Monday, July 21, 2008

KAR: Tomorrow's Strib, Yesterday

Back during the Great Blog Proliferation of Aught-Four, it was widely predicted that this new medium held great promise. The days of the legacy media were numbered, some said, because with all these new eyes on the ground coupled with a medium that had the capability of reaching a huge, world-wide audience, news could be instantaneously transmitted to the masses. Any news. News that wouldn't get reported in the broadsheets or network news programs because of space or time constraints. If something of note were to occur, anyone with an internet connection would be able to find it somewhere on the web, often shortly after it happened. No more stodgy editors sitting in their ivory towers deciding for us what was or was not important enough to report! Behold the dawn of the democratization of information! Let a thousand flowers bloom!

Well, it didn't work out that way. Instead - at least in the public affairs genre - we've basically gotten a bunch of activist blogs shilling for a party or candidate and slagging on the rival; yawn inducing yellow journalism. Seriously: nobody gives a shit about how much cash on hand Steve Sarvi's campaign has in the second quarter. Nobody, with the possible exception of all the other drone blogs "reporting" the same thing.

And don't get me started on the level of the "commentary" these people churn out. It's somewhat akin, if still inferior, to Moonchild's famous commentary on one of his own recent accomplishments: "It's a huge MONGO poop."

We here at KAR have always strived for impertinence; to take the road less traveled. We do not claim to be "citizen journalists" or "online commentators" like some other deeply deluded and self important bloggers. Public opinion polls are a dime a dozen and, frankly extremely boring, except to those who are too banal to understand sports. But if some guy dies because he had his common law wife shove too much sherry wine up his butt, you can expect wall to wall coverage on the matter with some of the most incisive commentary on the internet.

In short, we - I - like to write about stuff that interests us, or things that lend themselves to a good joke.

Or a bad joke. We're not much about quality control either.

But you, as discerning ThunderJournal consumers already knew that.

I mention all this, because I noticed this story in the Strib this morning. It appears several days after I published this post - a Photo ThunderJournal of dried-up Lake Delton.

Now, of course, each piece - mine and the Strib's - has their own merits. While both articles related to the same subject matter, and both contained nouns, verbs and the occasional adverb there were some striking differences. For instance, my post featured five stunning photos of the flood's aftermath, while the Strib's story (in the dead-tree version) only printed two. And one of those pictures was just of some guy. However, the Strib's story - again, appearing 4 days after my own - contained interviews with actual people; something that I neglected to do, as I really didn't feel like doing that. And while both stories mentioned all the tree stumps, my story was the only one that exposed the buoy purporting to mark a submerged rock as a sham. I think this is conclusive evidence of shoddy reporting on the Strib's part.

And it all happened because I thought a dried up lake looked cool. So I took a bunch of pictures.

See? We can scoop the Strib when we're not even trying. Imagine what we could do if we did try.

(Hell, imagine what we could do if for some reason the only stories deemed worth reporting all had to do with anuses. Then we'd totally clean up.)

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