Who cares who reports a ‘scoop’ first? Journalists do
Nothing gets journalists chattering like a debate about themselves, so I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that my post yesterday about the fixation many news outlets have with being first attracted some notice. Nearly everyone who contacted me about the piece did so to say “Amen!” Except for the poor souls whose job it is to produce micro-scoops on a daily or hourly basis. They didn’t like it so much.
I’m not trying to start a slow-news movement (although that wouldn’t be the worst thing that happened to journalism…) For that matter, I understand that for the wire services, their whole business model is based on building reputations for being fast and accurate. So what’s the problem? ...
The obsession with being first pre-dates this crazy 24-7 Politico world. It was obviously once a matter of pride that has now become the expectation for every story, big and small. That may be good for business, but I still say it's not good for journalism. And I still don't care who yells “first!” in the giant comments section that is modern journalism.