From Media to Memes: Lessons from Occupy Democrats
Jeff Jarvis

I’m reading this a year and a half later and mass media journalism still has not done any of this. They continue to parrot out what politicians have said on their twitter TLs in real time as if that is journalism. It only serves to shove out what the politicians are saying as “fact” in real time.

They then write an article that “fact checks” the politician proving he has made 24 lies in 30 minutes or whatever.

Then they get on tv shows where they discuss the 24 lies in a panel of “balanced” pundits, experts or journalists who see the lies as “alternative reality” and argue them in earnest (I hope they are earnest and not simply lying about the lies)

IN THE MEANTIME, the lies are flying around the facebooks and twitters and instagrams, affecting and shaping political beliefs that take hold as fact. The politicians who lied 24 times in 30 minutes are already shaping a new narrative of reality that uses only 2 lies of the 24 as a truth in another argument. They — and the audience — knows 22 of the lies are ridiculous and way over the top to be believed. They were really only after the 2 to stick as possible fact enough to become truth to build a larger truth….

This is what journalists need to know is going on. I think most of them do but are powerless to do anything other than the formulaic journalism above. It feeds the insatiable appetite of the 24/7 cable news model nobody ever thought through — except the politicians who make 24 lies in 30 minutes. They have studied it, learned and adapted.

Meme study and social has to be an integral part of a J-school program just as study of oxygen and water are part of a medical school program. Social is not a tack-on; it is that thing that drives the narrative. TV, print is the octane fuel that reinforces the belief, but social drives what folks believe. Fact-checking and exposing to the light is necessary, but doesn’t drive belief, doesn’t change hearts and minds. Feelings do.

How else do you explain the odd, weird comfort people feel about breadfacing? (Go ahead, try it! You don’t need to tell me you did; I’ll feel it in your writing ;) )