Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Here's what "news" feels like on the Ground.

I do another blog called Tough Love for Xerox and posted the quoted part over there. But I thought it might help our newspaper folks to view it.

So while I was trolling the internets I had C Span in the background. Here's what I think I heard. The whistler blower on Madoff spent 4 hours, figured out it was a scam, and tried to get the SEC's attention. He had all the stuff except for access to emails. Everything else was public information.

The following should be confirmed:
I'm pretty sure I heard him say that there are still many undiscovered feeder funds, mostly in Europe.

Signal v noise is not a trivial problem. This one is going cost someone between $50 and $70 billion dollars.

posted a couple of hours later:
It's now 12:15 New York Time. The blablabla is starting to peak on the net. Here's the Google search on "Madoff Congressional Hearing." As of now Google says there are 537 stories, each no doubt with the "breaking news." I wonder how much money was spent to be "first with the news".

When will Our Captains of Industry and Government (and Newspaper folks) learn that in a google-mart economy with a NoDramaObama adminstration, Less (noise) really is More (signal) and More (noise) is really Less (signal.)

So how much value could be created by recording the Cspan hearing. Have a court reporter or two on the payroll to do the the transcript in real time. Do a copy check against the broadcast version. Cut and paste the important parts. (that's the editor's job) and Publish the result in tomorrow's Print Edition.

That way people can form their own judgments. Newspeople wouldn't have to waste their precious time and talent telling a story that everyone already knows about, only sooner for the real newsie fans. Or have ill considered opinions, so that they can join the talking heads tonight on blablabla TV. Plus it's a lot cheaper.

So. . .it's better, faster, cheaper. What exactly am I missing?

You might want to take a quick glance at Why Most of the "News" Sucks, Most of the Time. posted a couple of days ago or People Keep Talking at Harvard, which I did this morning.

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