of resources.

    News outlets make decisions on what they believe is important to you and I and that is where they send their resources.

    I don’t know much about how the “journalism” industry works, but it would seem to me that pooling resources would be more effective. If there were photography companies that hired the photojournalists and posted them in different locations, and at special events maybe they would cut down on the number of lenses.

    Then again, looking at the photo you posted, is that really that many for the entire world?

  13. “our journalistic resources”

    …whose, exactly? And who gets to decide what is a valuable use of “our” journalistic resources and what is “squandering” them?

    Are you laboring under the impression that there’s some “right” thing to be publicizing and a bunch of “wrong” things that shouldn’t be?

    Put another way: who says that sports reporting is some sort of monumental waste?

  14. “our journalistic resources”

    …whose, exactly? And who gets to decide what is a valuable use of “our” journalistic resources and what is “squandering” them?

    Are you laboring under the impression that there’s some “right” thing to be publicizing and a bunch of “wrong” things that shouldn’t be?

    Put another way: who says that sports reporting is some sort of monumental waste?

  15. link works here when not opening it in a new tab but in this window. javascript?

    Anyway:
    We get the topics we want.
    But even for topics we are interested in, we don’t get the reports we need.

    Have you compared US, German and Russian media on the current conflict? The sum gives you an idea of the situation but they are very different. And sure if I had just Russian news I wouldn’t understand why you would disagree with Russia stopping Georgia from genocide like behaviour. If I just had US media I’d think that Russia did all the main destruction. (okay, maybe I had to few media coverage from the US).
    That’s the way you build a cold war: create two regions on the earth you give only selected info so they come to very different conclusions.

    But maybe that’s just your point. Actually you want to hear only the news that fits your world view.
    We have to get much more information on the rational of people that disagree with us!

  16. link works here when not opening it in a new tab but in this window. javascript?

    Anyway:
    We get the topics we want.
    But even for topics we are interested in, we don’t get the reports we need.

    Have you compared US, German and Russian media on the current conflict? The sum gives you an idea of the situation but they are very different. And sure if I had just Russian news I wouldn’t understand why you would disagree with Russia stopping Georgia from genocide like behaviour. If I just had US media I’d think that Russia did all the main destruction. (okay, maybe I had to few media coverage from the US).
    That’s the way you build a cold war: create two regions on the earth you give only selected info so they come to very different conclusions.

    But maybe that’s just your point. Actually you want to hear only the news that fits your world view.
    We have to get much more information on the rational of people that disagree with us!

  17. Great post Robert, it’s the truth too. One thing I found refreshing about the Primary race was that since so many were interested in it,the media gave it to us.

    Also, I couldn’t find the free version of the book on the new Amazon link you posted.

  18. Great post Robert, it’s the truth too. One thing I found refreshing about the Primary race was that since so many were interested in it,the media gave it to us.

    Also, I couldn’t find the free version of the book on the new Amazon link you posted.

  19. Long ago in my college days I had a philosophy professor who did a great job highlighting a similar issue. We spent a great deal of time discussing Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death” and how television and electronic media were impacting the quality of discourse in American life.

    While I certainly agree that the general public has pushed much of journalism
    straight into the realm of entertainment, I am hopeful that blogs like this one + other new media outlets can take up the torch (no pun intended) and help focus people’s attention on more pressing issues – like running out of water.

    Thanks for the post and the link to the PDF!

  20. Long ago in my college days I had a philosophy professor who did a great job highlighting a similar issue. We spent a great deal of time discussing Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death” and how television and electronic media were impacting the quality of discourse in American life.

    While I certainly agree that the general public has pushed much of journalism
    straight into the realm of entertainment, I am hopeful that blogs like this one + other new media outlets can take up the torch (no pun intended) and help focus people’s attention on more pressing issues – like running out of water.

    Thanks for the post and the link to the PDF!

  21. Water and Food Crisises, Global Microwaving, Economic Meltdowns, War Hell and Pandemics anew. Doom, gloom, everything always a crisis, pay attention now, spend money on this or that, Congress and VCs must fund, we must tax you silly, create drama, non-profits and fascist legislation, demand attention, scream, yell louder, childish temper tantrums never ceasing. The End is Near, please have your notebooks and cameras ready.

    It’s not that people don’t care, it’s just that 99% of all this fluff is prefab over-hyped manufactured fakery, the false religions of anxiety. When cause for real concern, the news responds accordingly.

