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Reveal the Process at Inside ontheinside.info

Reveal the Process

In this podcast radio interview, Jason Calacanis (wiki) suggests for journalists to allow publication of their raw material openly. The media could very easily put full-length interviews on the net for anybody to listen to, in addition to the edited versions they release. Today, data storing is cheap, easy and it’s all digital. And as long as the interviewee agrees, why not allow it?

Indeed, Calacanis posts the unedited version of this very interview about the subject on his blog, and the NPR journalist completely screws up his basic occupation title at the end; which is funny but not really interesting in itself. The interesting part is that this process would hinder sensationalist headlines and reporting, which has creeped up all over mainstream media in the chase for ratings. In the end, it would probably help “real” journalists. If people have access to the source material, they can bring forth different interpretation of a story, not to mention exposing misquotes and manipulated journalism (that’s in essence what user comments do and often add depth to an article).

When the interviewer suggests that the raw source material is merely a distraction from the relevant information the outlet is trying to get across, Calacanis answers:

In your intepretation, it’s a distraction. I think maybe you’re underestimating the audience. I’m one of your listeners and you’re greatly underestimated my ability to understand your process. And I think journalists are a little pretentious in that matter. They think their editing ability trounce my listening abilities to interpret this or understand what you’re doing. The audience understands what you’re doing. They understand that if you ask a question for the fifth time, you’re trying to get an answer you didn’t get the first time, we’re not idiots– we’re your fans.

If a show is willing to disclose their raw source information, i’m certainly willing to listen to it, even i never check the source personally. And if more media outlets are willing to follow suit, this would raise the overall honesty and level of journalism. Some shows could still be manipluated (think reality TV) but the art would be in the process, not in the lie or in fooling the audience.

Loss of control due to the transparency and access to information must be a headache in the PR and marketing world. It’s a lot more difficult to hype and cover your tracks today. Reviews, insider information and world-of-mouth move fast.

As an aside—talking about source and interpretation—film students practice editing skills cutting trailers of existing films. Here’s a funny one that combines Back To the Future and Brokeback Mountain.

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