Turning inner space into outer space

December 21, 2011

Is it lazy, or just pack journalism?

Marketing guru Seth Godin has weighed in on what he sees as a “new” lazy journalism. The gist of it is that we’re lazy because much of what we cover is duplicated by other journalists. He’d like to see more originality.

How many times have I read the story about Louis CK in the last week? Did I need a newspaper to write precisely the same story days after I read it for the first time? How much do we care about the race for ‘first’ when first is now measured in seconds or perhaps minutes?

What Godin calls lazy journalism is known in the business as pack journalism, and there’s nothing new about it. Reporters are under constant pressure from editors to “match” a story.

The thinking is that a news organization will look bad if everyone else has a big story and they don’t. And to a certain extent it makes sense — if Louis CK is creating a lot of buzz, why shouldn’t everyone get in on the action?

And it’s not like originality has ever been discouraged. News organizations have long strived for exclusives to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Link: The new lazy journalism