  22. Water and Food Crisises, Global Microwaving, Economic Meltdowns, War Hell and Pandemics anew. Doom, gloom, everything always a crisis, pay attention now, spend money on this or that, Congress and VCs must fund, we must tax you silly, create drama, non-profits and fascist legislation, demand attention, scream, yell louder, childish temper tantrums never ceasing. The End is Near, please have your notebooks and cameras ready.

    It’s not that people don’t care, it’s just that 99% of all this fluff is prefab over-hyped manufactured fakery, the false religions of anxiety. When cause for real concern, the news responds accordingly.

  23. We do feed the monster, I guess the question is; which came first?… the monster, or the feeder?

    I honestly see the human brain as a kind of evolutionary mutation… We’re just chimps with brains, I don’t think we’re capable of handling all of the power and technology we have correctly… Who knows, maybe we’ll learn… or maybe the earth will just get pissed and get rid of us, thereby restoring the balance of nature… Personally I think the insects deserve a chance at global domination… the lizards and humans have both had their day ;)

  24. We do feed the monster, I guess the question is; which came first?… the monster, or the feeder?

    I honestly see the human brain as a kind of evolutionary mutation… We’re just chimps with brains, I don’t think we’re capable of handling all of the power and technology we have correctly… Who knows, maybe we’ll learn… or maybe the earth will just get pissed and get rid of us, thereby restoring the balance of nature… Personally I think the insects deserve a chance at global domination… the lizards and humans have both had their day ;)

  25. I do quite agree with you on this.

    It kind of makes me want to smack greedy journalists. You would think, for the common goal of reporting, that resources would be shared.

    But no, this one is taken from an angle 2 degrees different than yours, so it’s ours, and it’s unique to us.

    It pisses me off. Anyone ever heard of Creative Commons?

    Also, I can’t really say that I haven’t watched the Olympics. I saw about 2 minutes of a really slow soccer game at a Bank Of America while waiting on someone to help me close my account there.

  26. I disagree with Flack Attack, this doesn’t cause PR people to go “down hill.” PR people cause themselves to go down hill when they fall into the trap of believing that all the journalists are only interested in “low level” stuff. There are plenty of journalists and publications out there willing to take the time to listen to and report on a valid news story that intrigues readers by adding value to their lives and businesses. Scobleizer is one of them. Good PR people are interested in the value of news for news sake, and there are some of us that take the time to develop a good story because we love the news and respect its importance same as many journalists.

  27. I disagree with Flack Attack, this doesn’t cause PR people to go “down hill.” PR people cause themselves to go down hill when they fall into the trap of believing that all the journalists are only interested in “low level” stuff. There are plenty of journalists and publications out there willing to take the time to listen to and report on a valid news story that intrigues readers by adding value to their lives and businesses. Scobleizer is one of them. Good PR people are interested in the value of news for news sake, and there are some of us that take the time to develop a good story because we love the news and respect its importance same as many journalists.

  28. I do quite agree with you on this.

    It kind of makes me want to smack greedy journalists. You would think, for the common goal of reporting, that resources would be shared.

    But no, this one is taken from an angle 2 degrees different than yours, so it’s ours, and it’s unique to us.

    It pisses me off. Anyone ever heard of Creative Commons?

    Also, I can’t really say that I haven’t watched the Olympics. I saw about 2 minutes of a really slow soccer game at a Bank Of America while waiting on someone to help me close my account there.

  29. It’s worse here. On many occasions, the top news story at 6PM and front page of the newspaper was who the Dolphins or Marlines hired or fired, or what celebrity is on what reality show. Meanwhile, there are wars going on & cops are getting killed.

  30. It’s worse here. On many occasions, the top news story at 6PM and front page of the newspaper was who the Dolphins or Marlines hired or fired, or what celebrity is on what reality show. Meanwhile, there are wars going on & cops are getting killed.

  31. Scoble: I’m sure you are getting sick of me coming in and – once again – mentioning the project I’m working on spot.us – but this scrapes the side of what I’m working on.

    There are passionate people out there: Everyone is passionate about something: the environment, their kids school, healthcare, etc.

    As news organizations dwindle – perhaps these people (who are a minority compared to those that want to watch sports) will be able to band together and share the cost of hiring a journalist to cover the issues that are important to them.

