Journalists' brains operate at a lower level than average

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Mikah
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14 Apr 2021, 6:40 am

https://www.businessinsider.com/journal ... 2017-5?amp

Journalists' brains show a lower-than-average level of executive functioning, according to a new study, which means they have a below-average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking.

The study, led by Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and leadership coach, analysed 40 journalists from newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and online platforms over seven months. The participants took part in tests related to their lifestyle, health, and behaviour.


I don't think any commentary is required, besides snickering.


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Fnord
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14 Apr 2021, 9:23 am

Journalists seem to be little more than conspiracy theorists with college degrees (if such a combination is possible).  Most seem to have forgotten the Five W's of reporting (e.g., Who, What, When, Where, and Why), and have filled the gap with worn-out clichés and emotionally-laden "trigger" phrases like "shots rang out" instead of "shots were fired" and "fake news" instead of "established facts".

The worst of the lot can be found at Fox News, Infowars, and the Drudge Report.



funeralxempire
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14 Apr 2021, 10:20 am

Pssh, who would ever trust reporting from someone with diminished executive function?

Careful Mikah, you'll bust all the windows on your glass house if you insist on throwing these rocks.


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VegetableMan
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14 Apr 2021, 11:35 am

Does anyone still get journalism degrees? What could be more worthless?


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BeaArthur
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14 Apr 2021, 11:38 am

I hope no one here views that "study" as scientific, either in its summary form or its raw data form (not that I saw any evidence it had been reported in a peer-reviewed journal).

In other words, while journalists may (or may not) be low in executive functions, people relying on this piece of writing as having any weight are lacking in critical thinking skills.


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Grammar Geek
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14 Apr 2021, 1:58 pm

I’m disappointed by the vitriol toward journalists in this thread. There are a lot of generalizations going on here, and journalists serve a very important purpose in getting the news out to the world. I think some journalists could work on their fact-checking, and some do have biases, but I worked on newspapers in college and high school for seven years, and I have respect for people who do it as a career. It hurts to see people in my field vilified.

VegetableMan wrote:
Does anyone still get journalism degrees? What could be more worthless?


Yeah, I have one. Your input is not appreciated.



Fnord
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14 Apr 2021, 2:24 pm

If journalists would stick to reporting the facts instead of "journalizing" everything, the news media would have greater credibility all around.

When a shooting occurs, all that is necessary to report is what happened, when it happened, where it happened, who was involved, and why the shooting occurred.

What is NOT necessary is constant and repetitious coverage, personal reactions, hyperbolic adjectives and adverbs, and close-ups of the victims' families as they deal with the personal shock, horror, and grief resulting from the loss of their loved ones.

If journalists want to shed their blood-thirsty ("If it bleeds, it leads") and clueless ("How does it feel to see your children's lifeless bodies?") reputations, they should go back to basics -- News Reporting 101 -- and relearn what it means to focus on the relevant facts and not their own bylines.



VegetableMan
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14 Apr 2021, 2:28 pm

Grammar Geek wrote:
I’m disappointed by the vitriol toward journalists in this thread. There are a lot of generalizations going on here, and journalists serve a very important purpose in getting the news out to the world. I think some journalists could work on their fact-checking, and some do have biases, but I worked on newspapers in college and high school for seven years, and I have respect for people who do it as a career. It hurts to see people in my field vilified.

VegetableMan wrote:
Does anyone still get journalism degrees? What could be more worthless?


Yeah, I have one. Your input is not appreciated.


One of my good friends, now passed, worked as a journalist for the international energy markets for 18 years. She didn't have a degree in journalism. She agreed with my sentiment.


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Fnord
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14 Apr 2021, 2:56 pm

My mother and I worked for our hometown weekly newspaper at the same time.  We both witnessed the struggle between the "Just the facts" old guard and the "All the news that is fit to print" young-bloods.

The newspaper went from being a respectable source of weekly summaries of local and regional events to a tabloid of rumors, innuendos, and outright gossip surrounding local politicians, social groups, and small-town celebrities in less than a decade.  Then it was bought up by a "Big-City" newsgroup after it lost advertising revenue from offending too many of its readers and sponsors.

Now I see the same style of young-blood "journalism" being expressed through media outlets across the political spectrum, and I have to sift through about a dozen news agencies to get an accurate coverage of the facts at the core of local, regional, and world events -- just strip out all the commentary; strike the verb and noun modifiers; and ignore any political, religious, and philosophic "spin"; and eventually all that is left are the facts (e.g., who, what, when, where, and why).

