I’m Not Here to Make the News

“One thing I’ve noticed about talking to certain types of press, particularly mainstream, is that they have a pattern in mind before they write about something, and the better you conform to the pattern the more coverage you get.” – Matt Mullenweg, Automattic.com

I did a little writing for my college paper. At the time I was there, the editors had a handful of stories they thought should be covered. The local movie theater using high-fat buttery oil on popcorn, for example. I didn’t. That’s not interesting, it’s annoying. Matt’s comments make it sound like quite a few people haven’t grown out of it.

Often when I too get calls from the press, it feels less like they’re reporting and more like they’re covering their ass on some fiction they just wrote.

Or just plain missing the interesting story.

When I turn the mic on someone for this podcast, I don’t know where the conversation will lead. I trust the conversation will be good, that they’ll share something interesting. Whether or not they do is up to your ears.

One Reply to “I’m Not Here to Make the News”

  1. There was a clip I saw the other day from someone at channel 4 as a video blog. The reporter was sent to the Hwy 36 construction zone to do a pre-packaged story.

    He’s fairly candid about the fact that that kind of story is already pre-determined before he went out there. What’s funny is how cynical he is about it while actually getting worked up about the number of cigarette butts on the side of the road by the stop light.

    It’s clear that much of “professional” journalism is actually going out to gather footage or quotations that match up to the story that’s been whipped up in the editorial meeting in advance.

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