Opinions and Editorials

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;193591]Fish have balls?!?[/QUOTE]

Where do you think the white sauce comes from? (Just kidding my Viking friends)

[QUOTE=Kraken;193590]I always use a little curry when I make fish balls (cod) in white sauce, it’s very good.[/QUOTE]

I like fresh cod but some of the imported frozen crap is iffy. I sailed with a Gayanese cook that made the best curried fish with the frozen cod.

[QUOTE=injunear;193596]I like fresh cod but some of the imported frozen crap is iffy. I sailed with a Gayanese cook that made the best curried fish with the frozen cod.[/QUOTE]

I love the way Jamaicans make any kind of fish taste delicious using coconut milk in the prep. All fresh all de tyme, ya man!

[QUOTE=Steamer;193517]Yes, of course, why else would I comment on the culture of the organization? I don’t write about stuff that I don’t know.

I asked because the Washington State contingency was PISSED (and some obviously still are)… the reaction was surprising… and I’m still trying to figue out why it was so viseral. Even with the facts clearer a decent number of professional mariners believe, today, that the boater “got what he deserved” this IS NOT my point of view but I mention it because I’m very curious why the WA state guys are so emotionally engaged with this story.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;193561]I think he might be talking about the FB page “Humans at Sea” which is mostly just a page that posts cool pictures of ships, mariners, and the ocean. Run by Indians from what I can tell.[/QUOTE]

No I’m not talking about them… but the page I am mentioning is also run from India by a mix of civilians, junior officers and unexperienced cadets.

Humans at Sea is much worse… they a blatantly stealing copyrighted material and are passing it off as their own.

[QUOTE=Steamer;193518]That is a story, not a headline.

Journalistically, it is a very large nit. One that crossed the line between reportage and editorializing. If people are not going to read a long headline how many are going to wade through a very long and difficult “sort of” apology. An apology need only have required, "My expert sources got it wrong, the ferry rammed the yacht despite the yacht having what non mariners describe as the “right of way.”

Another way is to write sensationalist headlines above a story that is far more opinion than fact. The ferry story is capable of standing on its own merits, the rules that govern the ferry’s movements and the responsibility of its master are carved in stone. What should have happened is subject to a great deal of opinion and debate, but that is material for an op/ed piece or discussion thread once the facts are laid out clearly for all to see. This story was never presented that way, many of the professionals here seem to have been infected by the the audio background of the video. If the woman whose voice we all heard was a professional mariner she might have been asking why the ferry was not taking action to give way or avoid a collision and the “story” might have been completely different.

The fact that the “expert” advisors didn’t know the difference between a bow and a beam certainly does not contribute to journalistic integrity. That part of the process is called “fact checking” which, particularly in light of recent “fake news” scandals is more important than ever for budding journalists.[/QUOTE]

The apology is a bit buried within the story, I’ll admit that, but the professional stadards are much lower than that… typically the appology doesn’t appear on the article a all… typically it’s published seperatly within a section of the site that’s hardly ever visited (and in print it’s almost always buried deep).

Yes, we crossed the line between reporting and editorilizing but the editorial content came after (not before) a flood of angry calls from Washington. The original story was very short and contained only official wsf quotes.

Please don’t assume the reason we got the story wrong was because of a womens voice. The speaker doesn’t even work on the device I first watched this video on and I stil got it wrong. It was the strange angle of the camera that confused those of us who have never been aboard a wsf… nothing else caused us confusion.

How do you suggest we “fact” check camera angles.

I have admitted with frequency that our titles are click-batey and I have stated that we no intention of changing… so what is there to argue?

Finally… i understand that this could all be fixed by going into wordpress right now and rewriting the story, and we are discussing that option internally, but it is our company policy to append and NOT directly edit posts because editing posts after the fact totally hides the fact we screwed up… and I want our screw ups to be visible to all who read the story now and in the future.

That said… I take pride in encouraging critisism and dissent (just ask c.captain, cmjeff or any of the veterans here). Personally I’ve been called every name in the book and I’ve even received a couple death threats… but none of the have pissed me off as much as your mention of “fake news”… even if you didn’t accuse us of it directly, because we take this issue seriously and value our reputation (one built over ten years) highly.

This also angers me because a large part of the reason I started this site was because of the countless errors in major news articles… and I know few of the first employees of facebook personally and they will tell you I’ve been sounding the alarm on this topic for years. I also had minor input on the drafts of the first major book written on the topic: Trust Me I’m Lying By Ryan Holiday.