It is just sad that journalists seem to have forgotten how to do real reporting, no matter what their political world-views may be.



Daddy63
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14 Apr 2021, 9:18 pm

Journalism today starts with a narrative. That narrative typically aligns with the worldviews of the viewers/readers of a specific media outlet. Journalists today are expected to uncover and sometimes they fabricate stories which must further a specific narrative favored by viewers/readers.

Independent journalism is nonexistent.



Mikah
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15 Apr 2021, 12:37 am

Giggling aside, journalism does have a serious problem. Everyone can "see it" when it comes to Fox News for some reason, but many are blind to the the much more numerous and powerful publications with a serious anti-Right bent.

This article is worth a read:

https://www.city-journal.org/journalism ... -reporting

Slouching Toward Post-Journalism

Traditional newspapers never sold news; they sold an audience to advertisers. To a considerable degree, this commercial imperative determined the journalistic style, with its impersonal voice and pretense of objectivity. The aim was to herd the audience into a passive consumerist mass. Opinion, which divided readers, was treated like a volatile substance and fenced off from “factual” reporting.

The digital age exploded this business model. Advertisers fled to online platforms, never to return. For most newspapers, no alternative sources of revenue existed: as circulation plummets to the lowest numbers on record, more than 2,000 dailies have gone silent since the turn of the century. The survival of the rest remains an open question.

Led by the New York Times, a few prominent brand names moved to a model that sought to squeeze revenue from digital subscribers lured behind a paywall. This approach carried its own risks. The amount of information in the world was, for practical purposes, infinite. As supply vastly outstripped demand, the news now chased the reader, rather than the other way around. Today, nobody under 85 would look for news in a newspaper. Under such circumstances, what commodity could be offered for sale?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Times stumbled onto a possible answer. It entailed a wrenching pivot from a journalism of fact to a “post-journalism” of opinion—a term coined, in his book of that title, by media scholar Andrey Mir. Rather than news, the paper began to sell what was, in effect, a creed, an agenda, to a congregation of like-minded souls. Post-journalism “mixes open ideological intentions with a hidden business necessity required for the media to survive,” Mir observes. The new business model required a new style of reporting. Its language aimed to commodify polarization and threat: journalists had to “scare the audience to make it donate.” At stake was survival in the digital storm.


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As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man -
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began: -
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!


naturalplastic
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15 Apr 2021, 2:01 am

why thats utter nonsense.



traven
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15 Apr 2021, 2:34 am

yes bring in AJ, the ultimate de-legitimiser for what could be actual info, not wrong on "info-wars" but the tone, :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
idk what he uses to get that weird voice effect, it won't be healthy in the long run i suspect

actually it(he) uses the same strategy as the msm, fear selling for profit


back to topic,
yeah the ever dummer tone you get spoken to by the "news", it was dumb in the 80s and steadily gone downhill



QuantumChemist
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15 Apr 2021, 8:10 am

Fnord wrote:
If journalists would stick to reporting the facts instead of "journalizing" everything, the news media would have greater credibility all around.

When a shooting occurs, all that is necessary to report is what happened, when it happened, where it happened, who was involved, and why the shooting occurred.

What is NOT necessary is constant and repetitious coverage, personal reactions, hyperbolic adjectives and adverbs, and close-ups of the victims' families as they deal with the personal shock, horror, and grief resulting from the loss of their loved ones.

If journalists want to shed their blood-thirsty ("If it bleeds, it leads") and clueless ("How does it feel to see your children's lifeless bodies?") reputations, they should go back to basics -- News Reporting 101 -- and relearn what it means to focus on the relevant facts and not their own bylines.


Your post reply reminded me of an old video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YHimia_Fxzs



Fnord
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15 Apr 2021, 8:12 am

Mikah wrote:
Giggling aside, journalism does have a serious problem. Everyone can "see it" when it comes to Fox News for some reason, but many are blind to the the much more numerous and powerful publications with a serious anti-Right bent...
The serious problem with journalism would go away if all journalists would report only the freaking  frogs  FACTS!

:wink: Stupid Alex Jones video...



roronoa79
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15 Apr 2021, 2:29 pm

People seem to forget that there are journalists out there besides the whack-jobs on cable news and clickbait sites.

Don't crap on all journalists just because you can't hear past the loudest, most obnoxious, ratings-obsessed voices. We do not need more contempt for journalists in a time when people are increasingly deciding that the facts you believe should be the ones that don't make you feel too uncomfortable.


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