Shame Day: Internet Journalism

So yesterday I was reading through comic book news, as I do, and came across
this image that features award-winning actress Glenn Close as Nova Prime in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.

When I saw this I thought to myself, “Huh, that doesn’t look a darn thing like Glenn Close as Nova Prime in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy.” Then I moved on with my life. Aside from that brief thought I didn’t really question it. The thing is, neither did most sites.

Both Comics Alliance and Comic Book Resources and countless others featured the photo above, and all labeled it as being Glenn Close as Nova Prime in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. The thing is, they were all wrong.

Bleeding Cool did a pretty great feature called “How Journalism Works” that straight-up points out the fact that the internet, including websites for national newspapers such as The Guardian and The Daily Mail, are simply regurgitating false information. My favourite part about that latter article is that they point out the fact that “the 66-year-old actress looked almost unrecognisable as she filmed in London on Thursday.”

But hey, I can get that an older-looking female alien might be mistaken for being Glenn Close as Nova Prime in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. The thing is that it doesn’t end there.

Thanks again to Bleeding Cool I was able to see that Yahoo [who I’m referring to instead of the other site that posted this, Celebrity Hyphen Gossip Dot Net] cited that the actresses on the left stunt doubles for Zoe Saldana.

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever read.

For context, since I’m not going to assume that people obsess over comic book movies as much as I do, IMDb sums up Guardians of the Galaxy as, “A jet pilot gets stranded in space, and must unite a diverse team of aliens to form a squad capable of defeating cosmic threats.” Zoe Saldana is playing Gamora, one of these aliens. Gamora, ladies and gentlemen, is green.

You can actually see that in the image on the right, which is a gif made from footage that legally should not have been recorded at San Diego Comic-Con. Even if you didn’t attend SDCC this is not difficult to fact-check, but still we had reporters who saw two women who look vaguely similar to Saldana and dubbed them her stunt doubles. 

People, they are not even wearing the same outfit.

To broaden this topic from people making inaccurate assessments of set photos from a comic book movie, I was tasked with writing divorce news articles at my old job. Last month I wrote a piece about director Michael Moore filing for divorce from his wife and, like any respectable writer, decided to check around more than a few sources.

The problem I soon bumped into is that literally everyone [the first definition of the word, not the second] was reporting the same thing. There was an original piece somewhere along the line, but as soon as it was posted hundreds of other sites took what they wrote, moved the words around a little [or didn’t], and posted it themselves. They did this because in the world where news is kept up to date by the second he or she who posts first gets the views.

Culture War Reporters has never pretended to be a news site. Gordon, Kat, and I are either working or in school or simply have better things to do then stay glued to a laptop screen waiting for news to break. Even then, what point is there in parroting back something we’ve read? As editor of the site I’ve made a point of insisting that whenever we write an article we don’t just repeat or repackage what’s already out there. Otherwise we’re just another voice reciting in unison alongside everyone else.

We may not always be successful in this, but I know for a fact that at the very least Gordon is injecting a little [okay, a lot of] vitriol into his discussions of current events [see: almost any of his posts], or Kat is presenting the issues as well as what people directly affected feel about them [see: A Culture War Report: New Prosperity Mine].

I dedicate this Shame Day to internet journalism that doesn’t take the time to even crack open Wikipedia to see how accurate their news is. To journalistic writing that has been reduced to three keys: “Ctrl,” “C,” and “V.” To websites whose approach to running a restaurant would be to take food from someplace else, rearrange it on a plate, and serve it to you.

2 responses to “Shame Day: Internet Journalism

  1. Pingback: DC Is Terrible, But They’re Not Homophobes | Culture War Reporters

  2. Pingback: Evan and Gordon Kat Talk: Is The World Worse? | Culture War Reporters

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