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News 'Content Mills' Dupe The Public

July 18, 2012 by  

News 'Content Mills' Dupe The Public
PHOTOS.COM
Assembly line news is changing the information Americans read.

Faced with falling profits and a failing to make an easy transition into the digital age, some American news media outlets have turned away from facts and embraced dishonesty to resuscitate a dying industry.

This has been illustrated by the story of a scandal that has developed over the past few months involving such big name news peddlers as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, among others. All of these companies, in the name of profits, opted to turn to a news mill called Journatic for the production of local content.

Journatic produces this content by searching the Internet for local information on home sales, death notices, Little League scores, police blotter entries, honor rolls, school lunch menus and company press releases and then hiring low-paid and often foreign writers to piece together the information. Its U.S.-based writers receive as little as $12 to $24 for 500-word to 1,000-word stories and Philippine-based content producers get around 35 to 40 cents per piece for their work.

The work is then put through an assembly line of sorts whereby content is added by a string of producers and edits are made by editors. Many of these assembly line news stories have been published under false bylines. This, according to Poynter, was the case with more than 350 stories published on behalf of the Houston Chronicle.

Controversy surrounding Journatic’s outsourced local “journalism” and use of fake bylines was brought to light in a recent radio broadcast of “This American Life.” In the weeks following, many papers reviewed the Journatic content that they received and often found evidence of plagiarism and in some cases outright fabrication.

The Chicago Tribune completely dropped its contract with Journatic and announced this week that it would fill the content void with real local reporters and freelancers. With public pressure other news outlets may follow suit or avoid getting contracts with content mills in the first place.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Vigilant

    “The Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and GateHouse…have suspended or ended their relationships with the company.” (.http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/181342/san-francisco-chronicle-will-review-journatic-content/)
    The Hearst papers (SF and Houston Chronicles) are reviewing their relationships with Journatic and will undoubtedly end them.

    Mike Fourcher, the head of editorial for Journatic, announced his resignation Saturday.

    I would say “case closed” except for the fact that this is just one more case of journalistic dishonesty. It’s known that “investigative reporters” have used internet websites for their information without checking out and verifying from multople sources. The MSM has been guilty of this on several occasions, and points to a deeper problem in the world of journalism.

    It’s a combination of laziness, cheating and zealous agenda-based attitudes of “journalists” in the media. Laziness is just that, simple laziness in failing to do the leg work so necessary to presenting fair and unbiased news. Cheating is reaching epidemic proportions in high schools and universities, and has become an acceptable life choice for so many. Liberal or Conservative agenda plays a more prominent role, and a more nefarious one, in purposely slanting the news to fit the political positions of the disseminators (Re; the “Journolist” scandal).

    • Harald Weltzin

      It used to be that we would have footnotes that showed sources for what was said, but the liberal media do not bother to document their sources. Is this to avoid responsibility for what they say? I have become very leery of stories promoted in the mass Media. They like to leave out a lot of facts such as dates and times. They quote each other without checking out the details of the facts. The conservative radio hosts document their sources and it is possible to trace their sources and what they say. That trail is very vague with the liberal media.

      • GALT

        For a future victim……you ARE funny!!!!!

  • Robert Whiteside

    Oh, for the days of honest journalism!
    Wouldn’t it be great, if we had trustworthy individuals behind our news services?
    Of course, they are in existence because they are supported by people who believe the trash they insist on reporting.
    But, their demise is around the corner. Slowly, reputable news organizations (like Newsmax, Fox, Personal Liberty Digest and others) are gaining momentum. We need to support REPUTABLE organizations like those.

    • 45caliber

      Robert:

      A cousin went through journalist school to be an editor. One of his professors told his class that the No. 1 responsibility of a journalist is to “mold public opinion”. If it was necessary to write a false story to achieve that, then the story was fine. Any retractment of the story, if it was challenged at all, would be a small blurp on page 10 while the false story would be page 1. (Does the Iran Contra Affair bring a memory?) Several students wanted to know what happened to a journalist’s responsibility to report the news – who, what, where, when, why, and how. The professor stated that was no longer necessary. Another student asked who decided what public opinion should be. His answer? “We do.”

      Several years ago, there was a study made of the most respected professions. Journalism was considered one of them – back about 1950 or so. Today, it is one of the three bottom professions. The other two are lawyers and politicians. There was a lot of wonder why this was like that now. An old editor said that answer was easy. All three professions now made their living by lying – and people do not respect liars. They will respect a murderer first.

      • GALT

        Where were the doctor’s? Where were the mercenaries? oops I meant the “troop’s”. or your huddled masses yearning to breathe free?

        What does “unalienable” mean……… again?

