Journalism warning labels

Hilarious-but-sorta-disturbingly plaintive¬†creations by British “geek comedian” Tom Scott:

To meet a deadline, this article was plagiarised from another news source.

Journalist hiding their own opinions by using phrases like 'some people claim'.

To ensure future interviews with subject, important questions were not asked.

and more.

One of the thing journalists hate the most is laaaaazy people who call themselves journalists. And there’s definitely a ton of a lot of them out there. In fact, most of the criticisms I’ve heard about media is really just about lazy ass journalists, the ones who don’t pick up a phone to verify something in a press release, the ones who write around a confusing fact or quote instead of clarifying by finding more information on the subject; the ones who instead of trying capture quotes word for word just jot down some keywords and capture the “spirit” of the person’s comments, the ones who BLATANTLY STEAL YOUR COPY WITHOUT EVEN BEING NON-LAZY ENOUGH TO CHANGE YOUR WORDS, and so forth. It’s real easy to be lazy too: overworked editors don’t have time to manage on as detailed a level as they once did, making them act more like content factories than quality control. With fewer reporters on staff, filling the newshole becomes more important, so pushing back a story by a day isn’t a possibility sometimes.

What we could really use, however, is warning labels for TV news.

WARNING: So-called expert has had no experience with this case until briefed by phone 10 minutes ago.

WARNING: In place of actual reporting, producers have invited two opposing sides to yell half-truths at each other.

CAUTION: News story you are viewing was chosen for visual impact, not importance. There’s probably still a war on somewhere, but this car chase eats time.

ATTENTION: Poll information in this package was gathered from the first five people to walk by our studio. It should not be construed as representative of the nation as a whole.

WARNING: Many “strategists” and “commentators” who appear on this network actually work for the campaigns or companies they are talking about. They will appear throughout the campaign season.

CUIDADO: Ann Coulter, is, in fact, a robot.

CNN ALERT: Kelli Arena, Howie Kurtz and Christiane Amanpour are the two only real reporters to have regularly appeared on air at CNN. Most everyone else is a compensated actor.

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Studies show watching Headline News for extended periods will cause your face to fall off.

PELIGRO MAS FUERTE: Thinking Keith Olbermann is all that different from Bill O’Reilly will cause terminal delusional visions.

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