    I’d love the chance to talk with you more in depth about this (show you the mock-ups for the site).

    I’m hoping we will launch in October – but there are a million.5 things to do before then. It seems you are giving this area a lot of thought lately – so your input would be valuable.

    Hope all is well. Keep on rocking. (feel free to send me a quick note: david at Spot dot us

  32. Scoble: I’m sure you are getting sick of me coming in and – once again – mentioning the project I’m working on spot.us – but this scrapes the side of what I’m working on.

    There are passionate people out there: Everyone is passionate about something: the environment, their kids school, healthcare, etc.

    As news organizations dwindle – perhaps these people (who are a minority compared to those that want to watch sports) will be able to band together and share the cost of hiring a journalist to cover the issues that are important to them.

    I’d love the chance to talk with you more in depth about this (show you the mock-ups for the site).

    I’m hoping we will launch in October – but there are a million.5 things to do before then. It seems you are giving this area a lot of thought lately – so your input would be valuable.

    Hope all is well. Keep on rocking. (feel free to send me a quick note: david at Spot dot us

  33. Excellent point about water crisis…. but I think you do care and I think most of us do – it’s just that we are skeptical we can make changes happen. Luckily, thanks to the internet, there are a lot of projects like KIVA.org where you can actually see the changes you make.

    Rather than the old vague “goodie two shoes” approaches we need more projects where we actually see and measure an ROI on our charity investment. People are generous when they know it really matters, so it’s up to all of us to find ways to effectively bring the needed global infrastructure improvements at reasonable, measurable cost.

  34. Excellent point about water crisis…. but I think you do care and I think most of us do – it’s just that we are skeptical we can make changes happen. Luckily, thanks to the internet, there are a lot of projects like KIVA.org where you can actually see the changes you make.

    Rather than the old vague “goodie two shoes” approaches we need more projects where we actually see and measure an ROI on our charity investment. People are generous when they know it really matters, so it’s up to all of us to find ways to effectively bring the needed global infrastructure improvements at reasonable, measurable cost.

  35. “We get the media we spend our attention on.”

    duh.

    you’re the one that stood in front of countless magazines and books in the airport kiosk and then claimed twitter is more interesting.

    maybe next time you can pick up an economist, new yorker, smithsonian, mit technology review.

    it will require reading more than 140 characters at a time…

  36. “We get the media we spend our attention on.”

    duh.

    you’re the one that stood in front of countless magazines and books in the airport kiosk and then claimed twitter is more interesting.

    maybe next time you can pick up an economist, new yorker, smithsonian, mit technology review.

    it will require reading more than 140 characters at a time…

  37. “Human history . . . becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
    H.G. Wells

    I spent ten years as a journalist at Time magazine (classic Old Media) and I’m delighted that so many fresh and alternative voices have joined the fray. There’s certainly plenty of great reporting out there, and a larger variety of viewpoints than ever thanks to the web – but you’ve got to find it.

    Unfortunately, Americans aren’t looking hard enough.

    Nothing wrong with watching sports, but any hope for an informed citizenry will require a bit less entertainment and a bit more education. Consider: a 2007 Pew Research Center poll found that one-third of adults could not name their state’s governor, up 8% from 1989. Yep. One-third. You can bet they know who Lindsay Lohan is . . .

  38. “Human history . . . becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
    H.G. Wells

    I spent ten years as a journalist at Time magazine (classic Old Media) and I’m delighted that so many fresh and alternative voices have joined the fray. There’s certainly plenty of great reporting out there, and a larger variety of viewpoints than ever thanks to the web – but you’ve got to find it.

    Unfortunately, Americans aren’t looking hard enough.

    Nothing wrong with watching sports, but any hope for an informed citizenry will require a bit less entertainment and a bit more education. Consider: a 2007 Pew Research Center poll found that one-third of adults could not name their state’s governor, up 8% from 1989. Yep. One-third. You can bet they know who Lindsay Lohan is . . .

  39. “the coming water crisis”??? You can blame Algore for people not caring about this or that “coming crisis”. Almost none of these so called crisis every materialize. In the 70′s “the experts” were convinced there would be global cooling. Algore predicts that the year after Katrina the hurricane season would be much much worse. What happened? Fewest hurricanes in years. In the late 60′s and early 70′s we were told overpopulation would result in thousands upon thousands dying of hunger in the 80′s. Uh…don’t recall see that news story in the 80′s. Maybe I was out of the country that week. And for anyone 100 years old or less, how long have we been hearing that we will soon run out of oil.

