Monday, June 29, 2009

My open letter to Dan 'creepy sleepy' Paterson

This 'open letter' is basically an edited version of, what I would call the makings of a passionate debate, Dan thinks it to be "angry, nasty, and agro".

You can follow my twitter stream here:
Dan's is here:

My open letter to Dan 'creepy sleepy' Paterson

Dan, you went on about Michael Jacksons death and ABC checking and verifying it's sources and that's funny, yet sad to me.

It's sad that you've become some sort of shill for old media. defending their lack of savvy to get an exclusive of the tabloid kind. Like MJs death was news or I should say, like ABC is a legit news source.

In this day and age ABC and their like are dinosaurs... I mean, they might fact check, but we all know they don't report the facts.

I made it real clear w/ my comparison to "dewey defeats truman" - time tells the tale. We're in this hyper-speed info age, so it takes no time at all for the sources, for the story, for the truth to come to the surface.

We the people no longer need a middle man to check and confirm the source... the source will check the news reports and twitter/facebook the truth.

I understand you and others like you who depend on a paycheck must represent how important you and your job is, but I think we both know that's BS.

Dan's old website and the reason I judge him corporate shill:


Blogger Dan Patterson said...

Original Post:

Shane -

Thanks much for your post. I'm always eager to discuss issues news, journalism, transparency, trust, and our changing media ecosystem.

I'm still confused as to what your particular grievance is, and what caused your outburst on Twitter. Personally, I tend to think emotional outbursts are great for grabbing attention (and you have succeeded in this case), but not so effective at articulating a point, generating community, or earning trust and credibility.

However, I'm happy to address the few points you made in your blog post.

You made the argument that the speed of information dissemination equals verification of sources. This is a fallacy and is akin to comparing apples and oranges. While technology can facilitate better sourcing, it's not replacement for good, solid, investigation. As in academics, a good reporter and news organization - big or small, indie or corporate - will always do her or his best to speak with someone very close to or theprimary source.

In the case of Michael Jackson, the sourcing was a police officer, doctor or hospital pronouncing the death. With Iran, good sourcing means calling the State Department and UN. Sometimes confirmation does take time. While a blog (TMZ) reported the Michael Jackson death, said blog is still a part of traditional media (Time Warner). Is TMZ big media or old? With respect to sourcing, does it matter? TMZ clearly did a great job and had sources. Other news organizations (including CNN, also a Time Warner property) held off until they had their own, independent verification. Had TMZ been wrong, then the story would be "How Twitter Users Messed Up - How Gossip and Rumor Spreads Online."

In the case of Michael Jackson, the delay between reports and confirmation was a very simple matter of different media outlets verifying their sources before confirming a report.

Why? Because The News reports events, it is essential for The News (and by extension, reporters) to be credible and trustworthy.

Now we can generalize and point out all the failings of news companies over the past several decades. No person and no organization is infallible. I cannot speak to policy at other organizations, but I do know that almost every journalist I've encountered in the field - from the South Dakota abortion ban, to the United Nations, to Darfur - has a sincere devotion to truth and credibility. Good journalists will make sure to source their material before disseminating or repeating unverified information. Why? Becasue we know that Trust is Currency.

While I do not speak for my organization and my opinions are my own, I think you will find most reputable news outlets - be they Majors or be they small blogs - follow fairly similar codes of conduct.

On a personal note I'm disappointed that someone who is clearly passionate about these topics has resorted to petty behavior. Character attack strategy (employed here, here, here, here, and Twitter Search) will typically result in undermining both the Messenger (in this case, you), and the Message itself. In addition to damaging the message, such behavior denigrates the medium of social media and plays in to the argument's of it's detractors: namely that social media is full of petty, small, noisy trolls.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on media. I'm sure that many share our mutual interest and concern about the changing nature of media and journalism.

Thanks again, take care.


June 29, 2009 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Dan Patterson said...

Also, just a point of correction for the record: You misspelled my name. As the Primary Source, I just figured I'd save you some work and point that out. No Twitter required.

June 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Greg Hollingsworth said...

I'm not really sure how to respond to this, as I feel Dan has done a good job of intoning my sentiments, and though I have known Dan for well over a decade now, I would never presume to speak for him, so while I won't defend him (he doesn't need me to do so, he is quite capable of defending himself), I will defend his actions.

