News driven by public relations? (GASP!)

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Wednesday March 17, 2010.

Here’s the link.

I would have normally posted this in the link blog, but as I started writing my commentary it just got long and I figured it should go here.

Immediately the comments on the post I link to veer off into things like “there’s more of that in the USA” and such, which leads me to a point about This Is Reno. We are what we call an “unfiltered news site.” That means we reprint press releases with a disclaimer that it’s a press release. We actually, if old school newsies can believe it, are rather proud of this fact. That’s because we (generally, I in particular): 1) come from places that produce such things and have seen how they are treated in the press, 2) are interested in the state of “news,” 3) have thought long and hard about whether we trust the people in charge of “filtering” the news that comes to us in the local area. On that third point, I answer a resounding “no.” I’ve seen too much personally that I knew to be a farce. So I got over it.

Interestingly, the editor of a local weekly news publication walked out of a presentation we gave at the Nevada Interactive Media Summit right around the time we first started talking about that. It was early, and I have no idea why he actually left, but the timing was interesting. I have no idea how he and his people run that publication, but when the evidence regarding how news generally operates states that they use, nay—rely—on public relations for the bulk of their ideas, information, and overall content, if he indeed left on account of us admitting that we do, it’s a tad hypocritical, no? In fact, if I had to venture a guess, I would say that the local weekly doesn’t let public relations drive it’s content—at least as long as the content is coming from corporations. However, I would bet that P.L.A.N. (see this post- for some background from me), Great Basin Resource Watch, and others of a certain ideology have the cell phone numbers of important people at that paper. That’s only because they’re grassroots, though. But I digress.

What I really wanted to say, but I had to get that off my chest first, is “duh.”

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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