25 thoughts on “Uptake put-down

  1. I read that quote differently. he’s worried The Uptake will tweet out internal discussions of things happening in the press room. That’s a fair concern, I suppose. Reporters should be able to have a work space with conversations that aren’t for publication.

    It’s a legit concern, but I would think it could be easily dealt with by having discussions with The Uptake’s editorial team.

    I think there’s this concern among some in the capital coprs that The UpTake being biased somehow tarnishes the others. I find that to be ludicrous at best. And filing a protest on this makes the protesters look bad, I think.

    Doesn’t the White House let Huffington Post and The Atlantic and Slate in?

      1. New people + new media = scary.

        It’s silly. The First Amendment protects the press — it says nothing about the press being unbiased. The press at that time was far from unbiased.

  2. Newt says:

    MSM outlets are ultimately concerned that Uptake will expose some of the MSM’s biases and off-the-record utterances.

  3. Yeah … From the outside, the partisan charge seems like a red herring to me. The crux seems like not so much new media fear as fear of letting in an unruly upstart who we don’t know and hasn’t agreed to club rules, like, “what happens in the press room stays in the press room,” and “don’t make the rest of us look bad with your so-called opinions”.

    1. I suppose that’s the best way to read that appeal for banishment. Still, I can’t help but wonder if some stodgy folks at the old St. Paul Dispatch thought the same thing when those punks from the Rochester Post-Bulletin showed up in the early 1900s.

      “Those crazy kids and their fancy typewriters…”

      1. I wouldn’t consider my reading reflecting positively on the banish-mongers at all, actually… you might call them Luddites; I’d say the request makes them look like cliquish snobs treating the press space like a “men’s club”, or a high school cafeteria…bad either way…

        I’m all for standards by the way — as DeRusha says, they ought to be able to establish agreement that treating the press space as an opportunity to spy on and scoop other media is unacceptable without keeping them out all together.

  4. Ellen Mrja says:

    How silly of the Rochester Post-Bulletin to make this complaint. Here’s a thought: learn to post news yourself on twitter, Facebook and your own Website. Don’t worry about the Uptake. Just get yourself better at being faster.

    I like the Uptake – a lot. When other larger media outlets were afraid to show the police-state atmosphere in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention in 2008, Jason Barnett and his team streamed it LIVE. There was no denying what was taking place because of them.

    As for the idea that the Uptake might pledge to be slower so other media aren’t spied upon and scooped, isn’t this silly, too? Why would any media outlet give up its First Amendment freedom?

    Finally, who’s to stop all the other traditional media from stealing from the Uptake?! Hmmm?

  5. To be clear, I don’t know that there’s any evidence that The UpTake has any intention of posting what I’d consider “work product” online.

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that they go slower or not tweet. Mary Lahammer is a huge Twitter user, so I doubt she’s afraid of Twitter.

    I think the concern (not my concern, mind you) is that The Uptake is rather open about the political views of its volunteers and staff, and that someone sullies the reputation of the complaining journalists.

    The “if you let those guys rent space in the media room – clearly it shows you guys are all a bunch of liberal hacks” theory.

    I find it absurd, but the Capitol is like its own microenvironment, and so things get weird over there sometimes.

  6. Ellen Mrja says:

    Jason: I don’t have the inside dope on this so I trust your assessment. Thanks for chipping in.

  7. Partisan? WTF? The issue is not one of partisanship, but one of corporate pseudo-fascism, such as that practiced by traditional media, not to mention the Pravda-like “journalists” at MPR.

    What the folks at TPT, MPR and others are worried about is that someone will actually PRACTICE real journalism, and expose them for the toadies to power they are.

  8. Where was the vaunted TPT with their multiple DTV channels during the senate recount? Nowhere. While the Uptake broadcast the hearings end to end.

  9. Kevin Watterson says:

    the Capitol is like its own microenvironment, and so things get weird over there sometimes.