Clearly we both have strong feelings on the topic and, as much as your statement angers me, I do not want to discourage dissent… but if you continue please consider choosing a different story to comment on… we have published thousands of articles and surely there are screwups on this site which we haven’t yet appologized for.

He’s right you know.

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;193591]Fish have balls?!?[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=john;193603]I asked because the Washington State contingency was PISSED (and some obviously still are)… the reaction was surprising… and I’m still trying to figue out why it was so viseral. Even with the facts clearer a decent number of professional mariners believe, today, that the boater “got what he deserved” this IS NOT my point of view but I mention it because I’m very curious why the WA state guys are so emotionally engaged with this story.[/QUOTE]

Can’t speak for them but maybe they have some connection with WSF. The attitude of “got what he deserved” is a part of what I described as the WSF culture. That attitude is what I think should have been the lead. Let the headline describe what happened and lead with the culture and attitude vs the like-em-or-not rules that should have come into play.

“… none of the have pissed me off as much as your mention of “fake news”… even if you didn’t accuse us of it directly …”

Don’t get pissed at me, I didn’t invent the concept and I didn’t say the story was fake. I just pointed out that readers may be a lot more sensitive to the standards of reportage found online after the exposure of intentional fake news in social media. The bad guys make your life harder, not me. The only defense is good journalism, fact checking, and a very robust firewall separating fact from opinion.

“How do you suggest we “fact” check camera angles.”

Go the WSF website and look at the graphic of the ferry while looking at the video, it is pretty obvious where the camera was and which direction it was viewing and just as obvious where the yacht was hit and by what part of the ferry. Short of that, since the story was not exactly a “scoop” with a press deadline, make some phone calls or tweet your contacts in the area.

I have admitted with frequency that our titles are click-batey and I have stated that we no intention of changing… so what is there to argue?"

Who is arguing? I was the first one to defend the concept of attracting media attention through good headlines and content. I’ll repeat it, having your story picked up by mainstream media is a big win, to do that you need to attract their attention with quality. I don’t call that click baiting. Being ignored because of blurred editorial standards means that the only way to get attention might to to resort to click bait tactics.

[QUOTE=c.captain;193564]

seriously, is there any male from South Asia one could think of as being a real man with real manly essence?[/QUOTE]

I think Bruce Lee would like a word with you.

[QUOTE=Tugboater203;193622]I think Bruce Lee would like a word with you.[/QUOTE]

I think that would require another type of media … a medium.

[QUOTE=Steamer;193620]Can’t speak for them but maybe they have some connection with WSF. The attitude of “got what he deserved” is a part of what I described as the WSF culture. That attitude is what I think should have been the lead. Let the headline describe what happened and lead with the culture and attitude vs the like-em-or-not rules that should have come into play.

Don’t get pissed at me, I didn’t invent the concept and I didn’t say the story was fake. I just pointed out that readers may be a lot more sensitive to the standards of reportage found online after the exposure of intentional fake news in social media. The bad guys make your life harder, not me. The only defense is good journalism, fact checking, and a very robust firewall separating fact from opinion.

Go the WSF website and look at the graphic of the ferry while looking at the video, it is pretty obvious where the camera was and which direction it was viewing and just as obvious where the yacht was hit and by what part of the ferry. Short of that, since the story was not exactly a “scoop” with a press deadline, make some phone calls or tweet your contacts in the area.

Who is arguing? I was the first one to defend the concept of attracting media attention through good headlines and content. I’ll repeat it, having your story picked up by mainstream media is a big win, to do that you need to attract their attention with quality. I don’t call that click baiting. Being ignored because of blurred editorial standards means that the only way to get attention might to to resort to click bait tactics.[/QUOTE]

Yes, uncovering that attitude would make for a great story because, your right, institutional attitudes play a major role in incident prevention. And that was one of my primary goals when I locked myself in an office for six months with stacks of documents and a direct line to the prize winning editor in cheif of the Washington Post Magazine. But my book most failed to prove that fact. I beleive that Earl Boeber, who posts daily to this forum, succeeded in doing just that but only while a years of research and the support of Harvard.

Ok, I am think I now what’s frustrating me… it’s the assumptions. Statements like “make some phone calls or tweet your contacts in the area” when that’s exactly what I was doing all day. And “look at the graphic of the ferry while looking at the video”. Yup, did that too… including one brief phone call with a respected Naval Architect.

So, I’ll say it again, what was so obvious to you - having been on a ferry - was simply NOT obvious to most of the rest of the world.

