Journalism Warning Labels

by Christopher Paul on August 14, 2010


I’ve always thought that some articles from major news organizations were basically fluff pieces put out by PR agencies or practically written by some corporate marketing department. Worse, I don’t even think that 1/3 of the journalists out there know what they’re talking about – especially when it comes to the stock market, economy & economic principles, and law (especially intellectual property).

You see it all the time, too. Flaky product announcements & fear-mongering stories of how such and such technology is destroying something we’ve done for the past 50+ years. Its one of the many reasons why I don’t read newspapers or magazines anymore. And I’m not going to their digital equivalents either. Yet most people don’t see what I see when I read what these “journalists” write; they don’t read between the lines and they fall for the tricks and either buy into the hype that is that new product or call in to their senator or local TV/radio station to warn about the evils of some new technology.


Actually, its that last one that makes me the most upset. Writers either don’t understand what they’re talking about or don’t bother to research the bullshit figures they spew. They never bother to understand why the internet affects the music and movie industries they way it does. Never once do they think about the laws of supply and demand and how they affect pricing on goods that can be digitally replicated in an instant (making supply infinite and driving prices to zero). And they can’t explain the BS facts about how the software industry suffers from [Insert Bogus Dollar Loss Figure Here] dollars worth of loss do to piracy. If the reporters would actually do some fact checking or just stop to think about the statistic they’re writing about, the story wouldn’t sound so dumb or completely one-sided.

Anyway… this long rant was just to say I like these labels that Tom Scott made and wish that all articles came with these affixed to them. He’s made more than the two I’ve shown here. The rest are quite funny – and should be required on most publications. He even includes a PDF template for you to print your own. The American version is here.

Journalism Warning Labels – via Daring Fireball

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