Proof fast journalism is shitty journalism

Currently listening to: Give Me A Sign by Breaking Benjamin

I know the first instinct, when you’re a member of the media, is to push things out there really fast. you want to break the story. that’s understandable, and should be applauded.

at least, when you’ve actually read the documents your story is about.

I’m, quite frankly, appalled at some of these journalists who are actually employed by paying media outlets and their laziness. it’s just utterly baffling to me that some would actually admit they didn’t even read their source material all the way through.

recently, the UN published a document, a report, rather, that details what they call cyber violence. it’s supposed to be a study, and its supposed to be a benchmark for a solution. there’s just one glaring problem, however.

the citations in the document immediately discredit the paper.

why do I say this? because there’s citations that don’t exist, there’s citations that are duplicates, and, 67% of the citations point to UN specific documents, including smaller sites that are affiliated with the UN in many ways. some are even sponsored by the UN. yes folks, the UN cites itself more times than I have sex with gorgeous black men, and, trust me, that’s saying something.

Not only that, but citations point to people that don’t exist, and quite plainly plagiarizes from a press release which was printed by the Associated Press. If that wasn’t enough for you, one citation links to someones local hard drive. Jesus Christ!

That’s not why I’m steaming, however, I am steaming because media outlets are saying what the other is saying taking their word as what’s what when the first writer clearly said that they didn’t even read it all the way through. here’s an example.

Some lazy writer at The Mary Sue posted the article “the United Nations Released A Report On Cyber Violence Against Women & Girls” and it speaks with authority. here’s an excerpt.

the UN report includes a wealth of statistics about online abuse and harassment. If you’re looking for a source to use in order to debate a nay-sayer claiming that “everyone” receives an equal amount of harassment online and/or that women and girls are just “overreacting,” this research paper will include the statistics you need to make your case.”

Now here’s the line that pisses me right the hell off.

I didn’t have the chance to read the report as thoroughly as I’d like, but from what I did read so far, it’s definitely worth your time, for the sheer volume of data alone.”

Holy fucking shit! you didn’t even have a chance to sit down and read the whole thing? then how in the hell can you even speak as someone who has read this document when, clearly, you didn’t. you said so yourself! it honestly sounds like you’ve just skimmed the document and went, “YAY! I HAVE THE IDEA OF IT NOW! LET ME WRITE ABOUT IT!’

The bullshit writer at Polygon parroted this report, almost straight up repeating this writer on the Mary Sue. How the hell are people even taking what these people say seriously if you can’t even read a full PDF document? I’ve read novels bigger than that, guys, seriously.

What’s worse, is that the people in the comments section trust this writer at the Mary Sue. I just can’t even begin to understand why more people haven’t called these writers out for their laziness and inept journalism abilities.

What’s even worse is that these journalists get paid, and paid well to not read documents or, you know, actually read their material when there are members of the media who get paid less and do all the legwork for no money at all. it is utterly insane to me and I am glad I called this writer out. More should call out journalists like this.

This is a prime example of how NOT to be a journalist. Keep that in mind, folks. please, for the sake of good media still out there and good writers.

That’s another question. Why are these mishits getting paid for shitty work?

This should also be a lesson to people supporting these people. Find better writers and transfer your dollars. You can improve media a lot faster this way.


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Robert W Kingett

Robert Kingett is a gay blind journalist, and author, with many publications in magazines, anthologies, and blogs. He has judged many writing contests and has won many awards for his writings and advocacy.

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