Getting Your Blog Posts Via Facebook: The Ultimate Lazy Writing Move

One of the things that annoys me about television journalism is “man on the street” interviews about important subjects. First of all, I live near a big, metropolitan city in the south. Oh heck, I’ll just say it. I live near Atlanta. Watching the evening news is painful. When the Michael Vick story was big every stereotypical impoverished white person or black person was on the news giving their often inarticulate opinion. And then, because the station is based in Atlanta, their clip would make it on CNN.

So embarrassing.

I sometimes wonder if the producers are just having a little fun, spicing up their already boring day, by choosing the people with the heaviest southern accents, or poor grammar, or ridiculous comments regarding les news du jour.

And then, of course, there’s Fox News (not based in Atlanta, thank God) with their inane banter and shallow commentary on newsworthy events. I don’t want to hear from the man on the street. I certainly don’t want to hear the opinions of news journalist wannabes who got the job because they looked good on camera.

Just give me the news, for God’s sakes. Give me the facts and let me decide how I feel about it. I’m not a lemming. I don’t need to hear how Joe Blow feels before I can decide what I think about the situation in Iran.

So, I read most of my news. But even that can be tricky. I’ll be reading along and mid-way through I realize I’m reading opinion, thinly disguised as fact. By the end of the article, I’m both sure that it’s opinion and I’m disgusted. If the topic really interests me, I’ll Google it and sift through fact and fiction until I get a clear picture. But what a pain in the fingers.

Imagine my surprise when I find an article, online, promising The 13 Things That Blah, Blah, Blah (I’m not going to name it. It wasn’t that great of an article and I don’t want to hurt the blogger’s – dare I say writer’s? – feelings.) 

The article gave a cursory overview of the topic in one or two paragraphs and then……

…wait for it……

…wait for it…..

Facebook fans wrote the rest.

Oh, sure. The writer (I use this term loosely) compiled the responses. But items #1, #2, #3 and so on were quotations via Facebook.

An entire article based on Joe and Jane Blows from Facebook. Their opinion. Not even a collective study of the most 13 Blah, Blah, Blahs. Just 13 random opinions that were gathered from a Facebook page.

Now that’s the ultimate lazy writing move.

And if I ever get a case of terminal writer’s block?

Hmmmmmm……..

She might be on to something.

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8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Observations

8 responses to “Getting Your Blog Posts Via Facebook: The Ultimate Lazy Writing Move

  1. I hate watching the news, you only get told what they want you to hear. I read mine too but I don’t mind opinion if a) it’s interesting and well written AND b) indicated as such! Maybe titling the post/article as 13 Views from Facebook on X would have been more accurate. 🙂

  2. This post might have been funny had it not been so true! 🙂

    Believe it or not our local “news” has a “Facebook Fan of the Day.” People actually bother to VOTE for a fan of the day. (I suspect that many of them don’t vote in elections.) Hey…that’s an idea. Rather than ballots, let’s vote by sending our tweets or text messages! Think about it…no more hanging chad’s and polling places. As an added benefit the government could snatch our cyber addresses and more easily access our private lives.

  3. Since I get most of my news from peoples’ Twitter and FB feeds, I guess I understand this, but it is still lazy journalism, and a shame.

  4. sifting through fact, fiction and opinion is the down side of the internet. Upside? Finding more facts about anything in the world than ever before. During conversations about all sorts of things my family and I are always saying…let’s look that up! It’s like having a reference librarian in the family. Oh. Wait. I AM a reference librarian! By degree anyway! LOL

  5. So I work professionally in media relations for a large Canadian non-profit, so I’m right there with you on this one. It’s not good journalism, or even writing. Doesn’t mean that this kind of post isn’t sometimes fun, but there is nothing more irritating then when it’s depicted as “hard news.” My biggest beef is reading news articles of major national dailies (for me, largely here in Canada) and seeing quotes that are attributed to Twitter. I suppose we’ll see more and more of this, but for goodness sake you’d think they could take the small effort to get an ACTUAL name.

  6. I was just listening to an interview on NPR with their new CEO that addressed the decline and fall of hard journalism. I’m a blogger and I’m on Twitter, but I recognize that there’s a big difference between the type of writing I do in those places that the type I do when I’m being paid to research and write a piece of journalism. The problem, I think, is that that line is being blurred, and often erased, even when it shouldn’t be.

    Great post!

  7. All the more reason that my “surly” comes out when I read articles that cite (so-called) data… and sources quoting sources quoting sources that quote themselves.

    Um… circle of life?

    Just this week, there was the sex addiction “epidemic” (cough, choke, not exactly… ) and of course, the all important revelations that men don’t think about sex every 7 seconds; in actuality, it’s every 1.26 hours.

    That revision based upon… wait for it… 120 college students between the ages of 18 and 25. Yep. I’d say that’s globally relevant.

    I wonder if those smart guys are available to work on some of our even more critical socio-political topics?

    Authenticity. Credibility. Credentials. Experience. Legitimate research. Helloooooo???

  8. As I said before, thanks for the idea! 😉

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