Dan is a journalist, he may not have intended to become a journalist when he went to BHSU, nor when he was doing unpaid internships for Capitol Records, or getting paid to play music he would never actually listen to on a rock radio station. But in the end, he became a journalist, even though some told him not to go to ABC (I encouraged him to go for the record), he understood that if you want to change the system, you have to do it from within.

The coverage of Michael Jackson's death was no more overblown than the death of any pop-culture icon that has passed since the advent of the 24 hour news cycle. Dan's messaging via twitter was simply him performing his due diligence, something that people seem to forget to do in a world where information takes mere seconds to spread globally.

Shane, I have a suggestion, if you don't like the way Dan handled this situation, stop following him on Twitter, unfriend him on Facebook (and feel free to do the same to me, I'm @ghollingsworth on twitter). We live in a world full of choices, and instead of simply choosing to change the channel, you have decided to turn the volume up and make sure that everyone around you knows how dissatisfied you are with the programming.

This isn't about Dan being annoying (which he most certainly can be and I will be the first to tell him so), it's about Dan doing his job and trying to produce good, solid journalistic content. If you have a problem with that, feel free to flip to NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN and never watch/listen/read anything ABC produces ever again, in the end it's your choice.

This is a situation where TMZ simply had better (and probably more expensive) sources than anyone else in the mainstream (and TMZ is about as mainstream as you get when it comes to celebrity gossip) media. Dan did his job, which is to verify and then report, not to print first and ask questions later (just ask Dan Rather how he feels about verifying sources).

June 29, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

Dan, It's simple, we the people have access to all of the sources you the main stream media does... and a mind, and hopefully finger tips to do our own research. No journalism class is needed... just google/twitter and a curious mind.

Info moves too quick for the mainstream media to matter anymore, that is unless it's goal is to enable lack of thought and lazy minds.

Trusting in oneself is what new media is about to me... new media gives me hope that the people, once empowered might shed some of their insecurities and believe in the self, not your self, but the self. And who knows, maybe they'll even start to engage with their neighbors and local politicians.

When you speak of TRUST being the new currency, maybe you're right, and this just might be the root of my issue with you - you betrayed that trust the second you took a check from some corporate news organization... any of them. The worst part, you used new media and this Trust/Currency to get/buy your foot in the door... I just do not believe that you can change things from within, I believe that you change things by going against the grain... by fighting the power.

Me, I'm more into empowering people to become the media, I'm for the people trusting themselves and not having to TRUST the media or I should say, some corporate middle man posing as the media.

The point of the dewey defeats truman example is that mistakes in reporting happen, and over time the truth is set free... today, that time is within minuets, so the good people shouldn't be concerned with making a mistake here and there, it's their intentions that matter.

You speak of disappointment, I too am disappointed. I guess terms like troll and shill are subjective at best, tho I feel you fit the definition of a shill to a tee and I really don't see myself as a troll, rather I'm opinionated and passionate and most important- on topic... maybe it's my topic, inspired by your topic, but on topic none the less.

To insinuate that this isn't a productive exchange is short sighted on your part. I most certainly feel it's a productive topic, I've based my entire life on it. To state that I'd do this for some sort of credibility is insane, I've been at this for over 20 years and would shun your credibility in a second... aside from being kind to certain journalists and friends, I shun almost all corporate offers of exploitation.

So get over yourself and quit regurgitating crap you've picked up in some overrated school - 'journalism' ain't rocket science... and building the illusion that it is, is so 2000.

June 30, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Greg Hollingsworth said...

Why don't we ask Jeff Goldblum just how accurate twitter is (, that tweet was made around 8:45 CST on July 1st, two days after this story had been proven false by, well, Jeff Goldblum when he appeared in person on the Colbert Report Monday night.

Journalism is more than a google/twitter search, and if you really think that anyone can be a journalist, you're kidding yourself. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN, MSNBC all exist for a reason, because people watch them. If everyone were turning off the TV and just searching google and twitter for their information two things would happen, those stations would cease to exist and we would read a lot more retractions/apologies.

Honestly, I think you're the one that needs to get off your high-horse here. After all, @cnnbrk has well over 2 million followers on twitter indicating that even in the world of new/social media, the Mainstream media has it's place, and 2 million + people agree with me (even if I'm not one of them).

I think that the Jacko situation is a perfect example of a situation that completely contradicts this statement: "we the people have access to all of the sources you the main stream media does... and a mind, and hopefully finger tips to do our own research."

