How News is Made

First, most of what we call “news” today starts out as a press release, which then becomes a headline, a sound-bite, and eventually a story. In a parallel to the way government operates, in which special interest groups lobby to create or defeat legislation, most of our news stories come as a result of PR efforts paid for by special interest groups (businesses) who have a stake in what becomes “news.” (I’d love to come up with a taxonomy of stories by type just to show how few types there really are but that’s a different point.)

Second, reporters like to ask good questions for which there may not be good answers. However, they’ll force an answer because you can’t say “nobody knows.”

The third is that everybody loves numbers, regardless of where they come from, and these are the best kind of answers, regardless of whether the numbers are true. –Dale DoughertyHow News is Made (Boing Boing)

A good deconstruction of the ubiquitous Thanksgiving holiday shopping story.

How long have people been calling the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday”? I don’t think I ever heard that term before this season. (I’m always grading papers anyway, so perhaps that’s why I never pay attention to shopping stories during the Thanksgiving break.)