Tag Archives | News

Do You Know Whether This Was Written by a Human?

Pic: Racco (CC)

Pic: Racco (CC)


I guess we should probably include journalists among those soon to be replaced by robots

Via AlphaGalileo:

A recent study investigates how readers perceive computer-generated news articles.

The advent of new technologies has always spurred questions about changes in journalism – how it is produced and consumed. A recent development which has come to the fore in the digital world is software-generated content. A paper recently published in Journalism Practice investigates how readers perceive automatically produced news articles vs. articles which have been written by a journalist.

The study, undertaken by Christer Clerwall of Karlstad University in Sweden, was conducted by presenting readers with different articles written by either journalists or computers. The readers were then asked to answer questions about how they perceived each article – e.g. the overall quality, credibility, objectivity.

The results suggest that the journalist-authored content was observed to be coherent, well-written and pleasant to read.

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It’s Not Just the Mainstream Media That Is Scripted to Manufacture Consent, so Are Our Politicians

mainstreammediaindexvia chycho

To say that mainstream media is controlled is an understatement. We’ve gone far past the time of relatively semi-covert CIA programs such as Operation Mockingbird where “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts.” Those days are long gone; the mainstream media is now openly scripted (2-pdf) to manufacture consent.

“We’re not analyzing the media on Mars or in the eighteenth century or something like that. We’re dealing with real human beings who are suffering and dying and being tortured and starving because of policies that we are involved in, we as citizens of democratic societies are directly involved in and are responsible for, and what the media are doing is ensuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the needs of the suffering people, and not even the needs of the American people who would be horrified if they realized the blood that’s dripping from their hands because of the way they are allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by the system.” – Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, 1992

Manufacturing Consent: Thought Control in a Democratic Society

For example, in the following three videos, Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco provide excerpts from a few mainstream media ‘news’ outlets, showing the full extent of the homogeneity of the script.

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Happy News Year: ‘The News Dissector’ Looks Beyond The Top Stories of the Year to Examine the News System

Times Square,New York CC-BY-SAAt year end, the news agenda fills up with stories on top stories, a chance for networks to repackage footage or highlight favorite newsmakers.  These stories rarely look at the news system that picks them or why.

There are two news systems in America–the official parody of journalism that represents most of what the mainstream or what some call the “lame stream” media offers.

These are the “products” an “official” news business, an industry now under growing pressure from within and without to maintain a semblance of credibility with an  global audience that has so many other divergent sources to rely on or suck information from.

A part of a global entertainment combine, the advertising sponsored “news biz” also spends inordinate amounts of money marketing itself and referencing its own output.

It is that system that has become one of the major pillars of established power like the institutions of government and the office holders it covers to a fault.… Read the rest

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New York Times Columnist Asks If Glenn Greenwald Is The Future of News

Pic: Glenn Greenwald (CC)

Pic: Glenn Greenwald (CC)

New York Times writer (and former editor) Bill Keller printed a series of letters exchanged between him and muckraking journalist Glenn Greenwald. It’s a little long, but well worth reading.

Via New York Times:

Dear Glenn,

I don’t think of it as reporters pretending they have no opinions. I think of it as reporters, as an occupational discipline, suspending their opinions and letting the evidence speak for itself. And it matters that this is not just an individual exercise, but an institutional discipline, with editors who are tasked to challenge writers if they have given short shrift to contrary facts or arguments readers might want to know.

The thing is, once you have publicly declared your “subjective assumptions and political values,” it’s human nature to want to defend them, and it becomes tempting to omit or minimize facts, or frame the argument, in ways that support your declared viewpoint.

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Why The News Is A Waste of Your time

fear_tvIt’s not what’s important; it’s what’s selling.

How does the news keep your attention? With negativity, shock, and sensationalism.

Warren Francke, a journalism professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, designed a study that revealed just how essential negative storylines were to editors of newspapers. That study was described in the book Sensationalism, where the authors wrote:

Francke’s study found sensational content was printed for entertainment and in order to sell newspapers, but editors rarely admitted that these were the reasons for including sensational content. An interesting finding in Francke’s study was that if crime news came in without grotesque details, the editors often would add them. Most criminal cases were not seen firsthand, so the editors would imagine the crime scene and would add in “the rotting body” or “brains thrown throughout the room.”

In addition to Francke’s research, I have also heard a popular tale about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.… Read the rest

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Rest Easy, ‘Murica: Shutdown Doesn’t Stop Feds From Opening New NSA Center

eGuA25bLAWDon’t worry, loyal citizens: The NSA is still here to stalk love interests, read your mail, listen in on your conversations and otherwise keep acting like a psycho ex-girlfriend/boyfriend.

Via Information Liberation:

The so-called “government shut down” and the furloughing of thousands of non-essential federal employees has not prevented the opening of a $2 billion dollar NSA spy center in Utah which will snoop on Americans’ private emails, Google searches and phone calls.

As we highlighted yesterday, the shut down will only affect the tiny amount of services government provides that Americans actually like.

Rest assured, TSA grope downs, VIPR checkpoints, drone attacks, SWAT team raids, tax collection, torturing terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, arming jihadists in Syria and running guns to Mexican drug dealers will all continue unimpeded – as will NSA domestic spying.

Although the NSA itself refuses to confirm it, to all intents and purposes the agency’s mammoth new spy center in Bluffdale, Utah “may be open already,” according to the Denver Post.

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