Who is arguing? That would be you.
Argue:

  1. to present reasons for or against a thing
  2. to maintain in reasoning: to argue that the news report must be wrong
    [c.1300, from O.Fr. arguer (12c.), from L. argutare “to prattle” freq. of arguere “to make clear, demonstrate,”] from PIE

I haven’t updated this list in a few years but… this should make it rather apparent that our headlines and the quality of our editorial standards attracts plenty of “big media wins”: http://gcaptain.com/in-the-press/

You want to raise the standard of our reporting? You want to uncover the bigger story at WSF? You want to investigate this story further? Great! Do the research, write up the story and ask Earl (and/or some of the other guys here that you trust) if he’s willing to edit it… then, provided it meets our standards, I’d be happy to publish it and give you full credit.

Like I said in the reply to your original argument… we want to right better headlines, we want to get the story right, we want to improve our quality… and we have no shortage of marine experts willing to help… what we have a dire shortage of is people who understand the basics of both shipping AND journalissm in 2016… a combination of skills the rudements of which you clearly posses… so please consider writing this story yourself.

I guess that wasn’t enough.

Like I said in the reply to your original argument… we want to right better headlines, we want to get the story right, we want to improve our quality… and we have no shortage of marine experts willing to help… what we have a dire shortage of is people who understand the basics of both shipping AND journalissm in 2016… a combination of skills the rudements of which you clearly posses… so please consider writing this story yourself.

You want to raise the standard of our reporting? You want to uncover the bigger story at WSF? You want to investigate this story further? Great! Do the research, write up the story and ask Earl (and/or some of the other guys here that you trust) if he’s willing to edit it… then, provided it meets our standards, I’d be happy to publish it and give you full credit.

No thanks, I already write a handful of feature articles for an international yachting magazine each year.

Here is a pull quote from a Houston Chronicle piece titled [I]“Duties & Responsibilities of Journalists”[/I] that pretty much sums up the issues I had with the story and why I even bothered to post anything about it.

[I]“Journalists must strive to present an accurate, well-balanced explanation of the stories they cover. For example, they have an obligation to present all sides of an issue, and to conduct extensive research and talk to several sources knowledgeable about the subject. If they present only popular opinion, or if they conduct minimal research without fully exploring the subject, they don’t give readers and viewers the information they need to understand the implications of the event or issue.” [/I]

[QUOTE=john;193626]Yes, uncovering that attitude would make for a great story because, your right, institutional attitudes play a major role in incident prevention. [/QUOTE]

well good luck with that unless you can find someone from inside “the system” who is somehow disgruntled with life there and I cannot imagine there are very many of those considering how well “the system” takes care of their people. Don’t get me wrong, all mariners deserve high pay, good benefits and easy work schedules but the WSF takes that to extremes. Yes, I do not like them myself because they get so much but yet it seems they still are not happy with all the largess the State provides and want even more. Hence “the system” has to raise tolls continually on the public who are captives to it because there is no better, less expensive or more efficient alternative available.

No way around the fact that the WSF is a mafia with virtual total control over vehicle ferry services in Washington State (those vehicle ferries that do operate independent from the WSF only do so with State approval) and I for one, FUCKING ABHOR mafias wherever I run across them. It is especially galling when they are government controlled or sanctioned. Pilot’s Associations are another.

[QUOTE=Steamer;193630]I guess that wasn’t enough.

No thanks, I already write a handful of feature articles for an international yachting magazine each year.

Here is a pull quote from a Houston Chronicle piece titled [I]“Duties & Responsibilities of Journalists”[/I] that pretty much sums up the issues I had with the story and why I even bothered to post anything about it.

[I]“Journalists must strive to present an accurate, well-balanced explanation of the stories they cover. For example, they have an obligation to present all sides of an issue, and to conduct extensive research and talk to several sources knowledgeable about the subject. If they present only popular opinion, or if they conduct minimal research without fully exploring the subject, they don’t give readers and viewers the information they need to understand the implications of the event or issue.” [/I][/QUOTE]

Stop. Just stop reffering to a single article that already contains an appology because that quote is reffering to the career of a journalist and not how to deal with singular mistakes.

If you want to question our integirty please do so… but be a journalist and show us multiple angles of the story, show us the history of ineptitude, and stop referring to thsi one artile. Stop being the politician who pulls one incident out of context and keeps repeating it ad nauseum. Please just stop.

[QUOTE=john;193632]Stop. Just stop reffering to a single article that already contains an appology because that quote is reffering to the career of a journalist and not how to deal with singular mistakes.

If you want to question our integirty please do so… but be a journalist and show us multiple angles of the story, show us the history of ineptitude, and stop referring to thsi one artile. Stop being the politician who pulls one incident out of context and keeps repeating it ad nauseum. Please just stop.[/QUOTE]

Geez John, you said start a new thread to discuss it, you asked the questions that I have been answering.

