[ READ EBOOK ] ♾ It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News ☥ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

for the introduction On its own it would have made an interesting article, setting out a mildly humorous, yet fairly insightful, taxonomy of the sorts of stories mass media runs in the absence of any real news Media Fearmongering , Unpaid Placement Masquerading as Actual Article , Headline Contradicted by Actual Article , Equal Time for Nutjobs , The Out of Context Celebrity Comment , Seasonal Articles , Media Fatique , Lesser Media Space Fillers The rest of the book, however, gets barely a single star The examples of each type of story often aren t particularly interesting or enlightening and the author can t seem to decide whether they should be funny or not , and the inclusion of seemingly random comments from Fark users about each story is so far beyond needless than even quickly skipping over them all without reading them still made me feelstupid by association. You all know FARK.com, right What You ve never heard of it I m honestly and truly shocked unless, of course, you ve been away from the internet for the last ten years, in which case you may be forgiven For the rest of you SHAME FARK is a news aggregator website, though it differs from others in that it s entirely moderated People submit stories that they think are interesting, add what they hope is a funny tag line or title, and see if it ll be green lit to make the front page Over the years, as FARK s audience has grown to make it one of the most influential websites out there, FARK has become a kind of go to site for news and commentary, though probably not the erudite, level headed commentary we all might want.Whether site creator Drew Curtis intended it or not, FARK has become a de facto source of news for many people on the internet who are looking not so much for the top stories of the day, but for all the strange, cool, heroic and Florida centered news that CNN claims to have too much dignity to run Over its decade long history, Curtis has seen thousands upon thousands of articles, moderated countless threads about the day s news and, therefore, believes he has a pretty good idea of how the mass media works.In this book, Curtis uses his experience as a professional newshound to look at the trends in mass media, attempting to identify the reasons why there s so much irrelevant crap out there We all know what he s talking about the helicopter shots of motorcades, the Missing White Women, the shark attacks, internet predators and the top ten lists of household products that could kill you and your family We ve all seen this and asked, Why are they bothering with this crap According to this book, there s two big reasons the endless, 24 hour news cycle and sheer human laziness.There is only so much Real News in any given day, Curtis believes, and I agree with him The question, of course, is What is real news, and rather than try to determine what real news is, Curtis decides to explain what real news isn t. As for the rest, we ll know it when we see it.Of the many ways that the mass media tries to fill time and space, Curtis points out seven major ones, my favorite being Media Fearmongering I suppose I like this because it s just so obvious and so easy Examples include the current hype over where to relocate the world devouring supervillains from Guantanamo, the perennial articles about how hidden earthquake faults could kill us all, and the airplane crash stories The recent crash of Air France 447 is an excellent example While it is certainly a terrible thing that the plane went down, and important to the families and friends of those who died on the plane, is it really a topic the needs a week of international coverage 228 people died in that crash, and while it s not really fair to weigh one death against another, it is estimated that that many people die in car accidents every two and a half days in the United States The same goes for suicides in Japan So why does the media go nuts for a plane crash, but not for unsafe driving or suicide My guess is that a plane crash isspectacular,mysterious andlikely to get people s attention Reporting on the actual number of auto related fatalities would hit too close to home What s , a plane crash story probably writes itself Change a few names and numbers, and the reporting on one crash looks pretty much like every other That combination of spectacle and sloth makes plane crashes a godsend for reporters and editors with time to fill.Fearmongering in the media isn t harmless either Last year, in the run up to the activation of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, there were a lot of articles about whether or not the LHC would destroy the world Rather than do some investigating, ask some experts and report back that it wouldn t, the media decided to teach the controversy Matching another of Curtis bad news categories, they gave Equal Time to Nutjobs who claimed that the work at the LHC would destroy the world Rather than debunk the nutjobs, they played it for all it was worth, claiming that there actually was a controversy over the LHC, when in fact no such controversy existed.One of the effects of this was the suicide of a girl in India, who believed in the end of the world scenarios She was sixteen years old, and the news convinced her that she and everyone she loved was going to die Can we hold the mass media directly responsible for this girl s death Only if we can hold them responsible for the other deaths their fearmongering has caused and here I m thinking of the controversy over whether vaccines cause autism They don t, but it sfun for people like Oprah Winfrey to pretend they do And so kids die.My other favorite Not News is Media Fatigue what happens when the media eats itself With twenty four hours a day to fill, but without twenty four hours of news to fill it, the competition for breaking news is incredibly fierce The first network to report on a big story will basically own that story, and the other networks have to scramble to catch up In that writhing, twisting nest of vipers, it s sometimes very hard for anyone to stop reporting on a story that has basically run its course thus, media fatigue Curtis has broken it down into five simple steps 1 News breaks2 Issue retractions3 Talk it to death4 Can t stop talking5 Has The Media Gone Too Far By the time they stop focusing on the story and start talking about themselves, you