The Journalistic/Research Milieu (2013)
The Journalistic/Research Milieu (2013)
Our friend and colleague Tony Bragalia keeps pressing the old saw that research or journalistic reportage requires the answers to Who, What, When, Where, Why or How.
Those reportorial requirements went out of practice several years ago, after the advent of social media took hold of the “news cycles.’’
Newspapers (in particular), TV news, and such entities as the UPI all succumbed to the immediacy that the internet or web imposed on the rendering of news.
Research too has been altered by the ubiquity of items that impact, sometimes inadvertently, what researchers are working on; information that seems arcane and unique to the researchers’ investigation(s) is often blown out of the water by a concomitant effort somewhere else in the world, diminishing or even eliminating the researchers’ long effort and investigatory bravado.
News and research entities no longer can afford to hold their cards or news close to the vest. Someone else will, invariably, beat them to the punch.
So news operations and research teams (like those I noted in my post of a few days ago about Skeletons of the Sahara, presented by PBS for The National Geographic) have to put forth their material(s) fast and furiously, or else lose their cachet as the “first with the most.”
The internet, and Twitter particularly, have imposed an anxiety on news (and research) which eliminates the Who, What, When, etc. stipulations.
News operations have been forced to present news items before they have been fully vetted, correcting errant information, after the fact.
This is the practice of news organizations, despite the crowing of media types that it hasn’t really come to that. It has.
(We deal with media at the inner sanctum level and know of what we speak.)
As for research, Wikileaks and Anonymous (the group, not the sole person or persons who upset the Roswell Dream Team applecart), have made the secretive findings moot or void: Wikileaks and other outing operations no longer abide secrets.
That irks Tony Bragalia, who is a nostalgic kind of guy, seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, where decorum and civility reign.
That is no longer the case in society, and especially in internet/web society.
We (and I) mostly adhere to the practice that what we know you should know.
If we have information that impacts you, as a UFO maven, or in any other way, we’ll let you have what we have or what we think we have.
That makes Mr. Bragalia nervous or irritated. He, like his Dream Team brethren, want to give you their Roswell findings in a final package, wrapped up with bows and goo-gaws from which they can accrue fame or fortune.
We don’t begrudge them either of those things.
But if truth is the goal of the Dream Team, about Roswell, then showing or telling what they have, now, is paramount to the purpose of truth, which should wait for no man or for time to fester.
Truth is truth, and it should even be forthcoming when it isn’t complete or total.
We have no idea, for instance, who Jesus was. Research goes on about that personage, in such books as Killing Jesus or Zealot.
Both books have no final proofs or explanation about Jesus, but both have presented their hypotheses, not waiting for a final accumulation of proof or facts.
That should be so with something less significant, such as Roswell.
If the Dream Team has stumbled upon some things new or unusual, that team should share it with others, if truth is what they are really seeking.
What harm comes from sharing truths?
But if the Dream Team has another agenda – one that benefits them in ways not as pristine as truth, their efforts are fair game even more so for scrutiny, before the fact of their “research finality.”
The Who, What, When, et cetera mantra is no longer practiced in our world. And it can’t be used as an excuse to hold back information that might be endemic to mysteries or a mystery that others have conjured with for years.
If the Roswell Dream Team were composed of experts and researchers of renown and credibility, one might allow them to do their work in their own time and way.
Since that is not the case, what they’ve gathered is fair game, if it’s been leaked or hinted at outside the Dream Team laboratory.
To hell with Who, What, When, Where, Why….The news is now. The Dream Team has to deal with that truth.