Since my responses to your direct questions seem to have touched a raw nerve I will stop and just leave with the thought that career journalist or amateur, the product that is delivered to the reader should adhere to the Chronicle’s advice …

“Journalists must strive to present an accurate, well-balanced explanation of the stories they cover. For example, they have an obligation to present all sides of an issue, and to conduct extensive research and talk to several sources knowledgeable about the subject. If they present only popular opinion, or if they conduct minimal research without fully exploring the subject, they don’t give readers and viewers the information they need to understand the implications of the event or issue.”

[QUOTE=Tugboater203;193622]I think Bruce Lee would like a word with you.[/QUOTE]

He was from Hong Kong, which is in China, not from the Indian sub-continent (also known as South Asia).

[QUOTE=Steamer;193639]Geez John, you said start a new thread to discuss it, you asked the questions that I have been answering.

Since my responses to your direct questions seem to have touched a raw nerve I will stop and just leave with the thought that career journalist or amateur, the product that is delivered to the reader should adhere to the Chronicle’s advice …

“Journalists must strive to present an accurate, well-balanced explanation of the stories they cover. For example, they have an obligation to present all sides of an issue, and to conduct extensive research and talk to several sources knowledgeable about the subject. If they present only popular opinion, or if they conduct minimal research without fully exploring the subject, they don’t give readers and viewers the information they need to understand the implications of the event or issue.”[/QUOTE]

yes you struck a raw nerve, I told you that 3 messages ago… because you keep questioning journalistic ethics and keep pointing to the same danm example.

It says "Journalists must strive to " not “must always”… and as someone who understands the importance of wording in the CFR I don’t think I have to explain the difference.

“well-balanced explanation of the stories they cover.” Did my video, which I attached to the original post, not explain both sides? Was it not balanced?

“conduct extensive research” Done! I had the entire staff working on this the entire day.

“several sources knowledgeable about the subject” Done! We talked with 5 experts on the phone and took 4 unsolicited phone calls from mariners in the WA area.

“If they present only popular opinion” I don’t even know what the popular opinion is on this article.

What that quote doesn’t mention, is what to do after you’ve made a mistake and apologized for it.

This back-and-forth between John and Steamer has been very interesting. I love the fact that both sides are passionate about getting the facts straight, which is refreshing in the present sad world of event reporting we live in.

I hesitate to bring up what I am about to say because I may be overlooking some bit of information that was reported at the outset, when the video first surfaced, and also because some people will take my comments as being overly analytical. On the other hand, I have been privy, as many of you have, to lawyers analyzing video evidence, and have come to understand a little of the way they think. So here are my comments, not on the COLREGS-aspect of the incident, or even the reportage of it, but rather on the weakness of the video “evidence”.

  1. There is no way to say who had the right-of-way based on the video alone. The initial news story was, I believe, based solely on the video. If I am wrong I’ll delete this post so as not to seem more of an idiot than usual. The ferry appears to be going ahead, and the yacht appears to be striking the ferry’s starboard bow. But it is a double-ended ferry, so the ferry could also be going astern, in which case the yacht is colliding with her port-side stern. Based on the video alone one can make a conjecture, but it is impossible to say with certainty which occurred. Additional news would clarify the situation, but at the time of initial reporting this is not made clear. I’m not saying the reporting is at fault. I’m just saying that I didn’t read at the time of the original story additional corroboration as to whether the ferry was making way ahead or astern, which makes all the difference in the world. We know now that it was going ahead (we have a source for that, right?). I don’t remember reading that at the time, just assuming it like everyone else.

  2. What was the yacht doing before the video begins? Was it drifting until just a few moments before the video begins, and then suddenly gets underway? Was the ferry backing down on her propulsion-end engine well before the video starts, and the drifting yacht only gets underway after the ferry tried to slow down, on the suspicion that the yacht, not underway, might suddenly get underway? For that matter, what were the radio comms between the two vessels? Did the two operators making passing arrangements in the recreational-vessel-laden Inside Passage, and then the yacht operator did something incredibly stupid in contravention of the arrangements? The yacht skipper explained his actions afterwards. were these actions(how long underway before the video starts, course taken, etc.) corroborated by the ferry OOW? I’m not talking about now. I’m talking about when the video first came out, and everyone was giving their “expert opinion”.