        BTW what does PLD pay it’s staph writer’s…………Sam?

      • GALT

        Sam buddy…..wanna BE a journalist……

        Where are the ( common ) law and equity courts?

        Gotta go, I think I hear black helicopters……

        Bob…….btw, I got this BOOK……How you TOO can hear Black Helicopter’s!!!!!!

        Can I be a staph writer?

  • FreedomFighter

    Its called socialist communist propaganda too.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

  • http://twitter.com/mrmo57 Maurice Jackson (@mrmo57)

    The Chicago Trib. is so crapy I only pick it up on Sunday, and thats to use on the bottom of my birds cage…

  • GALT

    duping the public……..the world’s oldest profession……

    “A man must live by his work, and his wages must be at least enough to maintain him.
    They must even on most occasions be somewhat more: otherwise it would be impossible for him to bring up a family and the RACE of such workmen could not last beyond the first generation.”

  • 45caliber

    The Houston Chronicle (the “Comical” as we tend to call it here) doesn’t need help to falsify or at least screw up stories. They do a good enough job of it themselves!

  • Rt

    I believe some time in the late 1900′s, when Morgan, Rockefeller, Warburg and the likes were all Congressmen, they formed a committee to find out how many newspapers one would have to own to sway foreign policy in the minds of Americans. The committee determined at that time it would only take 25 newspapers to accomplish such a thing.

    These men promptly bought as many as they could, and fired the Editors and replaced them with their own like-minded individuals to fill the Editor roles.

    So in my estimation damn near 100 years of bias news reporting, mostly from the well known outlets, has existed in our world. Imagine the size and scope of this agenda now. The Internet is under attack, as it is the last source of information they don’t control 100%. That can change though as they are piecemealing legislation to slowly achieve it.

    Journalists these days seem to be from a more scripted mold professionally. Maybe being part of the Screen Actors Guild is more telling than we think. Lol. I am sure it pays good, you can be ideologically or politically driven as long as you promote the agenda set forth by your Editors. There are still some good investigative journalists out there but you would never see them on any establishment media outlets.

    • 45caliber

      Rt:

      There have been only two real chains of newspapers since the early 1900s. One is owned by the Hearst family in San Francisco. (Remember Patty?) The other is owned by a family in New England but I don’t remember who. About 90% of all national newspaper stories are originated by these two newspapers.

      Back in 1968 I saw a list of rules to take over the US by the Amercian Communist Party. The second rule was to “take control of the news media and use it to prevent the people from knowing what goes on in their legislative halls and to tear down the image of any natural leader the people might wish to follow.”

      At that time, Clinton was first running for a state office in AR. In addition many of the people in college with me remembered him from his brief college days in AR. He had bragged that 8 people were going to put him in the White House. To the best we could figure, one was the controller/owner of the eastern newspaper chain. One was the controller/owner of American Radio network (which handles almost all national stories there), and two were owners/controllers of NBC and either CBS or ABC news. I’ve not had a reason since to doubt that the media is the power behind the throne for the Democrats.

  • Jay

    Big Media outsourcing jobs? Say it aint so, Joe!!

    • GALT

      It ain’t so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doreen.mateicka Doreen Mateicka

    Where are Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite when we need them?

    • GALT

      dead?

      • GALT

        BTW what do you imagine you need them FOR? Certainly not the truth…..the Federal Reserve printed it’s last note “redeemable in LAWFUL MONEY” in 1955.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.mancuso.56 Dan Mancuso

    I think a lot of you are missing the point. In America ALL the media are owned by 5 corporations, not just news papers, All the vehicles for the disemination of information. Except the internet (and the public library system) – and how much longer can that last.
    If you want to know the true role of the ‘Press’, read the ‘Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’. WAIT. Before you begin lashing out at me as an antiSemite, the Protocols are NOT about Jews! It somehow had that tilte attached to it as a very effective way of de-legitimising it.
    It is basically the minutes of a meeting of the people who actually run the world. I imagine there are some Jews involved, but it’s not about Jews!
    If you have the intellectual integrity to read it before you pass judgement on it, it becomes very clear what exactly the role of the ‘press’ is. And it’s not pretty! If you read it, it becomes clear that this is fact, not an anti-Semitic hoax, as is the general belief that has been programmed into people. If you can get through it. It is one of the ugliest, most difficult reads I have ever put myself through. The guy who originally translated it into English was physically ill. The fact that everything that was out lined to happen has happened ( it’s over a hundred years old) is proof positive of it’s legitimacy. I got my copy of it off the internet years ago at Bible Believers, beware of misinformation!

  • Mark Saunders

    Disinformation techniques is now search engine based.

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