The misadventures of Commander Merlin and the crew of RV-103
Wednesday July 18th 2012

Why the Internet is a Better Source of News

Great Moments in Mainstream Media Coverage of Human Space Flight Issues

Neithercorp Press just recently published a essay titled, “The Mainstream Media is Now Obsolete” written by Giordano Bruno.  In it he discusses why mainstream news organizations are failing due to inept and sometimes deliberate journalism malpractice and the rise of citizen journalism on the internet.  It’s a good read and well worth the time.

When I tell people that I get most of my news from the web, many say that it’s full of inaccurate crazies and is not reliable.  They are partially true.  There are many inaccurate web sites out there, but there are far more many accurate web sites and citizen journalists that cover the news much better than any mainstream media organization will do.  Human Space Flight is a wonderful example of that.  Most mainstream media sites have  cut their science bureaus budgets and some have gotten rid of their science bureaus all together such as CNN has done.  These mainstream media companies think you are more concerned if Britney Spears wore panties today than if America still has a Human Space Flight Program or not.

“Some sources of web news, like most mainstream outlets, are not reliable, while others are fantastically precise. The internet forces you, the reader and researcher, to check the viability of the information you encounter. You are no longer a passive observer frying your synapses in front of a talking box, but a participant in the realm of news, seeking out and separating that which is factual, from that which is not. Web news users have to put individual effort into their learning, which is, frankly, the way it should be.” – Giordano Bruno

During my time at Kennedy Space Center I have witnessed first hand the idiocy that is the mainstream media, from describing detailed shuttle repairs saying we used duct tape to do the repair, to male NY Times reporters wearing shorts, tee shirt, and flip flops on national TV asking accomplished female astronauts “How do you keep your hair so perfect in Zero G?”  Obviously many of these mainstream reporters have a lack of education when it comes to space flight, didn’t prepare and do the background research, or thought it was just a fun Florida vacation.   One mainstream aeronautical magazine reporter had the gall once to ask if shuttle workers were sabotaging the Space Shuttle due to a troublesome hydrogen leak to extend their time at KSC and delay being laid off.  Of course the other mainstream outlets ran with it though there was no evidence to suggest it was true.

It is the bloggers, the citizen journalists, that ask the appropriate questions and have done their homework.  People such as Keith Cowing of NasaWatch, America Space, Nasa Engineer, etc that are listed on the sidebar of this webpage and out there on the web for you  to seek out.  If you want detailed news about Human Space Flight and space flight in general, you have to go to the web to find it.  It won’t be on TV or in the newspapers.  These people, myself included, have a higher standard to present the information, present the means to have it verified, and correct things when they are proven inaccurate.  Trust me, if any of us get it wrong, the readers out there will not hesitate to “ding” us and will leave if that higher standard is not kept.

The web is the highest form of free speech known to man and also probably overall the most accurate form of news and information out there.  It’s just up to the readers to find it and fact check it.

Related Tags: citizen journalist, , mainstream media

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