~~~>Post Length - Long, but tolerable
Rafi of Oh Word just posted on the lack of Journalism
in Hip Hop Journalism. He goes on to critique several
Hip Hop blogs, one of which is The Smoking Section.
Full disclosure I am cool with both Gotty of The Smoking
Section and Rafi.
Gotty has never claimed that TSS was a home to HH journalism.
In fact ,old boy is quite pragmatic in terms of keeping, hip hop,
journalism and page views all in perspective.
For instance, when Gotty and I recently discussed my
Saul/KRS Sell Out post, we agreed that even though
Primo was on the Smirnoff sponsored track with KRS,
it wouldn't be proper for me to bring Primo into the
critique because he never held himself out to be a
I jokily mentioned to Gotty how he would probably accept cigarette ads
and then I caught myself, acknowledging that the name of the site IS
The Smoking Section. Duh.
When I mentioned this Primo clause to Filthy he reminded me
that Primo was always gully friendly, as he has worked with everyone
from Freddie Fox to MOP to NAS. You don't GET more street then
M.O.P. It ain't gonna happen.
If you read Rafi's post, it isn't personal attack on any
blogger. It is about the lack of investigation in Hip Hop
Journalism in general as he cites the fact that The Smoking
Gun has broken two major hip hop related pieces in the last month.
I would push Rafi a step further to critique the erosion of
investigative journalism and investigative anything over the
last 20 years. His post reminded me of two things.
First a piece by Nick Davies on the rise of
Public Relations and the erosion of investigate
journalism around the world. Nick uses the Iraq War
as a test case. He measures the erosion by the fact
that newspaper journalist's are expected to accomplish
as much as they did 20 years ago in a fraction of the time,
which of course raises issues of sustainability.
You crunch all those numbers for all these companies and you come up with something that is really important – essentially, your average Fleet Street reporter now is filling three times as much space as he or she was 20 years ago. Turn that round, look at it from the reporter’s point of view: we only have one third of the time to do our job. That’s terribly important.He also speaks on the PR machine as it relates to the war. He writes,
While we’ve been losing our jobs, somebody else has been getting more and more jobs. Which is the PR industry. There was an invisible moment at some point in the last decade when the number of PR people in this country finally exceeded the number of journalists.Nick's comments on the PR game hit me particularly in the spine
When I started on local papers, if you wanted to write a story about a hospital you phoned the hospital you talked to the hospital manager or a doctor. Now you deal with a PR. Across the public sector – and across the private sector. All corporations now defend themselves. And charities and even terrorist groups! Everybody has PR people.
Whereas you should have a system where journalists, working honestly and independently, make what used to be called news judgments and say this story is important, this angle needs to be expressed, this research needs to be done....
And it isn’t just about press releases. It’s about deeply manipulative behaviour. So for example, PR companies work very assiduously to set up front groups. These are phony grass-roots groups. There are so many phony grass-roots groups in the US that they have a nice little term for them, they call them Astroturf, because they’re not real grass.A classic example of an Astroturf group is the Iraqi National Congress, the INC. The INC didn’t just emerge out of nowhere, it was invented and created by a man called John Rendon..."
because I have been considering launching a full blown PR
hustle. I figured, I have written bios, I understand music, marketing
and the law, I can work on getting in contact with artists, so why
not? Well, Nick's words have me thinking about how, if this is a
choice I make, which SIDE of the force I am going to be on.
That is the realness.
The second thing it reminded me of was of a few posts from the
tech bloggers world about the lack of original thought in the
blogosphere. Doc Searl, of The Linux Journal, lays out
why orginal thought is difficult. He writes,
- Writing original thought-provoking blog content is a challenge. It takes time, thought and effort. The problem, however, is many bloggers are often short of time, which means it is difficult to come up with insightful thoughts...
- Many bloggers just want to be part of the conversation before it moves on. You see a hot story and you’re keen to jump in but not willing to simply leave a comment on someone else’s blog...
- Writing original content often provides a low return on investment. Let’s face it, traffic is what drives many bloggers, which explains why checking your stats on a regular basis is a key part of blogging...
is ALWAYS original thought here at Model Minority. Sometimes
too much thought according to some......
I found it affirming because it appears that formal journalist,
hip hop bloggers and tech bloggers seem to be asking themselves
the same question, which is how do we classify the material that
we are writing?
Speaking of investigative journalism, the war and
pr, did you see this? The Pentagon's Hidden Hand?
Its more like The Matrix meets 1984 courtesy of your
BLOG UPDATE 9:59am
I just came across a Times article on the tension
between sports teams and sport bloggers. I think
I am on to something here.
Last month Mr. Cuban sought to ban bloggers from the Mavericks’ locker room, but the National Basketball Association intervened, ruling that bloggers from credentialed news organizations must be admitted.
Mr. Cuban then decided to let in any blogger — “someone on Blogspot who has been posting for a couple weeks, kids blogging for their middle school Web site or those that work for big companies.”
Tension over sports blogging is one of the strains between sports franchises, leagues and reporters to have emerged during the digital age.