Where main stream “news” comes from

The main stream media(MSM) has lost it’s way and I don’t think it is ever coming back. Bloggers and social media are fast becoming the new reliable news source as the MSM has just become a regurgitation machine for businesses. A glowing example for me of this is from the real estate industry. They take full advantage of the PR process to get their message out that it’s always a good time to buy.

“News” as it’s called at the end of this process starts off in a boardroom and in this case, the board room of a large national real estate firm. The product for this company is real estate and in order for them to make money, they need to move tons of it. So they craft a message that makes buying real estate a smart decision regardless of the fact that buying real estate right now is a terrible decision. This time the message was;

Single-family homes remain the most popular property type among both Baby Boomers and Generation Y, according to Royal LePage survey”

The message doesn’t really matter for the point I’m making here as the semantics may change but the message is always about moving product.

They started off by hiring a firm called Leger Marketing to do a poll.(Just as an aside, Polls are also about as accurate as weather forcasts) They then put the data together and create some scientific looking metrics that prove or attempt to prove their point. The data and findings are word-smithed and wrapped up in a nice bow and fed into the Newswire.ca Press Release distribution machine. For a few hundred bucks anyone can send a press release to every news desk in the country or world if they choose.

The MSM news desks comb through these advertisements, I mean press releases and choose the ones they want to make into “News”. They then “write” a story or cut, paste and paraphrase the press release and you get this.

Here’s the Press Release that Royal Lepage paid to send to Canadian news desks earlier this week.

Press release that Royal Lepage paid to send to Canadian news desks.
Press release that Royal Lepage paid to send to Canadian news desks.

An then the regurgitation began…

gandm winipegcalgary

thelistgoeson

The sad part about all of this is that it is so easy for the general public to be manipulated. The process above can be done for less than $500 dollars by almost anyone who is good at story telling.

This weak example of  journalism has gone on for years. People are getting smarter and are losing confidence in the reliability, accuracy and supposed unbiased information coming from the “News”. Unfortunately the baby boomers that these messages are targeted at are the one’s that still have faith in the accuracy and reliability of the “news” and hence the ones that are being deceived the most.

With the news business now operating like this, I’m still confused as to why main stream media executives wonder why they are all going bankrupt?

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One thought on “Where main stream “news” comes from

  1. It’s true that, due to lack of funding, the mainstream media doesn’t conduct as much due diligence as it once did. It’s also true that, in an attempt to churn out content, outlets post fast, easy, dispensable stories based on industry-funded surveys. (Aside on polls: weather reports are often accurate.) But none of that implies anything about the over-hyped value of bloggers and social media users.
    Bloggers are great at pointing out the problems and errors in professional journalism, and that’s an important service. They can also operate as incredible opinion columnists. But they’re still absolutely reliant on trained journalists doing actual reporting, and anyone who believes untrained citizen reporters would do a better job of basic news gathering is fooling themselves. Despite how often the mainstream media may disappoint people, largely due to funding issues, they still break important stories, and the majority of reporters and editors still function under a strict code of conduct.

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