There was a story floating around this weekend that makes a wonderful exercise in ascertaining the difference between solid newspaper reporting and TV/video news fare. Perhaps the medium really is the message.
One story, one news organization. Two different messages and tones — one that is relatively scholarly,and one that is simply meant to scare the devil out of you.
See if you can figure out which is which.
The Associated Press story documents the increase in routine maneuvers at airports called “go arounds,” which — as the name implies — is when a pilot decides to abort a landing and go around for another crack at it. This can be warranted when another plane hasn’t cleared the runway or the approach just isn’t to the pilot’s satisfaction.
Here’s the “print version” carried by many newspapers (the Star Tribune carried a severely edited version of it). Nothing you’re about to read will make any sense if you don’t click the link and read the full story.
Here are the take-aways from this version of the story:
The Associated Press also packages a video version of some of its stories for use on Web sites, using the same reporting as the basis of the story.
Here’s how this same story was packaged for an online video audience:
The person who did the original reporting is not the person who cobbled together the TV/video version. In the nation’s newsrooms right now, there is some occasional howling from reporters about having to produce their work for multiple “platforms.”
The loss of a story’s integrity in this case provides a good reason why they should.