As I was nursing my 50th cappuccino in Perugia during the recent journalism conference there, a small bomb blew up in my Twitter feed thanks to a keynote presentation by Felix Salmon, in which the former Reuters blogger said that the journalistic obsession with scoops is a form of masturbation. Needless to say, there were some shocked reactions to this statement, but I think Felix is right -— even if the metaphor he chose is somewhat unappealing.
As he describes in his own post about it, what Salmon said was that “breaking news is the most masturbatory thing journalists do. The reader couldn’t give a flying f*** who broke it.” In other words, the question of who breaks the news about a specific story is largely irrelevant to anyone other than the journalists involved.
This is almost certainly true. In general, regular news consumers want someone to tell…
View original post 722 more words