can be pretty sure that you re seeing the end of it Examples of Media Fatigue abound, and Curtis uses Dick Cheney s shooting spree and Janet Jackson s wardrobe malfunction as examples Really, neither of these events were news of any import Hunting accidents happen all the time, and Jackson s boob flash was so quick and so low def that most viewers didn t know they had seen it until they were told they had and probably didn t know they should be outraged until there were told they should be But both stories generated media storms that didn t blow out until way past their expiration dates.The point is that while the concept of news on demand is good, the execution of it has been terrible With networks talking about health care reform in the same breath as whether or not David Letterman made an inappropriate joke, it s hard for the audience to know what they should read and what they should ignore While the news providers position has always been We leave it up to the readers to judge what s important and what isn t, that flies in the face of what we all know about human nature people can be really, really dumb People don t have the time or the inclination to read every story, judge it on its merits and sort the wheat from the chaff, and to pretend otherwise reveals either a profound misunderstanding of human nature or a level of cynicism that makes me look like Pollyanna.While it may seem all patriarchal, I think we do need someone to draw the line and say what is news and what isn t I don t know who, or how, but someone should do it if only so that we can have a news source that we can trust to give us what we need to know Put the Britney and Elvis stories in the tabloids if we buy those, we know what we re getting and leave the real news alone.The book is a good, quick read, and while it s clear that Curtis may not have the academic or professional qualifications to be a media analyst, he has whatever the internet equivalent of street smarts is He s snarky and cynical, in the mold of so many people whose job it is to sit back and observe society You can only run a news based site for so long without noticing some patterns He also includes some of the stories featured on FARK and select comments from users, which are usually entertaining.While Curtis believes that there may be a way to fix the media, he doesn t believe it ll ever be done As a fellow cynic, I have to agree it would be far too much work and cost far too many advertising dollars to whip things into shape The current system, from the point of view of the media outlets, works, and there s no point in tinkering with it Perhaps the much prophesied Death of the Newspapers will help some the local news outlet can be resurrected by a kind of local bloggers co op or somesuch I m sure there are people out there who follow the journalistic tradition of wanting to tell people what s going on Unfortunately, those aren t the people that the media wants right now.So give it a read, and keep your eyes open When you see a story about something like sexting or whether Tom Cruise drinks puppy blood for breakfast, ask yourself is this news, or is it just FARK I really liked this in the beginning, but then I began to lose interest.Also, I took a bit of offense at the take that news outside of NYC and LA is not covered Of course NYC and LA get tons of coverage they re our biggest and greatest cities Boo hoo, Kentucky Funny, but about 200 pages too long. [ READ EBOOK ] ♪ It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News ☥ From The Creator Of Fark, An Expos On The Media Gone Awry, Revealing The Hysterical, Often Outrageous Non News That Passes For Newsworthy Today Have You Ever Found Yourself Noticing Certain Patterns In The News You See And Read Each Day Perhaps It S The Blatant Fear Mongering In The Absence Of Facts On Your LocalO Clock News Tsunami Could Hit The Atlantic Any Day EVERYBODY PANIC , Or The Seasonal Articles That Appear Year After Year Like Clockwork Roads Will Be Crowded This Holiday Season Thanks AAA IT S NOT NEWS, IT S FARK Is Drew Curtis Clever Examination Of The State Of The Media Today And A Hilarious Look At The Go To Stories Mass Media Uses When There S Just Not Enough Hard News To Fill A Newspaper Or A News Broadcast Who Is To Blame For Non News In The Media Is It The Media, Or The Media Consumer And Their Website Clicking Habits Or Does The Answer Lie Somewhere In Between IT S NOT NEWS, IT S FARK Takes A Crack At Why Drew Exposes Eight Stranger Than Fiction Media Patterns That Prove Just How Little Reporting Is Going On In The World Of Reporters Today Regardless Of Whether It S A Slow News Day, Mainstream Media Still Has To Deliver IT S NOT NEWS, IT S FARK Examines All The News That Was Never Fit For Print In The First Place, And Promises To Have You Laughing With The Media, Mind You, Not At Them Along The Way Let The Hilarity Ensue What s amazing about this book, a decade after its appearance, is how benign the media landscape it presents is Fake news is lazy and annoying, but not necessarily evil or destructive The Russians are interested in analyzing what gets clicks in America, but the answer they ve come up with is not hate or divisiveness but ghostsFark is not so much a warning that we ignored it certainly doesn t imply that things will get worse as a Proud Tower style portrait of a world before the fall A stupid, corrupt, lazy world, but still a prelapsarian one. I ve been reading Fark.com for years, so it was inevitable that I would make a point to read Drew Curtis book Although the book has been out for a couple of years, a quick glance at the book store convinced me that there was no rush to read it and that I should just take it out of the library when I got around to it While It s Not News, It s Fark is entertaining, sometimes laugh out loud funny, and occasionally insightful, this is hardly a must read In case you don t know, Fark.com is a news aggregator website that focuses on strange, often humorous stories Each story is submitted by the readers, who send a link to the article and a funny headline The best links are posted on the main website, and become open to discussion Because Drew Curtis, the creator and owner of Fark, reads most of the articles that are submitted, he is perhapsqualified than anyone else in the world to write a book about garbage articles being passed off as news Curtis understands how the news world works, and how the defining feature of Mass Media always