The Best Piece of Radio You’ll Hear In Your Life

Friday, January 03, 2014

Transcript

In 2013, news-item virality advanced from art to science. Business models are constructed on the sharing of stories irresistible for the hilarity, or inspiration, or shock, or outrage they engender. Truth, though, turns out to be optional. Bob speaks to blogger and journalist Luke O’Neil who took a look at this new internet information economy in an Esquire.com piece titled “The Year We Broke the Internet: An Explanation. An Apology. A Plea.”

Guests:

Luke O'Neil

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [1]

KtEdmonds from Brooklyn, NY

This piece flattens an otherwise interesting and relevant distinction between websites designed to generate viral stories and news institutions staffed by journalists. Why didn't O'Neil turn the viral story into a piece of journalism by writing a piece on his investigation? I'd love to read about how he stumbled on the "R trailer at a G movie" piece, investigated it, and learned if it was verifiable or not. That would accomplish two goals: remaining a journalist, and reminding people what journalism is about. The current process sounds like a missed opportunity.

On another note, the tone of this segment suggests that audiences aren't skeptical about what we read on the web. I'll speak only for myself, but with the belief that I'm not alone, and say that I've had the experience of finding out that I've been tricked into believing a false story. It's not a good feeling, and it's not quickly forgotten. However, sometimes I share a story, even if I think it might be false, because it's so outrageous that it "works" as either fact or fiction. Isn't there room for some good old myth busting in the news media? I'd share those stories too.

Jan. 04 2014 03:36 PM

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