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Stupid AK stunts

Canoe_man_riding_cow_moose_(HS85-10-28261).jpg

Canoe man riding a moose/Wikimedia Commons

Commentary

 

Every Alaskan tells a story, don’t they? Every Alaskan has a tale about that day; that day they really did stupid in the wild or on the edge of the wild or somewhere near the wild.

Craigmedred.news wants to hear yours. Here’s the perfect chance to publicly embarrass yourself. Why limit your Alaska pratfall to friends and family when you can share it with the world?

In a shameless drive for internet traffic, we would like to read your story, maybe clean it up a bit and publish it.

Just don’t clutter the story up with a bunch of information about what you learned. If, for instance, you went on a hike and took a map and compass only to get lost because you didn’t know how to use a map and compass, don’t be writing about how you took a wilderness navigation course after surviving the outing.

The stories we want aren’t meant to be in any way educational. They’re meant to be entertaino-journo. They’re meant to give others that pleasant, smug feeling of being just a little bit smarter than you, or maybe provide someone a good laugh or two at your expense.

Laughter, it has been said, is the best medicine, and with 49th state is in a serious recession, we could use some laughter.

Not to mention that the “teaching moment” is clearly passe’ in the internet world of journalism. Forget any silly notions that someone might learn something from your mistakes. Just cooperate and make a fool of yourself for everyone else’s enjoyment.

Click, click, click, click

What this is all about, really, is clicks, like when news websites ask for your opinion on stories. Here’s one such appeal that was headlining at The Guardian just the other day:

“Are you attending the global March for Science? Tell us why”

Do you the think Guardian really cares why you went to that rally or any other rally? Are there really more than two or three reasonable answers anyway?

1.) Because I think science is a good thing and want to support it.

2.) Because my friends were going and I like to hang out.

3.) Because I hate President Donald Trump, and I’ll attend any rally that appears in any way to be anti-Trump.

The Guardian didn’t want anyone’s opinion. It went trolling for clicks and, in this case, more. It asked for information it could use to target people with the news they might want to read in the future.

Mark a box, The Guardian form challenged: “I am a scientist;” “I generally support the cause;” or add more, “Tell us more about your job.”

The list went on and on. Then there were boxes for your email and phone number so The Guardian could push you the news you might like so you could click on even more.

Trolling for click is not just for kids in the Balkans or the nation of Georgia as the New York Times wrote about last fall.

“Inside a Fake News Sausage Factory: ‘This Is All About Income,'” the NYT headline proclaimed. 

Remove the word “fake,” and you’ve got a headline that would fit over too much of what pops up on “news” websites these days.

“Inside a News Sausage Factory: ‘This is all about income.'”

The times they are….

Once not that long ago, reporters used to fret about how the people they wrote about would be treated online. In the early days of online news, Debbie McKinney – a smart, talented and sensitive feature writer at the old Anchorage Daily News – regularly worried about how the characters in her stories might be abused in online comments.

The term “internet troll” was then still years in the future. But already there were people waiting to savage others who ended up in the news, often through no fault of their own. It bothered McKinney.

Hell, it bothered me and I had a reputation for pillorying people in print, which wasn’t exactly true. There’s a difference between accident analysis and character assassination. The former focuses on what went wrong that resulted in people being injured or killed; the latter is about calling people names.

Some people think name calling fun, but it doesn’t add to the discussion and no one learns anything. Sadly, it does seem to be what a lot of people want to read these days.

There are some writers out there now whose main stock in trade is name calling. They are the trolls of journalism, but of course no one would dare to call them that because they are quote – “journalists” – unquote.

Given the evolution here, it’s probably only natural for journalists to now be straight-up asking people to out themselves as stupid. Why not? It’s a lot easier than trying to get people to talk about how they arrived at a bad decision that could have been averted with just a little “common sense.”

And we all know “common sense” is, as our former Gov. Sarah Palin has tried to teach the country, the solution to almost everything.

E = mc 2, Einstein theorized, with the “c” being common sense. And when squared, it’s even more potent than normal.

So if you made the mistake of venturing into the wilderness, the near wilderness or even the Anchorage coastal trail without your backpack, daypack, fanny pack, or pocket or pocket stuffed with common sense, and you got into trouble, craigmedred.news wants to hear from you.

We need the clicks.

So spill…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

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