capitalized in this book is laziness There is no conspiracy by Mass Media to keep the public uninformed, or to push them towards one political extreme or the other Rather, most people working in media will take the path of least resistance and churn out articles with as little effort as possible This gives rise to the targets of It s Not News, It s Fark , articles such as the Repeating Seasonal Article really, do we need the news to tell us that Christmas Eve will be a busy shopping day , the Unpaid Placement Masquerading as Actual Article articles copied and pasted from a press release by any business, organization, or charity , or Media Fear Mongering Everybody Panic Curtis points out that none of these types of articles are really news, but Mass Media will continue publishing them as long as readers keep consuming them Following each example article, Curtis makes some observations then includes some of the comments that were posted about the article on Fark These comments, often caustic or sarcastic, always funny, are some of the best moments of the book Unfortunately, It s Not News, It s Fark often suffers from the exact same fault that Curtis is blasting the Mass Media for committing too much filler and not enough substance It s Not News, It s Fark makes it s points well, but seems to have dozens of pages left over that need to be filled with rambling thoughts and observations that are somewhat interesting but not too compelling Curtis also demonstrates his own laziness at dozens of times be makes a point or mentions a fact and then appends as far as I know , or if I remember correctly This is well and good if you re debating on a message board, but there is a different standard when you are publishing a book Now that I ve written that, I m not entirely sure why that is or if it should be the case But it is an important point, that material published on the internet has a lower assumed value than what is published on paper Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Mass Media can get away with publishing the kind of crap that it does people assume that because it is in a newspaper or on TV, it means that the information is trustworthy, accurate, and worth hearing about.A book about Mass Media written by an outsider is valuable and relevant Unfortunately this book simply is not as good as it could be, and left me feeling like Curtis didn t try hard enough or that the book could have used a coupleedits In the end It s Not News, It s Fark is worth reading for the points that it makes, but these worthwhile bits are mostly hidden among the less interesting stuff. I picked this book up for my boyfriend, who is an avid Fark and Total Fark reader, but I enjoy the site as well so gave the book a shot It s a quick read, and Curtis immediately hooked me with his scathing commentary on the ridiculousness that passes as news though it s a good thing he s pretty funny, because his writing talents are not exactly stellar His insights aren t anything that someone who regularly reads the mainstream news hasn t already realized, but his wit, immense memory for inane news stories, and Fark comments keep it feeling fresh I kept thinking, okay, he s setting the stage and then he s going to get to the point Halfway throughstill not there Two thirdsstill yelling about non news with evenbitterness Suddenly I m at the final chapter, which purports to tell us what mass media should really be reporting on instead of fark crap The verdict Curtis has no clue He doesn t even attempt to offer alternatives He concludes that people don t actually want to read real news they want the crap Certainly he has an interest in maintaining the status quo Fark exists because of all the crap In the end, what really bothered me was that he uses no references AT ALL For a book about how terrible news organizations are for not fact checking, reporting on rumors, cutting and pasting, and not doing any in depth research, he sure sets a terrible example of how to do better The book readslike a blog than anything else Maybe that s how he intended it, but it grated on me that Curtis would not at least attempt to gain some of the credibility he accuses mass media of lacking due to laziness All in all, this book falls prey to the exact same affliction It s a shameit could have and should have been muchlegitimate. I m a bit of a fan of Fark.com already, so there really wasn t anything particularly new in this book, but I found it a very well written and well laid out explanation of the problems with Mass Media in the modern age As such, the book is likely to become a bit dated before long in fact, it already has to some extent It was published in 2007 and, for example, has many references to a now deceased celebrity and multiple references to a politician who was at one time believed to be involved in the death of an intern and has since been completely exonerated they found the actual killer last year Kind of awkward although, also sort of to the point of the book.The book goes through the various problems in stories run by Mass Media, giving multiple examples of each type of issue e.g Headline contradicted by actual article and Equal time for nutjobs from real news items and followed up with some of the actual comments from Farkers when those stories originally ran It s a fairly informative and interesting look at Mass Media and also a great introduction to how Fark works complete with NSFW Farker comments. This is another one of those books that I initially loved, but over time, my feelings have softened up toward it However, I think that this has a lot of good points to make about Mass Media in today s world, and it s still pretty good Curtis s main argument is that there s really not a lot of important news that takes up media space, particularly when there s not real news going on Most of the non news can go in one of several categories all of which get their own chapter with several examples proving the point While Curtis says that he s not a trained journalist, I do actually agree with a lot that he mentions He does say that what he s talking about shouldn t apply to hard hitting news, but a lot of the fluff pieces to eat up time My one big nitpick is the inclusion of Fark comments at the end of each example article They re funny, but a lot of the included comments have the feel of You had to be there and jolts the reader out of the point for the respective chapter Overall, decent read, would recommend for newshounds.