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

  10. Ellen Mrja says:

    Rob: You have got the corporate connection right, I fear. (I do not, however, get the reference to Pravda {translation=The Truth} and TPT.

    The Uptake is a huge threat to the traditional ways and means of “doing” news because it is not beholden to any advertiser or stockholder. We can not – nor should we want to – hold citizen journalism back. I think they represent a brilliant use of technology.

    But it is confounding that traditional papers wouldn’t take a look at The Uptake and say, “Maybe we should learn how to be more like them.” And it’s not just the papers who seem threatened, as you point out. The Uptake blurs the traditional lines of audio and video reporting, as well. As long as the pie was always cut into three slices in the past, everything was relatively fine. But now…?

  11. No one’s afraid of The UpTake. There’s a place for them, and a place for the more traditional outlets. I don’t think most MSMers see them as a threat or as competition.

    In the past, lobbyists and partisan bloggers have tried to rent space in the media area of the Captiol. No one wants that. So what about a media outlet where the reporters wear their beliefs on their sleeves?

    I think the people who strive to be impartial and have been trained to not express their personal political beliefs are struggling with the issue. We’re seeing that struggle play out in the open.

  12. MPR = Pravda, i.e. news controlled by an apparat. Just look at our article on how MPR did NOT cover the scandal over Allina a few years back. News at MPR and other outlets is controlled from without, by the institutional and personal connections of those who sit on its boards, much in the same way the Soviet apparat controlled the Soviet state and its news media from without.

  13. I might add that the news consumers in the former communist states had an advantage over us: They KNEW they were getting propaganda, so they didn’t believe what they were told, instead reading between the lines and forming private networks to discern, as best they could, what was going on. Here in the US people, more or less believe what the news media tells them. Thus you have news defined by the theories of Bernays and the “manufacturing of consent.”

  14. Just one example will suffice, think. Media has portrayed the health reform legislation as Democrat-only work, but in reality the bill that was passed was more-or-less suggested by the Heritage Foundation as a response to Bill Clinton’s attempts at reform in 1994, as Obama recently acknowledged.

  15. Ellen Mrja says:

    Rob: The blog posting about Allina was one I’d never read before. Disappointing if neither MPR nor TPT covered such a big political story with ramifications for so many Minnesotan’s health plans.

    But that posting is also about crisis communications, isn’t it? It’s so fine a line to walk between helping someone during a crisis and and helping them pull the wool over someone’s eyes. As a professor, I tell students that public relations is meant to encourage – not impede – the free flow of information. Am I being naiive? I think hell to the yes. But I want the students to at least believe in that ideal.

    Which brings me to another thought. Your comment about Bernay’s (highly overrated) reminded me of a work by French writer, philospher Jacques Ellul called “Propaganda.” It’s a dreary work (written 1965) that has proven to be prescient. We are living in precisely the society Ellul predicted we would be, one where we are propagandized daily by “le technique” (“la”?), not in small ways but in entirely systemic ways involving the government, corporations, the media. Some of his references are, of course, dated. The Soviets are not quite the threat today as they were perceived back then.

    Still, I’ve never forgotten the book. I read it back when I was a graduate student and thought I’d really discovered something when I discovered Ellul. Guess what? I had.

    By the way, the most propagandized persons of all, according to Ellul, are the highly-educated and highly-informed. The more they read, listen and attend to the media, the more propagandized they become..all the while thinking they are above it all. And that’s the greatest propaganda of all.

    Check out that book.

  16. Kelly Groehler says:

    This one is fascinating. I need to get back in here more often. Meanwhile, going to suggest my colleagues read this post and string of comments; highly relevant stuff, particularly as we determine daily where to best invest our time in media conversations. KG

  17. Update:

    “The State of Minnesota has rescinded its termination of The UpTake’s Capitol press room lease, allowing The UpTake to remain in the Capitol press room and continue to provide nonpartisan live streaming video coverage of the legislature as it has for the last two years.

    However, the State Administration department is going ahead with its “review” of all media organizations’ leases at the Capitol. …”

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