I’m not asking the reporter to get all these facts straight at the outset, because someone else is going to break the story. So as a reporter you go with what little you know, and try to be objective, using what knowledge and expertise you have. Facts can take days or months to come out. The ferry OOW/captain would be wise not to say a word to anyone other than the USCG and his/her lawyer about the incident. Based on the actions of the yacht skipper, I wouldn’t be looking to him/her as a reliable source of hard facts. Later, as additional facts come in, the reportage can be set straight. That’s the way reporting works, imperfect thought it may be. I guess my real point is that any deck officer pontificating about who is at fault, looking just at the video, had best hope they are never subjected in an actual court to the same kangaroo court I’ve been reading in this forum.

All that can be objectively said about the video is: “A Ferry and a Yacht Collide”. But we are human beings. We try to make narrative sense of everything we see, even if what we see can be interpreted a variety of ways. Go with the headline “A Ferry and a Yacht Collide” and some critical reader will say “What a stupid reporter! Treating it like no one is at fault! Someone is at fault, and it’s XXXXXXXX! I know because I’m an expert…”

John and Steamer: I’m neither bolstering, or arguing against, either of your assertions. If anything, I’m agreeing with both of you how difficult journalism can be.

[QUOTE=freighterman;193652]This back-and-forth between John and Steamer has been very interesting. I love the fact that both sides are passionate about getting the facts straight, which is refreshing in the present sad world of event reporting we live in.

I hesitate to bring up what I am about to say because I may be overlooking some bit of information that was reported at the outset, when the video first surfaced, and also because some people will take my comments as being overly analytical. On the other hand, I have been privy, as many of you have, to lawyers analyzing video evidence, and have come to understand a little of the way they think. So here are my comments, not on the COLREGS-aspect of the incident, or even the reportage of it, but rather on the weakness of the video “evidence”.

  1. There is no way to say who had the right-of-way based on the video alone. The initial news story was, I believe, based solely on the video. If I am wrong I’ll delete this post so as not to seem more of an idiot than usual. The ferry appears to be going ahead, and the yacht appears to be striking the ferry’s starboard bow. But it is a double-ended ferry, so the ferry could also be going astern, in which case the yacht is colliding with her port-side stern. Based on the video alone one can make a conjecture, but it is impossible to say with certainty which occurred. Additional news would clarify the situation, but at the time of initial reporting this is not made clear. I’m not saying the reporting is at fault. I’m just saying that I didn’t read at the time of the original story additional corroboration as to whether the ferry was making way ahead or astern, which makes all the difference in the world. We know now that it was going ahead (we have a source for that, right?). I don’t remember reading that at the time, just assuming it like everyone else.

  2. What was the yacht doing before the video begins? Was it drifting until just a few moments before the video begins, and then suddenly gets underway? Was the ferry backing down on her propulsion-end engine well before the video starts, and the drifting yacht only gets underway after the ferry tried to slow down, on the suspicion that the yacht, not underway, might suddenly get underway? For that matter, what were the radio comms between the two vessels? Did the two operators making passing arrangements in the recreational-vessel-laden Inside Passage, and then the yacht operator did something incredibly stupid in contravention of the arrangements? The yacht skipper explained his actions afterwards. were these actions(how long underway before the video starts, course taken, etc.) corroborated by the ferry OOW? I’m not talking about now. I’m talking about when the video first came out, and everyone was giving their “expert opinion”.

I’m not asking the reporter to get all these facts straight at the outset, because someone else is going to break the story. So as a reporter you go with what little you know, and try to be objective, using what knowledge and expertise you have. Facts can take days or months to come out. The ferry OOW/captain would be wise not to say a word to anyone other than the USCG and his/her lawyer about the incident. Based on the actions of the yacht skipper, I wouldn’t be looking to him/her as a reliable source of hard facts. Later, as additional facts come in, the reportage can be set straight. That’s the way reporting works, imperfect thought it may be. I guess my real point is that any deck officer pontificating about who is at fault, looking just at the video, had best hope they are never subjected in an actual court to the same kangaroo court I’ve been reading in this forum.

All that can be objectively said about the video is: “A Ferry and a Yacht Collide”. But we are human beings. We try to make narrative sense of everything we see, even if what we see can be interpreted a variety of ways. Go with the headline “A Ferry and a Yacht Collide” and some critical reader will say “What a stupid reporter! Treating it like no one is at fault! Someone is at fault, and it’s XXXXXXXX! I know because I’m an expert…”

John and Steamer: I’m neither bolstering, or arguing against, either of your assertions. If anything, I’m agreeing with both of you how difficult journalism can be.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for the insight. And, to answer your question, our very first post had no facts or editorial… it did contain the term “idiot boater” in the title and quote the original WSF press statement.