    Blame Algore and the like for the public not showing any interest in stories like this. 9 times out 10 they end up being Chicken Little stories.

    Now, I will grant you that mainstream TV news reporting sucks. Local news is THE WORST. But, that’s because its no different than a TV show. They do what they need to do to sell advertising. No one wants to see a story about some unlikely “coming crisis”. Doesn’t pay the bills. “Dirty Laundry” does.

  40. “the coming water crisis”??? You can blame Algore for people not caring about this or that “coming crisis”. Almost none of these so called crisis every materialize. In the 70′s “the experts” were convinced there would be global cooling. Algore predicts that the year after Katrina the hurricane season would be much much worse. What happened? Fewest hurricanes in years. In the late 60′s and early 70′s we were told overpopulation would result in thousands upon thousands dying of hunger in the 80′s. Uh…don’t recall see that news story in the 80′s. Maybe I was out of the country that week. And for anyone 100 years old or less, how long have we been hearing that we will soon run out of oil.

    Blame Algore and the like for the public not showing any interest in stories like this. 9 times out 10 they end up being Chicken Little stories.

    Now, I will grant you that mainstream TV news reporting sucks. Local news is THE WORST. But, that’s because its no different than a TV show. They do what they need to do to sell advertising. No one wants to see a story about some unlikely “coming crisis”. Doesn’t pay the bills. “Dirty Laundry” does.

  41. When I was in high school in the 70s the media hyped that there was a coming ice age that would destroy life as we know it. Now it’s global warning that will destroy life as we know it.

    Everything we eat causes cancer. Now cell phones do, too. The purest water is bad for our kids’ health because it doesn’t have flouride in it.

    When I had babies, the “experts” said to put them on their stomachs so that if they spit up, they wouldn’t choke to death. Now the “experts” say you must put them on their backs so that they don’t smother in the mattress.

    Take Lipitor and you won’t have a heart attack. Oh, wait, looks like Lipitor might cause brain problems and it doesn’t do anything to prevent heart attack.

    The trouble with media is that they don’t understand that human beings actually know very little and can control even less. I expect that the people who do ignore media live happier lives.

  42. When I was in high school in the 70s the media hyped that there was a coming ice age that would destroy life as we know it. Now it’s global warning that will destroy life as we know it.

    Everything we eat causes cancer. Now cell phones do, too. The purest water is bad for our kids’ health because it doesn’t have flouride in it.

    When I had babies, the “experts” said to put them on their stomachs so that if they spit up, they wouldn’t choke to death. Now the “experts” say you must put them on their backs so that they don’t smother in the mattress.

    Take Lipitor and you won’t have a heart attack. Oh, wait, looks like Lipitor might cause brain problems and it doesn’t do anything to prevent heart attack.

    The trouble with media is that they don’t understand that human beings actually know very little and can control even less. I expect that the people who do ignore media live happier lives.

  43. Just about the entire planet comes together once every four years. Athletes spend near their whole life working for this achievement. And you don’t think that warrants major press coverage?

    Your point is well taken. Their is an imbalance. But let’s not undersell the significance of such a world event.

  44. Just about the entire planet comes together once every four years. Athletes spend near their whole life working for this achievement. And you don’t think that warrants major press coverage?

    Your point is well taken. Their is an imbalance. But let’s not undersell the significance of such a world event.

  45. What do I have to do to inform myself?
    A. Watch the news or B. listen to the 3000 scientists working for IPCC who got a nobel prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.
    Yep, we need independent scientists looking at important issues and we need bloggers to investigate on what’s happening to society, like Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/opinion/06friedman.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    Of course, these reports makes me feel powerless, insignificant, angry so -human logic- I watch the Olympics. Why? Because this empowers me while I’m sitting on my sofa. I supercharge myself WITHOUT feeling guilty. My server logs demonstrate you are the same way.

    So, unless you are The ONE, this poses a boring but valid question;
    How can we make sure our children inherit a clean green world? You can early adapt the right way for us by reporting on what’s happening in the real world,
    the friction between new technology and politics. Don’t you agree that it is a bloggers task to mobilize the needed social cohesion for change? Anyway! to paraphrase you: We get the bloggers we spend our attention on.

