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Ryan McClure
08 November 2014 @ 03:28 pm

Think back to grade school. It doesn’t matter which grade–at least, in my experience, it didn’t.

Recall the unruly student in the classroom that was constantly provoking the teacher, disrupting the class, and so on. If you were at all like me, you would love nothing more than to throw them out of the classroom. Whether the material was boring or not, they weren’t making your life or the lives of your friends any easier by slowing down how fast the class got through it. Maybe they had a psychological issue that caused their behavior, a reason to be sympathetic to their plight if not their behavior. All the same, they were causing trouble.

Now think back to the reaction of your teacher. Do you remember when the teacher would threaten to punish the whole class if the unruly student acted up again? The idea, it seems to me, is to exert the pressure of the unruly student’s peers into cowing the student’s behavior; that the threat of social ostracizing will dispense with the outbursts. In some contexts, this can work. In one recent conversation I had wherein I posed this precise scenario, the person pointed out that the military often uses this sort of threat of punishment to great effect because unit cohesion is central to survival in a combat environment. That was an excellent point. Does it apply to a bunch of children? Probably not — this was both my conclusion and also the independent conclusion of the individual who brought up the military example.

The unruly student, of course, didn’t care. They acted out again and the class as a whole received punishment for the actions of the individual. Perhaps on rare occasion, this threat worked. More likely, it elicited an even larger outburst from the student collective, attempting to shout down the unruly student and tell them to knock it off. The ostensible goal of the teacher, classroom order, was rarely achieved in any case. The punishment occurred. Everyone paid the price for the individual’s actions.

Who were you mad at?

Was it the unruly student, for persisting in a pattern that now had consequences for everyone? Or was it the teacher, for resorting to a punishment that did not actually achieve the desired goal of an orderly classroom nor dissuade the unruly student’s future behavior?

If you were/are at all like me, or the other individual to whom I posed this question, you had a measure of blame for both.

Surely, the unruly student acted in a way to bring about the consequences you now faced. They did not endear themselves to you by doing so and, had they not engaged in the behavior, you would not now be facing whatever punishment the teacher had concocted.

The unruly student needed specific, targeted effort on behalf of someone who could get inside their head and understand where the behavior came from. Maybe they were dealing with a broken home, maybe they had a severe chemical imbalance, maybe they were a drug addict and dealing with side-effects or even symptoms of withdrawal. Any number of explanations, reasons for the behavior. Maybe they just wanted attention. Maybe they had some history of abuse or damage and acting out gave them a feeling of control. In short, they needed someone to understand and help.

So, if you were like me, you also blamed the teacher for resorting to that sort of tactic. It wouldn’t work; they knew it, you knew it, the unruly student knew it. The teacher, in punishing everyone, was failing everyone in their role. Again, sometimes it worked. Usually, at least for me, it engendered a pretty strong bitterness at the teacher. “Why would you punish me for the acts of someone else that I, generally, can’t control or exert influence over? Why would you punish me for someone whose behavior is emphatically not my responsibility? Why would you punish me when I did nothing wrong?” So embittered, I was far less likely to absorb whatever nominal lesson the teacher had planned for the day and, depending on how long the bitterness lasted, that teacher might have even lost me in perpetuity. I say this as someone who found it shocking to not see an “A” on a report card. I liked school. I liked learning stuff from teachers. Something like this could completely shut me off from a teacher, though.

Food for thought.

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

 
 
Ryan McClure
05 November 2014 @ 05:00 pm

Oh right, hello there.

Some snippets, in no particular order.


I’m 30 now. I don’t generally pay much attention to age, getting older, and so on. So it is with the beginning of my fourth decade. 25 was the last age to herald any practical impact (namely, the reduction in costs renting vehicles, which I so often do–oh wait). From here forward, there are no specific age-based milestones about which I am much concerned. As someone that expects to medical science to soon usher in multi-centennial lifespans, I still consider myself awfully young. Other than things that can come out of the blue and cut life short — most of which remain true at any age — I’ve still got a long way to go.


Writing is happening. Since my last update, I hadn’t made a lot of progress in terms of word count because I’d been devoting all of my writerly efforts toward figuring out plot issues. I continually ran up against the wall of knowing what I wanted to happen in the book, but not feeling rock-solid on the scene-to-scene progression. When November rolled around, bringing with it NaNoWriMo, I decided that I knew far more about my story than I had when I set out to write Ashes and should stop being a giant baby about the whole matter. I started a day late, but have already produced 7400 new words thus far despite great deal of textual reorganization of what I already had consuming about half of my writing time. Alour-Tan II is happening. By the end of the month, the first draft will be done. There, I said it.

For the sake of NaNo, I’m only counting words written since the month began. The total word count is north of 20,000 (plus another 15,000 that I chopped out along the way), which represents roughly 20% of the projected length.


