‘You Poor Dear…’
Looks like the slime is seeping out of the Washington Post —
After Discovery News raised objections, Flock resigned voluntarily. She said that the mistakes were hers. She said it was only a matter of time before she made a third one; the pressures were just too great.
But The Post failed her as much as she failed The Post. I spoke with several young bloggers at The Post this week, and some who have left in recent months, and they had the same critique.
They said that they felt as if they were out there alone in digital land, under high pressure to get Web hits, with no training, little guidance or mentoring and sparse editing. Guidelines for aggregating stories are almost nonexistent, they said. And they believe that, even if they do a good job, there is no path forward. Will they one day graduate to a beat, covering a crime scene, a city council or a school board? They didn’t know. So some left; others are thinking of quitting.
Katharine Zaleski, executive director of digital news, said that bloggers are made aware of The Post’s high standards: “We’re deeply conscious of the imperatives our bloggers face and go to great lengths to ensure they have the editorial support they need. We tell bloggers that their first and central priority is accuracy, not speed, not buzziness. The Washington Post’s standards apply every bit as much to our digital work as they do to our print edition. And our bloggers honor that.”
The Post lets go nearly three dozen veterans in the newsroom to cut costs, and it falls short in cultivating its young and future talent. No, not a good few days.
Now one can slice this two ways.
- This is a case of a lone blogger who in the crush of deadlines committed a faux pas and got nailed for it. Valiant as it is, she does the right thing and resigns.
- The Post is a venerable organization that has a high level of standards and expects them upheld. One of their less than well paid interns was caught not upholding those standards and we were preparing to axe her. But we are compassionate so we offered her the honorable choice to resign.
Somewhere between those two views is the truth of the matter. Regardless it does not play well for WaPo. Where are all the editors and fact checkers their management always touts? Nowhere of course. Did Flock fall prey to cutting corners. Surely. But what is closer to the matter is that WaPo probably does not know how to manage new media and as a consequence the environment that is portrayed in the piece generates the results.
But consider, Flock was generating up to 3000 words a day for the paper. The average pulp reporter probably does not do that in a week. Instadundit who is probably the top aggregation site for a general interest law blog averages maybe 200 words a day in a summary format. The rest is quotes and links. Even on BJG we average approximately 1500 words or so. But it is spread across the breath of community contributions.
Bottom line. In the blogging game, having a fancy journo masthead does not guarantee quality product. The MSM has become us not better than us. It is up to us to maintain the standards now.
This is how out of touch the people of the NYT have been —
Hate to tell ya folks but defined pension plans have been dead for years. There has not been a new defined pension implemented since the early 90’s. Oh and by the way, even with many of you on staff, the NYT is white space already to most conservatives.