Scathing Review of the Press from an Expert

If you don’t know Danah Boyd (aka fuzzy hat girl) you don’t know one of the most influential thinkers in the social software / web 2.0 / whatever you call it space. apophenia (her blog) has a great post today on dealing with the media from an expert’s view point. From the post.

  • Dealing with the press takes a LOT of time and is completely exhausting and often doesn’t help you get your point across.
  • There are many "experts" who have a lot to gain from being in the press all the time.
  • American press competition does not produce better articles,
    but instead encourages scary articles that will entice readers to read
    more.
  • "Fair and balanced" promotes experts who can keep scary or emotional stories flowing.

and she goes on:

This is why reporting is often so problematic. It’s not about truth,
it’s about what all of the relevant players have to gain/lose and who
can out-do each other. Scary stories work much much better for press
than statistics. Fear sells better, it makes better stories, and more
experts have something to gain from it.

The motivation factor is interesting to note. Particularly given the intermingling of author speaker consultants and academia.