  46. What do I have to do to inform myself?
    A. Watch the news or B. listen to the 3000 scientists working for IPCC who got a nobel prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.
    Yep, we need independent scientists looking at important issues and we need bloggers to investigate on what’s happening to society, like Friedman http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/opinion/06friedman.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    Of course, these reports makes me feel powerless, insignificant, angry so -human logic- I watch the Olympics. Why? Because this empowers me while I’m sitting on my sofa. I supercharge myself WITHOUT feeling guilty. My server logs demonstrate you are the same way.

    So, unless you are The ONE, this poses a boring but valid question;
    How can we make sure our children inherit a clean green world? You can early adapt the right way for us by reporting on what’s happening in the real world,
    the friction between new technology and politics. Don’t you agree that it is a bloggers task to mobilize the needed social cohesion for change? Anyway! to paraphrase you: We get the bloggers we spend our attention on.

  47. @Dawn: They say ignorance is bliss.

    People would rather not hear/read bad news —> advertisers are unwilling to support bad news —> bad news doesn’t get reported —> people start denying the bad news even happened in the first place.

  48. @Dawn: They say ignorance is bliss.

    People would rather not hear/read bad news —> advertisers are unwilling to support bad news —> bad news doesn’t get reported —> people start denying the bad news even happened in the first place.

  49. Christopher – I don’t know if you believe half the stuff you write or if you’re purely a sensationalist. Presuming your heart is really in what you write… do yourself a favor and download Rick and Jennifer’s free PDF at Amazon.

    Fresh water is a real and present problem across much of the world. We (the human race) are populating places where fresh drinking water is not abundant. Yes, we’re stupid animals in that sense. We pick where we live, etc.

    Doesn’t make it any less an issue though.

    I’m with you on a lot of the hoochie coo that passes for the cause du jour. This one’s not in that fold. Hope you’ll take a few to learn about it and judge for yourself. (perhaps you already have…)

  50. Christopher – I don’t know if you believe half the stuff you write or if you’re purely a sensationalist. Presuming your heart is really in what you write… do yourself a favor and download Rick and Jennifer’s free PDF at Amazon.

    Fresh water is a real and present problem across much of the world. We (the human race) are populating places where fresh drinking water is not abundant. Yes, we’re stupid animals in that sense. We pick where we live, etc.

    Doesn’t make it any less an issue though.

    I’m with you on a lot of the hoochie coo that passes for the cause du jour. This one’s not in that fold. Hope you’ll take a few to learn about it and judge for yourself. (perhaps you already have…)

  51. Whenever there’s a business model, you’ll find that the product will inevitably follow the money.

    News has been a package business for ages — the popular, sometimes fluffy stories subsidize the more in-depth reporting that happens because editors think (usually correctly) that it’s worth reporting.

    One of the big problems with the internet re: news is that it’s effectively de-packaged journalism, and provides the statistics to prove it. Suddenly there’s clear business logic in cutting out the “important” stuff.

    I think, though, that there are a lot of people that care about news outside of sports, and important news coverage will continue to happen. It may not happen on the same scale, but then again, people probably weren’t reading it when it was packaged either.

  52. Whenever there’s a business model, you’ll find that the product will inevitably follow the money.

    News has been a package business for ages — the popular, sometimes fluffy stories subsidize the more in-depth reporting that happens because editors think (usually correctly) that it’s worth reporting.

    One of the big problems with the internet re: news is that it’s effectively de-packaged journalism, and provides the statistics to prove it. Suddenly there’s clear business logic in cutting out the “important” stuff.

    I think, though, that there are a lot of people that care about news outside of sports, and important news coverage will continue to happen. It may not happen on the same scale, but then again, people probably weren’t reading it when it was packaged either.

  53. Fresh water is a real and present problem across much the of the socialist-backwater developing-third-world wastelands. But then so is, well, everything. Enter public sector water distribution, you get “shortages” even in Cherrapunji, India, one of on the wettest places on the earth. A good deal of these “crises” are politically generated, and then politically “fixed” — just like any good consultant, if not broken, must break to fix, validate your reason for existence.

    And yes, I believe everything, I say. Being absurd to highlight absurdity, is a common form of wit.

