December 12, 2016 Last Updated 7:26 am

The battle over fake news is hardly about journalism and really about fight for power

Morning Brief: Report on Observer.com says Joe Nocera will leave The New York Times after 11 years for return to business writing, but this time for Bloomberg

This argument will get tiresome very quickly. The idea that the “mainstream media” is the real source of “fake news” is essentially the same argument that global warming is a hoax being perpetrated by a cabal of corrupt scientists. Like the world of science, it is impossible to get trained journalists to agree on anything if there is enough evidence for an opposing position. Besides, if the entire world of journalism is wrong, then that means the world of untrained journalism is the true journalism – and that makes no sense at all.

But getting to the truth is not what this is about, it is about winning the argument and winning political power. Truth has nothing to do with it.

fakenews-google-580

Forbes, Tom Basile:

The Real ‘Fake News’ is the Mainstream Media

Media outlets have again shown they are doubling down on the same strategy that has driven their own approval ratings close to – dare I say – Congressional territory. That’s right. Survey after survey finds the same media that has made beating up conservatives, Republicans, and religious institutions an industry has seen their tactics boomerang on them…

…First, they are advancing a strategy of attempting to tie the President-elect and his team to the so-called ‘alt-right’ and neo-Nazi, white supremacist lunatics. Despite Trump and his Transition Team issuing multiple statements denouncing the activities of a number of groups, the media still provided hours of coverage to small pockets of hate groups that used the election as a recruiting tool.

A sub-component to this was advancing a message that the country was in turmoil in the days after the election because of widespread protests against the newly-elected President. Even Fox News put a graphic on the screen that proclaimed there was “Anarchy in America.” Again, more sensationalized information that only bares a faint resemblance to the truth.

MediaMatters, Lis Power:

Right-Wing Media Are Using The Term “Fake News” To Attack Credible News Sources

Some right-wing media figures and outlets are attempting to twist and confuse the term “fake news” — a specific phenomenon in which information is clearly and demonstrably fabricated, then packaged and distributed to appear as a legitimate source of news — to attack outlets they disagree with. By redefining fake news in their own terms and claiming that reporting by outlets such as The New York Times and CNN constitute fake news, right-wing media figures are bolstering President-elect Donald Trump’s continued efforts to delegitimize mainstream news sources and their reporting, and muddling real concerns about fake news used as a weapon of active disinformation.

As public discussions about fake news reach critical mass, right-wing media figures and outlets have attempted to redefine “fake news” completely, downplaying the problem it poses. Rush Limbaugh claimed that fake news is largely “satire and parody that liberals don’t understand because they don’t have a sense of humor.” The Washington Free Beacon’s Bill McMorris described fake news as “whatever people living in the liberal bubble determine to be believed by the right.”



This might have been bigger news a few years ago, but I don’t think it will be now. Joe Nocera’s position at the NYT seems to have been diminished in recent years, and at 64, this is hardly an example of the NYT losing more young, progressive talent. In fact, based on his views regarding certain business issues, I think Nocera probably is now in a better fit than at the Gray Lady. Still, the amount of turnover at the Times has to be of concern, at least to paid subscribers.

Observer.com, Ken Kurson:

Bloomberg Poaches Star Business Writer Joe Nocera from New York Times

nocera-200The Observer has learned that former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has long been known to crave the reach and authority of the New York Times for his own media empire, has lured away star New York Times writer Joe Nocera. In an official announcement tomorrow, it will be revealed that Nocera is taking a senior position at Bloomberg Media.

According to a source familiar with the specifics of the deal, Nocera’s gig is wide-ranging and will touch a variety of products within Bloomberg, whose BusinessWeek title just abruptly fired editor in chief Ellen Pollock a year after losing her predecessor, wunderkind Josh Tyrangiel.



This article is less an opinion article on eBooks but a review of Matthew Rubery’s The Untold Story of the Talking Book, which itself is available in both hardcover and audiobook formats. The book, and the review, make good points about how the audiobook has become its own, distinct platform – related and intertwined with print books, yet also separate.

This was the hope for digital editions of magazines, as well – that they would be tied to print, but could become their own platform and artform. Why hasn’t it? I would argue that traditional publishers have seen digital editions as simply extensions of print, a way to keep the circulation numbers up, rather than a potential new platform. That doesn’t mean this won’t eventually happen, or that there aren’t publishers working today doing wonderful things with digital editions, just that we are not there yet.

The Washington Post, Kevin Canfield:

Audiobooks were set to destroy books — but instead, they opened a new world

untold-ebooksThe turn of the century was approaching, and so was the death of the book.

That’s what some were saying in the 1990s, as the Internet became ubiquitous. But in predicting print’s downfall, the prognosticators were 100 years behind the times.

“Phonography will probably be the destruction of printing,” said the narrator of “The End of Books,” a story published in Scribner’s Magazine in 1894. Others agreed that Thomas Edison’s new sound-recording machine would transform publishing. As Matthew Rubery notes in “The Untold Story of the Talking Book,” a number of writers of the late 1800s contended that “the recorded book was not merely an alternative to the printed book. It was the realization of what the book was always meant to do.”

Comments are closed.