Time to Talk Seriously About Media Control

December 26, 2012 12:32 pm

by Mike Hassinger · 24 comments

Because of abuses like this:

That’s a screencap (to which I added the red and yellow boxes) of WSB Radio’s website, available here. In light of recent events, that headline is not only incorrect, but irresponsible. It may be time to seriously consider licensing journalists. I mean, after all, the Constitution, which was “written with muskets in mind,” clearly never anticipated the instant communication afforded to anyone via the internet.

mountainpass December 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Here’s another a CNN report:


[Monday’s shooting illustrated the need to address gun control and mental health issues, Pickering said.

“For the last 20 years we have been turning people loose and de-institutionalizing people, and I think we’ve swung too far,” Pickering said. “I think there are still people that need to be in institutions that are a danger to themselves or others. And this is a classic example.”]

Notice Chief Pickering never said anything about gun control.

Stefan December 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

That’s a WGN report based on a CNN wire. The wire piece was stripped down by WGN and not published in its entirety. You can’t really blame CNN for that – and I am not even sure if the intro line you quoted is in the actual wire – I couldn’t find it.

mountainpass December 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Actually the original CNN article had it in it. It was changed when it was updated. So the WGN report was where I was able to get the original. Many other outlets have the non-updated original: http://www.bing.com/search?q=Monday%E2%80%99s+shooting+illustrated+the+need+to+address+gun+control+and+mental+health+issues%2C+Pickering+said.&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IE8SRC

AMB December 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Don’t y’all get tired of being on the wrong side of issues?

Mike Hassinger December 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Depends on the issue. In this case, it’s impossible to be on the wrong side of media reform.

Mike Stucka December 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

FWIW, before Sandy Hook happened I was organizing a newsroom gun range outing for that evening.

John Konop December 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

What is your big government solution?

mpierce December 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Corrections must given the same prominence as the error.

If a newspaper screws up the story on page 1 above the fold, the correction must be issued page 1 above the fold with headline in the same font & size as the original headline.

John Konop December 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm

How about just not buy the newspaper or create competition?

mountainpass December 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Let’s go after the law-abiding!
Map: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?
The map indicates the addresses of all pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties. Each dot represents an individual permit holder licensed to own a handgun — a pistol or revolver.

heroV December 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

So are you upset that this information is public or that someone collected this public information together and put it on a map?

mountainpass December 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I’m upset that we must get a license in the first place. This is a great example of why it’s a bad idea.

Even though it was legal for the paper to do it should it have?

Stefan December 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

why don’t you look at it another way. as a helpful guide to criminals of what houses not to break into?

seenbetrdayz December 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

As a gun owner I laughed at this story because basically the newspaper just marked every home *not* on that map as being ‘open season’ for criminals. I won’t laugh, of course, when someone gets shot or robbed because criminals are no longer in doubt as to which homeowners are armed and which ones aren’t . . . but I guess the liberal media didn’t think that far ahead on this one.

Stefan December 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

missed your comment before commenting – my fault.

IndyInjun December 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm

There is little or no established media on the left or the right that have a shred of credibility left.

Doug Deal December 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

Indeed. The rush to be first, combined with the misguided notion of “wanting to change the world” through journalism have devastated the reliability. The reporting of fact, cannot be motivated by a desire to change minds or they no longer remains facts.

Too many in the press only seem to report what pleases them, instead of giving a straight up reporting of events.

atlanta unfiltered December 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

The WSB post strikes me as sloppy but not necessarily abusive or irresponsible. I know from long personal experience that getting a news organization to correct online content — even if you’ve worked there for decades and have irrefutable proof in your hand of the inaccuracy — can be extremely difficult. But it’s because of human nature and time constraints, plus a resistance to paying for copy editors in the online business model, not a vast left-wing conspiracy. (Full disclosure: Cox Enterprises sends me a monthly pension check.)

Having said all that, how would you propose licensing journalists and where would you draw the line? Would I need a license for what I post at AtlantaUnfiltered.com? Would Peach Pundit?

greencracker December 27, 2012 at 8:25 am

“PP Front-Page Poster Calls for Bigger Government, more Regulations”

PP won’t need a license b/c they’ve never gotten anything wrong …

Well … ok, they’re good/fast at correcting problems anyhow …

Yea, I know, boy do I know, that newspapers/TV may be slow/unable at correcting online articles, but is it not true that there are not enough people in a newsroom anymore to constitute a conspiracy, much less do copy editing?

mountainpass December 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

A 19 year old Convicted Felon shoots son is called a “Man” in article:

Bond set for DeKalb County man accused of shooting infant son

But if they are talking about law-abiding 18-21 year olds:

Senate passes gun bill for teenagers

Ed December 27, 2012 at 8:38 am

Not sure if Mike is serious…

seenbetrdayz December 27, 2012 at 9:18 am

Not sure if you are wearing out the not sure if serious meme.

Ed December 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

When it ceases to be apt, it will cease to be used.

Doug Deal December 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

I love it when one of Mike’s satires gets treated as serious commentary by people to blind to see the parallels with some other big government solutions being bandied about. If you think hard, I bet you can figure it out.

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