  54. Fresh water is a real and present problem across much the of the socialist-backwater developing-third-world wastelands. But then so is, well, everything. Enter public sector water distribution, you get “shortages” even in Cherrapunji, India, one of on the wettest places on the earth. A good deal of these “crises” are politically generated, and then politically “fixed” — just like any good consultant, if not broken, must break to fix, validate your reason for existence.

    And yes, I believe everything, I say. Being absurd to highlight absurdity, is a common form of wit.

  55. Since when did the USA become “around the world” … it might be amazing to people from the USA … but the world is made up of other countries too. I live in the USA, but am not from here, and it cracks me up when people talk about the “whole world” … usually they just mean the USA but are to self centered to think about anything outside their country.

  56. Since when did the USA become “around the world” … it might be amazing to people from the USA … but the world is made up of other countries too. I live in the USA, but am not from here, and it cracks me up when people talk about the “whole world” … usually they just mean the USA but are to self centered to think about anything outside their country.

  57. @Robert This is a response to this and your last post. I really am surprised and dismayed at the myopia displayed by these posts. If you were anyone else I’d be accusing you of linkbait but you of all people wouldn’t need to, so it can’t be that.

    I mean WOW! So you are the arbiter of what is relevant and important now. Seriously? Journalistic resources are wasted on sport? Are you for real?
    I find it stunning for someone who works with social media and social networks so much to not understand the phenomenan of sport in popular culture.

    It’s like this, imagine Techmeme and TechCrunch and technorati and google and your blog and every other technology news source combined.
    Now imagine that the whole world really cares about it, imagine that in the same way your common interest and expertise in a technology can allow you to socialise with people about it, that there is something immediate and real and dramatic that allows other people to experience the same excitment and joy that you do about technology.
    Imagine that the number of people who are empowered by this huge series of social objects and social networks includes almost THE WHOLE WORLD.

    Imagine being a poor man living in shit in Africa and seeing a young kid from a village like yours perform and to be able to say “yes we’re small and insignificant, but we can compete on the grand stages with anyone”.
    The social significance and importance of this kind of thing drives down into the heart of the human soul.
    It’s the ability to say, “that guy who won, he’s one of us, he’s like me”. A natural derivative of which is “if he can excel in his field then so can I”.

    Isn’t that a large part of the value of stories about founders of startups and new technologies. Stories of how someone came out of nowhere and overturned the established order are the lifeblood of the technology community.

    I’ve said for a long time that the Geeks and Jocks are way more alike than they would ever care to admit.

    PS> I’m also annoyed that you started THIS post with the statement that you’d “already shown how journalistic resources are being wasted on sport” when you have done nothing of the sort.

  58. @Robert This is a response to this and your last post. I really am surprised and dismayed at the myopia displayed by these posts. If you were anyone else I’d be accusing you of linkbait but you of all people wouldn’t need to, so it can’t be that.

    I mean WOW! So you are the arbiter of what is relevant and important now. Seriously? Journalistic resources are wasted on sport? Are you for real?
    I find it stunning for someone who works with social media and social networks so much to not understand the phenomenan of sport in popular culture.

    It’s like this, imagine Techmeme and TechCrunch and technorati and google and your blog and every other technology news source combined.
    Now imagine that the whole world really cares about it, imagine that in the same way your common interest and expertise in a technology can allow you to socialise with people about it, that there is something immediate and real and dramatic that allows other people to experience the same excitment and joy that you do about technology.
    Imagine that the number of people who are empowered by this huge series of social objects and social networks includes almost THE WHOLE WORLD.

    Imagine being a poor man living in shit in Africa and seeing a young kid from a village like yours perform and to be able to say “yes we’re small and insignificant, but we can compete on the grand stages with anyone”.
    The social significance and importance of this kind of thing drives down into the heart of the human soul.
    It’s the ability to say, “that guy who won, he’s one of us, he’s like me”. A natural derivative of which is “if he can excel in his field then so can I”.

    Isn’t that a large part of the value of stories about founders of startups and new technologies. Stories of how someone came out of nowhere and overturned the established order are the lifeblood of the technology community.

    I’ve said for a long time that the Geeks and Jocks are way more alike than they would ever care to admit.

    PS> I’m also annoyed that you started THIS post with the statement that you’d “already shown how journalistic resources are being wasted on sport” when you have done nothing of the sort.