Seems to me most users of gCaptain couldn’t live without the mainstream media (MSM). They love to hate it, but they’d also hate to lose it.
After the Conception dive boat tragedy the forum on gCaptain was driven by MSM. Who else has the resources to send reporters, write the stories, and get them out to consumers in real time?
The gCaptain crowd were eager to dissect the latest Los Angeles Times articles and local TV coverage on Conception. Minute by minute, posters couldn’t wait for them. They’d quibble over a reporter’s knowledge of a technical subject, or phrasing. But what I didn’t hear was, “I wish journalists would stop reporting about this altogether. I’d rather wait a year for the NTSB report to come out rather than hear one error about the story.”
How many times have you read a poster deride fake news in the lame-stream media–and then in the next breath accept facts from the lame-stream media to bolster their point? If MSM lies all the time, why are they even looking at it?
Reporters go out and get stories. They jockey with each other to get the scoop. In haste they make mistakes. They pander to the crowd by highlighting sensational news. But the crowd wants sensational, doesn’t it? And they want their news fast. So what’s the beef with the MSM? That they aren’t as perfect as their consumers?
And if you think MSM is full of $hit when it comes to maritime reporting, what’s your alternative? But maybe don’t suggest the [fill in name] news website until you convince yourself they actually do reporting, and not just regurgitate MSM stories.
Journalism isn’t just a matter of publishing a collection of random opinions. For example the last news I posted on the dive boat Conception was about the crew member filing a lawsuit. That wasn’t just my opinion it’s from an established news source but beyond that they site a source. For example this article says: “according to the court filing,”
I used to be an avid newspaper reader (remember when they were actual papers?), but these days I use the major outlets less and less as a source of analysis, and more like simple aggregators. This is down to a more and more cohesive political bias in (Scandinavian) news outlets, which aggressively seek to stamp out all thoughtcrime. The deeper this seeps into the cracks, the more I’m left with the uncomfortable feeling of being lied to.
For an aggregator to be effective, it needs two things: Breadth of content and source references. Major news outlets usually do well with the former and poorly with the latter, but that is rendered moot by the effectiveness of search engines. The specialist blogs that I seek are but a key stroke away, and for now the papers do a decent job of making me aware of current events.
As for expecting quality maritime analysis from major newspapers, that’s just not realistic. They’re generalists, and will never reach a decent level of specialization. I happily gobble up everything they have to say about the stability of a mountain side (for example), but cringe when they describe Marine Traffic as a “radar service”, which begs the question: How does a geologist read the paper?
The tendency you mention is an easy trap to fall into. I think the geologist would do the same as you and I, ie, take any newspaper report with a large sprinkling of salt and rely on professional journals for accurate reports in our field of expertise.
My wife who is a very good journalist and editor started her career as a newspaper reporter. She’s always had this cartoon on the wall in the office.