Obviously the people, did not have access to the sources that TMZ (which is mainstream media, owned by Time Warner) did. And you want to know why? Because TMZ pays better than you do. TMZ may have broken the story first, but you know what that's considered, good journalism. They verified that Jacko had died and then they reported it. They had better sources, they got the scoop, but don't kid yourself, TMZ is every bit full of "journalists", even if they're stock in trade is celebrity gossip. They wouldn't have run that story if they weren't pretty goddamn sure that it was true.

You're right, Journalism ain't rocket science, but then again, neither is accounting, or auto repair, or teaching, or being an SEO, but they all take training and some people do them much better than others. Having a blog doesn't make you a journalist, or a critic, it gives you the opportunity to be either, but it's what you do with it that determines what you are.

July 1, 2009 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

Greg Hollingsworth -

To say you need training to become a journalist is something I'd imagine a person who invested a whole lotta time and effort in an overrated, over priced school would say... that's the only reason I can think that you'd continue to try and marginalize NEW media?

If you want to equate numbers, with an entity having a place in culture, why not start with Hitler. For me, numbers don't mean shit as far as quality goes, I mean new kids on the block VS. fugazi ect and so on... get it? Selling your integrity is temporary, influence is forever.

OLD media companies are falling at an alarming rate and the death of what you know as journalism isn't the recession... the death rattle you hear is because the folks who read more than the wal-mart sale paper, are on-line, picking and choosing their source, their interests, their truth.

The reason the people have turned their back on dinosaur news outlets like ABC Radio is because 90% of modern journalists are actually writers and NOT journalists... they don't aspire to find and report a truth, most modern journalist aspire to become the rockstar, movie makin, best sellin author.

The writer turned journalist looks for an exclusive, a coattail to ride, an out if you will. Most use journalism to climb a social ladder, to be accepted and gain affection.

Real journalists do anything and everything they can to get the bottom of the story, they have bad breath, drink too much coffee, smoke and in general are a breed all unto themselves... I'd say a TRUE Journalist is born, not taught.

To go to school for journalism is akin to going to school for art - not at all needed. It's a way to justify having your parents pay for 4 years of what better be a useful experience and not just a 4 year escape from reality.

You attack the technology points of my post without adding in the human elements like a curious mind... the only quality I left out of my original post is ethics, a quality you can't have while accepting a check from the corporate truth filter known as broadcast news.

Your siting Jeff Goldblum's death is a fine example of what I'm talking about... the truth was set free, and allot sooner than his Colbert appearance, as I recall, it was shot down as a hoax almost as quick as I heard about it, at least that's what MY facebook stream and 2 minuets of investigation told me.

I know change isn't easy, but stay strong, the future and all of it's possibilities should be exciting, not scary... go with it my man, and quit trying to protect your outdated selfish interests... maybe find a new gig or do something different, something modern or suffer the fate of the tar pits.

July 2, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Amy Bugbee said...

"Obviously the people, did not have access to the sources that TMZ (which is mainstream media, owned by Time Warner) did. And you want to know why? Because TMZ pays better than you do. TMZ may have broken the story first, but you know what that's considered, good journalism."

Wasn't this exactly how this whole debate all began?? Shane balked at "waiting for ABC" to "Verify" Jacko's death when TMZ and a dozen other news agencies had already done so?
You just came full circle and agreed with Shane over your bud.
All this other back and forth is mere superfluous rumblings aka a pissing match.

July 2, 2009 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

and, as far as I can see this is the closest thing to 'journalism' regarding the MJ death hype - finally TRUTH over EXCLUSIVE - TRUTH over catering to the lowest of the low!

July 2, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Summit said...

Cheers to Shane for posting Linda Stasi article as I am now re-posting it on my Facebook profile for others to see. I for one am SICK of seeing and hearing his name/voice!

The only thing I found interesting (previous to this link) about the MJ story was the multiple names Jacko used to obtain scripts, namely one, Jack London.

Now shall we debate the differences between a reporter, a columnist & a journalist?

Right on, Shane!

July 2, 2009 at 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Greg Hollingsworth said...

Amy, TMZ is mainstream, dinosaur media. Just because it's in blog format doesn't mean that it's citizen journalism. Additionally, ABC was far from the last to accept TMZ's report, I watched Google news for over 3 hours after TMZ's initial report and there were as many, if not more, "agencies" waiting for verification as there were reporting what TMZ said. Mind you, none of the one's I saw in that three hours the story, they simply reported that TMZ was reporting that Jacko had passed away.

