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Feb 5, 2018

MMMM # 585 -- The Media's Augmented Reality and Poor Lester.

     I am approaching The NY Times announced "augmented reality" the same way I greeted other technological changes in my business over the past few decades: with an abundance to journalistic skepticism.  I would hope some of the Times reporters share it.

You can see a Times introduction HERE

The A.R. display shows an old fashioned newspaper "honor box". 
For reference, below is a photo of a collection of them on Dexter Avenue in Montgomery in the 90's. They're all gone now. 

Anyway, The Times uses the name "Augmented Reality", and that sends me down the rabbit hole of politics during the past year. A time when truth no longer meant one thing. There were "different truths" around. Is this the actual meaning of "fake news"?

I'm concerned when one of America's premier news outlets is presenting illusion as truth:

"by using your smartphone as a “window,” we are extending stories beyond the inches of a screen, by digitally adding objects into your space at real scale. And those objects — a border wall or a work of art — can have provocative explanatory value, because you can get close to them.

     But we are NOT "close to them". We are just seeing them in a different way....a sanitized make-believe hologram floating in our devices. That machine will no more than accept your coins than it will open to give you a newspaper. 
     And just as there have always been dangers of actual news photograph misleading readers, AR ups the ante. Even more so now, if it looks real, who are we to question it?


What kind of journalism will today's media students practice when they graduate?  Perhaps the way they themselves absorb news provides clues (in addition to the AR aticle above). From an Sante Fe New Mexican article:

But even if many teens are still interested in becoming reporters or studying journalism, are they still reading current “real” news stories, be they online or in print?
Arelis Hernandez, director of the Asian American Journalists Association and a writer for The Washington Post, thinks so: “They [teenagers] read constantly, check in on news in real time and want to feel as though they are part of some of the biggest events in our country — whether it’s political, entertainment, social or historic. I think we are on the cusp of a generation that will demand more and higher quality news and content from the nation’s content producers that will help them feel connected to the world around them.”
HERE's the full article. 

  • AND, the Super Bowl is over for another year, but we're left with this quote from NBC's Lester Holt in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

In between broadcasting the "NBC Nightly News" from Minneapolis Friday and Saturday evening, Holt had hoped to take in some sights, but he ended up having his first dinner in town at the hotel bar.
"So typical," he said. "The life of a reporter."

     I say we start a GoFundMe campaign to help him out. He makes $4.5 Million a year, and they make him miss a dinner out.

  • For some truly hard working journalists, read this NY Times story about a West Virginia newspaper that won a Pulitzer and is now in bankruptcy. 

[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a longtime feature of, now in its 11th year online.]

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