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18 November 2015 @ 07:05 am
Media and experts  
“Why isn’t the media covering this?”
They is. The singular media refers to all those Establishment outlets that the speaker doesn’t have to bother to check because they’re the Establishment. Cf. “Why haven’t the feminists complained about…?”

Meanwhile, record number of terrorism experts report for duty in internet comment sections.

Thanx to andrewducker
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Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on November 18th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
The first four comments to the second link nearly made me fall off my chair laughing!

As to the first: I must commend conuly for posting links to many different sources, mostly non-Establishment. The truth is out there; we just have to find it and pass it along our ownselves. "Can't stop the signal!"
eub on November 19th, 2015 09:54 am (UTC)
Hm, the first article doesn't really get to grips with how we shape our news according to traffic data.

Sure, lots of media sources cover lots of things to a non-zero extent. The question is how much, and the question is how the amount of coverage relates to the baseline amount of interest. In particular, does the coverage widen differences in interest, or does it bring them together. A rational media source has a tendency to play "winner take all", which widens differences.

There's a difference in the audience's interest in Paris versus Beirut. Quantify it like, if a paper presented the two stories 'flat' -- equal headline size, flip coin for ordering, etc. -- maybe a general U.S. audience clicks 90% on Paris and 10% on Beirut. Just to make up a number.

Then does the data-driven newspaper run 9 Paris stories to 1 Beirut story "above the fold"? No, probably it runs 10 and 0. The data-driven reason is this: given the first 9 Paris, adding which 10th story will get more clicks? Often, Paris wins. Again and again and again. (Yes, for various reasons the Beirut story empirically can win -- satiation with the majority story, customizing to audience segments with minority taste -- but 9x gain is a lot in this business, and if it's even possible, it takes some work by the newspaper to realize it.)

From interest skewed 90 / 10 we can produce stories skewed 10 / 0 (or to be fair, 9.9 / 0.1, to account for the Beirut story buried behind a "more World stories" clickthrough or whatever). Then that skew amplification feeds back around to the interest.

So the kind of thing we're talking about is not a strawman of why a news source isn't publishing 5 / 5; we realize that would need major change in us the audience. It's whether the news source maximizes clicks with 10 : 0, or whether they feel a responsibility to publish 9 : 1 or even 8 : 2.

(Do they teach this in journalism school? I don't know.)