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Media Watch: Online Journalism Is Heading Straight to Hell

by Anne Thompson
July 7, 2010 7:49 AM
2 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

Some online journalists make calls, check facts, report, and look at movies before we review them. Are we dinosaurs?

Today, the world of movie journalism is imploding under the onslaught of hot topics, on-demand volume, content farms, and the pursuit of enormous traffic, often via aggregation, non-credited theft, scandal and celebrity-mongering. Media watchdog Dylan Stableford catalogues the horrors confronting journalism these days.

While TOH won't thrive if we don't pay attention to what readers are interested in, I try to balance entertaining posts with serious, useful original content: analysis and new information dug up the old-fashioned way, by talking to people.

Check out these disturbing trends:

Thompson on Hollywood

One critic consistently generates attention and traffic by contrarily zigging when everyone else zags. Slant dissects New York critic Armond White's Toy Story 3 pan, and finds it lacking. At least White watches the movie and writes his own reviews, which is saying something these days.

You can't take anything for granted. W. B. Goss tracked down a man who for five years posted reviews on his website--all plagiarized.

One film editor on deadline posted a review of Inception without having seen the film. She gave it three out of four "hearts." When called on this, she didn't seem to think she had done anything wrong. Shane Danielson writes:


Ms. Troester, it should be noted, is hardly alone. People do this every day. I mentioned this incident to two friends, one in London and one in Sydney, before I started writing this piece, and each could name one or two of their peers who function in exactly the same way. But I think about friends of mine who’ve lost their jobs in the past twelve months - good critics, smarter about film and more diligent in their professional responsibilities than Ms. Troester and her ilk will ever be - and think how galling it is to see their ranks diminished, replaced by people for whom the work is cheap and meaningless and without honour or self-respect. People no better, in essence, than those shit-eating, merch-grabbing junket whores who’ll happily stump up a positive quote for anything, provided it comes with a night in a hotel room and free sandwiches in the hospitality suite.
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More: Stuck In Love, Reviews, Media, Bloggers

2 Comments

  • Wow Jones | July 12, 2010 9:01 AMReply

    Sheesh. It's too bad that in all the whining over Armond White, very few people are mentioning that he's written a book on the subject of Michael Jackson that may very well be the best EVER on the subject. It's called, "KEEP MOVING: The Michael Jackson Chronicles" and it's a collection of essays on the subject of King Of Pop, MICHAEL JACKSON.

    Published in 2009 and written over the course of 25 years, the essays focus on the songs and music videos AFTER the Thriller album. If you are interested in more information, google the entire title and read for yourself the praise that Armond White has earned. Also, see what a growing audience of readers have discovered about critic Armond White. That he's ALWAYS been a shining example of insightful, honest and principled criticism.

  • Stewart Nusbaumer | July 7, 2010 12:45 PMReply

    Need to take the criticism deeper here. The problem is not merely the low life shenanigans and mercenary ripoffs coming from the shabby crowd, but also the dismal quality of writing coming from the so called legitimate, so called serious film reviewers. While independent film is soaring in quality, those writing about independent film -- which are not many, the glitzy world tends to carry most of them away -- are doing a crappy job. Too many reviews are written too fast and without any serious thought to subject matter. It's a paradox that is not going away.

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