Anyone else remember that hot second in 2007 when all the cool kids signed up for a new social-networking service called Virb and it was the rage for like, three weeks? No?
In a few weeks, a full year will have passed since we launched the new Virb — moving away from the social networking community, to an innovative way to “build your own website”. What an exciting first year it has been.
You are receiving this email because we are finally preparing to purge all remaining data from the old social networking days of Virb. Please take note that this content/data deletion will *only* affect your data if you have chosen NOT to migrate to the new Virb platform.
When we launched the new Virb last August, we told you we’d hang on to your old profile data for 6 months — making it easy for you to migrate to the new Virb, if you so desired. However, we decided to extend that deadline, giving you more time to check out Virb’s shiny, new website building tools.
We respect your content, content ownership rights and your privacy; so we’re pleased to announce we’ll be performing the purge of all old accounts & data in just three (3) weeks.
In other news, if you’d like to try out the new Virb, there’s still time to get your exclusive discount. It comes complete with an extended 30-day FREE trial and 50% off your first year! This special offer is automatically applied when you log back into Virb. This discount (and your old social network profile) will finally expire and be removed on Thursday, August 18th.
One reporter who said he went through that was Charles Begley, News of the World’s Harry Potter correspondent in 2001 when Brooks was its editor.
The then 29-year-old reporter said he wore a Harry Potter costume to work and officially changed his name to that of the fictional boy wizard, all part of the paper’s attempt to tap into the Pottermania sweeping both sides of the Atlantic.
On Sept. 11, hours after the fall of the Twin Towers, Begley was stunned to be chewed out by News of the World management for not wearing his costume. He said he was then ordered to attend the next news meeting in full Potter regalia.
At the risk of sounding like an old-school curmudgeon, the core issue here is how an ethos of best journalist practices are being installed in the new generation of web contributors. After all, plenty of reporters just like Lee are breaking into journalism at websites that don’t have editors closely supervising the flow of content to ensure that it has adequate sourcing, balanced accounts of significant controversies, and that it doesn’t stray into the minefields of slander and/or libel. (For the record, 99-percent of the posts that appear on The Cutline and its sister blogs pass before an editor’s eyes before being published—which is not, of course, to say we don’t ever make mistakes.)
The instinctive treatment of editing as a luxury that few nimble web operations can really afford has only grown more entrenched alongside the accelerated 24/7 digital news cycle. And it has translated into an overall sloppier standard for much of web-based journalism. More fundamentally, though, it’s a disservice to all the eager 22-year-old web journalists out there whose first jobs now come with a salary, but not a mentor.
The neat formulation in journalism is that reporters and editors are seekers after truth. The professional code says that the best journalists get scoops, though: They serve their readers by competing to bring the news home first. In the service of that competition, the professional code also lays out standards for how the game is won, and where the moral limits of repertorial energy in the pursuit of exclusives lie.
When a paper rots, it is because instead of placing ethical limits on the energetic pursuit of a story, a practical one is put down, if only implicitly. Whatever it takes to get a story should be done unless it’s likely to damage the credibility of the paper. It’s a self-referential code, in which journalists, editors, and top management can begin to believe that short of being caught out, anything goes.
Credibility here is not a byproduct of getting the goods while following the rules; it’s a show. That is, if people are still believing what you say, you’re still credible, even if you’re lying, cheating and manufacturing the truth. And so the more one’s methods of reaching “the truth” break the rules and threaten credibility, the harder one has to work in the margins of journalism. The harder your editor or chief executive must lobby Parliament, must put ministers in their pockets, must pay off cops, must run the editorial board like its own massive special-interest group. It’s a process that bids itself upward until it goes bankrupt, every time.
"You might think the British press holds a monopoly on media controversy this month, with the shuttering of a 168-year-old tabloid over a phone-hacking scandal. Still, at least one Yank media concern has won some recent unwelcome notoriety—fittingly enough, for airing misleading video footage on the national holiday commemorating American independence from the British crown."
Riding shotgun Zed lets it be known he’s never heard of Pretty Girls Make Graves and isn’t too amped to be doing so because they took their name from a Moz song. And I know the response but don’t make it myself but instead listen as Sam-A-Lam-A-Ding-Dong lets him know that might be true but the Mozzler himself jacked it (pun intended, what….) from a Jack Kerouac story so using it is really not stealing but repatriating the name. And I can tell Zed isn’t totally sold but doesn’t know how to counteract and just throws out that it’s not about what side of the ocean it’s on at all.
“Although noir comes in many shapes and sometimes even in color, it’s always powered by the darkness of the soul. Lying and cheating are the salt and pepper of noir—it’s a place where love is reserved for suckers and the innocent are fair prey for the strong like Murdoch.”—Press Box