Also, I'm not here to defend "my bud" any more than you're here to defend your husband. Do I tend to agree with Dan over your husband, yes, but Dan doesn't need me to defend him.

Twitter and google are both great tools, especially for discovering news before the MSM can report on it, but in this case, that didn't happen, because TMZ is the mainstream media. Twitter didn't beat anyone to this story.

Twitter is approaching 20 million US users, meaning that less than 7% of the entire US population uses it. So it is not ubiquitous, hell, I know dozens of people who do not use it, as twitter users are a vast minority.

I will return to one of the first comments I made about this whole thing, if you don't like what Dan and his folks are doing, then stop following them. We live in a world full of choices, you are free to change the proverbial channel at any given time.

Oh, and for the record I do not have a journalism degree, my degrees are in History and Political Science. Additionally, I am not employed by any news organization of any kind, so no, I am not shilling for anyone here, just expressing my personal opinion and viewpoint.

July 7, 2009 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

I'm not only a user/consumer of news and on-line folk like yourself... I'm also a social critic.

Your lack of respect for this speaks volumes and, as I feel an obligation to follow folks like dan & yourself, don't think it's not without either laughter or tears... certainly not anything resembling progressive thought, regurgitation of other's progressive thought, maybe... but I digress.

Your lack of understanding the concept I'm trying to express speaks volumes as well.

I'll try to make my point as twitter-esque as I can... this is about the evolution of humanity. The future and the fear I see in Dan's desperate posts about exclusives, truth and transparency all used as some sort of justification to keep him employed at an outdated gig.

btw Greg Hollingsworth... thanx for continuing to flip to this channel, here's another one you should flip to that might help you get it...

Can Journalism Be Saved From Itself?:

July 7, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Greg Hollingsworth said...

Actually yes, that link was perfect. Why? Because the author, in attempting to dispell Journalism as a concept, uses a major mainstream media to make her point. is owned by Fairfax Digital, which also owns the Sydney Morning Herald, which is a fairly major Australian Newspaper. The other report came from the Associated Press.

Yes, the print newspaper is dying, or at least morphing, but that doesn't mean that journalism as a profession is as well. One look at the top 10 twitter accounts in terms of followers shows that while you may not be listening, well over 2M people are listening to CNN, which, btw, along with the NYT are the only non-celebrity accounts in the top 15 (aside from the Twitter corp. account).

I understand the point you're trying to make, I just don't agree with it. You are insinuating that journalism is an outdated concept now that everyone has a blog, and a facebook page and twitter, I disagree.

Journalism is evolving, it's becoming more and more online, with analog media rapidly moving towards shuffling it's mortal coil, but that doesn't mean that journalism is outdated, just that one of it's delivery channels is becoming outdated.

Google doesn't produce news, it aggregates news, from major media sources. That's the point I'm trying to make that you seem to be consistently overlooking. Mainstream media is here to stay, the only difference is how it disseminates information to the public.

July 8, 2009 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

Journalism as you see it, as Dan has invested in, is gone. It's no longer something you can count on getting paid for. Journalists are feeling it, same as musicians did before the advent of iTunes.

It's all about "survival of the fittest" when it comes to creative and intellectual endeavors. Art, Journalism and so on, will survive, and quality will reign supreme... no longer will the artist need a gallery owner who dictates/follows trends, nor will the journalist need a publisher dictating editorial con-tent.

The middle man is the one who should be in a panic, a scramble to stay relevant... not the artist, writer or journalist worth their salt. When you see a creative or intellectual desperately attempt to sell their relevance over their competition, you know you have a poser who will eventually be discarded with their corporate master.

I'm not overlooking your point, I'm just on the side of independent journalists and feel journalism is a simple as reporting the news. As the tools to report become more accessible, the reporting from the people will rise to unprecedented heights.

The cream will rise to the top and the corporate shills will sink to the bottom... or at least one can hope.

July 8, 2009 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger shanebugbee said...

Reuters "Handbook of Journalism" available as a free download:

July 13, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

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over 20 years of refusing the invites of the educated, celebrity and ruling classes, preferring instead the excitement of upper low class, poverty, petty crime and violence.

It's not the wine and cheese I hate, it's the boring, void of anything lives the rich and privileged scurry thru like the walking dead on meth - most of the rich think their cultured simply by consuming - culture can't be bought, it must be lived.

I was truly meant to live on the side of a hill, growing my own tomatoes, basil and garlic in peace with my soul mate and dog.

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