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How to help Fark help mainstream media call attention to the flood crisis in Nashville. Also, Fark's favorite headlines for 5/2 - 5/8
Posted by Drew at 2010-05-11 2:18:57 PM, edited 2010-05-11 2:38:14 PM (61 comments) | Permalink
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5761 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 May 2010 at 2:20 PM (3 years ago) | | share: more»
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In Florida hanging down at the Poynter Institute working on their 5th Estate Project. Things weren't too bad in KY after the storms, there isn't a river or lake going through Lexington. There is one about 15-20 miles away though which is where all the water generally goes. The water that doesn't turns into weird lakes and creeks which not coincidentally occur in the same places every time this happens. Which means there are no structures built there either. Not to say it never happens but it doesn't happen often.
Nashville however has a river, and after taking the brunt of last week's storm the river apparently decided to reclaim most of the town. Unfortunately for Nashville, the news cycle is already innundated with articles about the attempted Times Square bombing and the probably eventually much worse oil rig disaster in the gulf.
Which prompted Andrew Romano at Newsweek to write a piece called "Why the Media Ignored the Nashville Flood"
Basically his point is the reasons there's little coverage is there are two other disasters going on, and also cites something I'll call "media momentum" whereby stories get coverage because there already is a lot of coverage on them. He also says that the disaster didn't have a narrative, which is the reasons MSM can tell you WHY you should care.
NYC: because it's in NYC.
Gulf spill: Kills turtles.
I think Romano's pretty much on target, but he missed one piece (probably due to space constraints if I had to guess). Based on what I see from where I sit (which, if Journalism is the entire planet Earth, I live on the moon), the reason Nashville didn't get much coverage is pretty much exactly what Romano says it as. As a non-journalist who runs a big ass news aggregator I'd also like to toss into the blame pot the fact that people flat out aren't clicking on the flood articles. If they were, there would probably be followups. Yesterday morning 10Connects.com snapped a quick photo of a redneck with a shark in his pickup truck. 200,000 pageviews later they've assigned beat reporters to finding this guy. Etc.
The greater point here is that we've moved from a news climate where the story determined its own importance to where the audience determines the story's importance. Man that sounds like some BS that a "social media expert would say". But I don't mean by people tweeting it or fb liking it or redditing it or whatever. It comes down to one simple thing: journalism outfits need money, this takes priority over "importance". It always has to varying degres, marketing departments in every industry are always in a tug of war with production over what should be the best course of action. When money gets scarce though, marketing departments get a louder voice and more pull. Should it be that way? No. For example, I also think we should live in a meritocracy and that beer should be $1 for a 12 pack and I'm not having any luck there, either.
In short, news consumers end up with the media coverage they deserve.
So, here's a possible solution: if anyone living in Nashville would like Fark to help rectify the problem of little or no news about the flood, please email me directly anything you feel absolutely HAS to get out about the flood. I'll turn it over to my crack team of monkeys with typewriters and we'll come up with a compelling, traffic-driving headline for it and put it on the main page. Because Fark is all about taglines, less so the actual articles themselves. Maybe we can help MSM provide a little narrative and help them cover a dire and dangerous situation like they should.
Will this work? Damned if I know. Let's give it a shot
Headlines Of The Week for Sun 2010-05-02 to Sat 2010-05-08:
Today on Fear-Filled Mad Libs: INSECT BITES during PREGNANCY can cause BIRTH DEFECTS
Rollercoaster riders get stuck upside down for 20 minutes after poncho gets stuck in rails. If we controlled our borders better he probably wouldn't have been there
"Giant box" could be key to oil spill containment, according to engineering firm of Duggar, Gosselin, and Suleman LLC
Nigerian President dead. Widow makes plea for help in getting his money out of the country
Robber targets gas station. Worker gives him a free fill-up of leaded
SeaTac partially evacuated after smoking bag found on tarmac. Amy Winehouse's manager apologizes, explains that she got lost
Maple trees are being stolen in Washington state. Police on the lookout for syruptitious behavior
Texas man tries to kill his ex-wife with a bomb made from salad bowls, promptly gets tossed in jail
Headline: No charges for corpse parked outside GlenOak High School. Great. Now zombies are going to think they can park wherever the hell they want to
British women annoyed that their partners are more interested in their iPhones than having sex. In fairness, the iPhones are easier to turn on and have a mute function
Seattle police caught on camera threatening to beat the "Mexican piss" out of man. No word yet on how they knew he had Corona
Ballplayers with special needs take to field of their dreams. In other news the Chicago Cubs play tomorrow night at 7:05 PM
Tebow's jersey is #1 is sales on NFL.com. Is there anything this guy can't do? Besides develop a quality throwing motion that is
Raiders drop JaMarcus Russell, registers 6.3 on the Richter Scale
Lizard monitor discovers monitor lizard by monitoring the monitors of other monitor lizard monitors
Most humans carry up to 4% of Neanderthal DNA. Which explains subette's last four boyfriends
Some of the tiniest microbes yet discovered found living on acid and getting poked by bigger microbes. So kind of like your high school experience, minus the Metallica t-shirts
Sarah Jessica Parker has had it with neighsayers who insist that she tried to stirrup feuds with her "Sex and the City 2" co-stars
Taylor Swift donates $500,000 to Nashville flood relief. Your move, Kanye
Oprah shaves off Dr. Phil's moustache, still keeps Steadman as beard
Despite the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico being potentially the worst ever off our coastlines, Sarah Palin insists "drill here, drill now." That's her slogan, and she's sticking to it -- like crude on a pelican
The Obama administration's vow to "keep their boot on the neck" of BP is a major change from previous regulators who kept thier mouths firmly wrapped around an altogether different part of BP's allegorical anatomy
If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid loses the election, the Democrats will be better off. As will the State of Nevada, the United States of America, the Solar System, and the Orion Spiral Arm of the Milky Way galaxy
Shakira is working on a new "edgy" album that will be sold in every state but Arizona, where it will be marked up in price and sold as an import
The Beastie Boys putting final touches on their upcoming album, "Check Your Prostate," due for fall release
Austin renames street after Willie Nelson. Watch out for the potholes
U.S. private sector takes on 32,000 in April, only outmatched by your mom's private sector
Nintendo's profit forecasts miss estimates, will have to start over all the way from the beginning of the stage
PNG charges dropped against Australian bankers, even though the prosecution managed not to lose any data
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