Tuesday, December 6, 2016

fortune waiting to be kind

Reading up about modern media, I came across an article on Bloomberg BusinessWeek:  written by Joshua Green, dated Oct. 8, 2015, its title is

"This man is the most dangerous political operative in America"

The "dangerous" man featured in the article is Steve Bannon of the "Breitbart" website, who was recently named President-Elect Trump's Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.

Excerpt from the Bloomberg piece:

--------------------------- Breitbart's genius was that he grasped better than anyone else what the early 20th century press barons understood -- that most readers don't approach the news as a clinical exercise in absorbing facts, but experience it viscerally as an ongoing drama, with distinct story lines, heroes, and villains. 

Breitbart excelled at creating these narratives, an editorial approach that has lived on. 

"When we do an editorial call, I don't even bring anything I feel like is only a one-off story, even if it'd be the best story on the site," says Alex Marlow, the site's editor in chief. 

"Our whole mindset is looking for these rolling narratives." 

He rattles off the most popular ones, which Breitbart News covers intensively from a posture of aggrieved persecution.  "The big ones won't surprise you," he says.  "Immigration, ISIS, race riots, and what we call 'the collapse of traditional values.'  But I'd say Hillary Clinton is tops." ---------------------------- [end, excerpt] ------------------------

Upon reading this, my feeling was, the -- narrative of the "rolling narratives" is troubling.  My idea of journalism, reporting of the news, is -- tell the thing that really happened

And some details, fact-checked with two sources. 

In Journalism class in high school, we were taught, "five W's and an H" -- who, what, when, where, why, and how.  And you couldn't put in opinion.  That was set aside for an Editorial. 

There was -- no aggrieved persecution; no posturing; no pretend-villains to teach the audience to hate.  No rolling narrative.  No -- rolling-around....

"Selling" a "Rolling Narrative" to the reader or viewer seems

further away
from News-reporting, and

closer to
making up ongoing scripts for daytime soap operas, like "As The World Turns," or "Days Of Our Lives"....


An excellent song is "Mississippi," by Bob Dylan from 2001's Love and Theft album.  (To listen, there appears to be a YouTube view on the Internet -- however, Sony used to grab all those back, as fans uploaded, so don't know whether it's accessible or not...)

Every step of the way -- we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin' up, we struggle and we scrape
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City's just a jungle; more games to play

Trapped in the heart of it, tryin' to get away

I was raised in the country, I been workin' in the town

I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothin' for you, I had nothin' before
Don't even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, pain pourin' down
Nothing you can sell me, I'll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing -- I did wrong --
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long