The possibility of instant global publication, the growth of social media and the commodification of facts are accelerating the media's drive to offer 'analysis' around news events. More ominously, and knowing reporters are looking for a point of differentiation, agents of power now routinely use social media to manipulate the official record in their favour before the facts are clear.
Of course, the problem with this is there is little evidence that asking 'why' before the traditional questions of 'what', 'where', 'who', 'when' and 'how' are answered is a recipe for good journalism. But commercial pressures, such as they are, encourage reporters to explain before they describe. And there are plenty of voices out there feeding them lines to help them meet those pressures, while generating more heat than light. (more…)