I started playing STO again. One reason you haven’t seen much in the way of 3D art updates lately is that the time I would have been devoting to modeling has gone back to Star Trek Online. I’ve been sinking far too much time into playing in an effort to finish off a number of milestones I left hanging when I stopped (achieving Tier 4 in all the Duty Officer commendations, achieving Tier 5 in all of the reputations — and this across all 5 of my characters). I’m finally starting to get some of these completed (one character has fully finished all Duty Officer commendations and only one character has reputation stuff left to do), which will in turn “free up” time for other pursuits once more. Yes, yes, that time is always technically “free” because it’s mine to do with as I please.


The Stormtrooper project has made great strides and encountered great setb–learning experiences. I had hoped to at least finish the helmet in time for Halloween, but that didn’t come to pass. It almost did, but I ran into a mechanical issue with the CNC carving machine, which left me somewhat dispirited. Specifically, I had prepared four final carving templates that, when finished, would complete the positive mold and set the first of them running — a seven hour carve. The board feeding rate appears to have been registering incorrectly, which lead to cross-sectional slices that were too short by nearly a centimeter along one axis. Seven hours wasted, after a ton of enthusiastic and positive feeling going into it. I finally worked up the gumption to deal with the problem by disassembling the machine, cleaning it, correcting some minor mechanical issues, greasing everything, and reassembling it. I still need to ensure that its sensors are all correctly calibrated before I try again, but signs are positive and the time pressure is off. Next Halloween’s a whole year away.

Here’s where things stand presently:


Hockey is back. I haven’t specifically posted about this here, but Cody and I have become pretty big hockey fans over the last year and a half or so. It started with the Boston Bruins‘ 2013 playoff run and has continued and increased to this day. We’ve been to several live Bruins games, we watch (almost) every game1, we went to Providence to see the “Baby” Bruins several times last year and are season ticket holders this year, Cody now owns a Tuukka Rask jersey, etc. Ain’t no pink hats here, even if we are relative noobs! We also joined our friend’s fantasy hockey league this year. After triumphantly crushing my first game, I have been summarily crushed twice in a row in return, which is fitting. On the plus side, my “draft players I know and like, most of which are Bruins” strategy continues to feel rewarding, even when I lose.


I’m timid about posting. This, more than anything else, is actually why this place has been so silent lately. I have plenty of things I’d like to talk about, to share, to pontificate on, to wonder over. My desire to post those things is opposed by what amounts to fear of backlash. Not only do I worry about engendering enmity for posting something in general, but since I’ve made the profile of this blog somewhat larger (it cross-posts to my Goodreads author profile and my Facebook author page, both of which are listed inside Ashes itself) I’ve more or less directly attached any potential reading audience for my books and for following me as an author to the things I post here.

The last thing I want to do is turn off a reader because of some rambling, half-formed, incomplete polemic that happened to inflame some passionate desire to express whatever thought flit through my head in that moment. There are a great many topics on which I would love to share some thoughts. Having done so in a limited, ostensibly “safe” environment and having garnered the reaction I did, I’ve become even more gun-shy about expressing them. So, instead, this place stays pretty quiet. C’est la vie.

That said, I relayed this very frustration to a friend of mine yesterday:

I just have a crapton of pent-up feelings about…well, every aspect of [many topics, though this particular one related to art and sexism] that I tend to keep to myself because not doing so tends to end up (by my hypothetical reckoning) with me screaming at every other participant for how dumb and narrow-sighted they’re being. And I suspect said pent-up feelings are getting closer and closer to a spillover. Have not been very successful at calming them, despite efforts to do so.

So, who knows? Perhaps said frustration will break a dam in the near future and all sorts of things will show up here for people to read!


The Flash is a lot of fun. I’ve been watching Arrow since it premiered and was delighted to hear that it would be spinning off a Flash TV series. So far, it’s been a lot of fun!


Holy crap, Marvel is out to rule the universe. Between the announcement of the upcoming movie slate and the marked improvement in Agents of SHIELD since its intersection with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel has rather clearly marked its territory. While I am delighted to live in the era where comic book movies are emerging left and right, I have to confess to shades of the Marvel/DC rivalry coloring all of this for me. Given the preceding remark, I am by no means a loyalist to either “side” but it takes a great deal of mental gymnastics to compare any of the DC offerings with Marvel’s existing and future catalog. Perhaps Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Really, guys? That’s the title you went with?) will surprise the hell out of everybody, but I’m not holding my breath.


 

That should just about bring everyone up to speed! That said, I generally post something on Twitter at least once a day, which you can find in the sidebar here on the blog and which also cross-posts to my personal Facebook profile (but not my authorial one…wonder if I should change that). Follow me there if you want your daily dose of, well, me.

  1. Sometimes, we’re just not home; as long as we are, the game is always on. []

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

 
 
 
Ryan McClure
21 July 2014 @ 09:29 pm

This post is part of a meta-series. Click here for a list of all posts in this series.

…I’m done!



Start to finish, this project spanned exactly 5 months (started Feb 20, finished last night — July 20).

Now over to Tommy to have it kick Starfleet as–er, uh, right. ;)

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

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Ryan McClure
18 July 2014 @ 12:05 am

This post is part of a meta-series. Click here for a list of all posts in this series.

I’m calling the topside/fore part of the texture done! On to the underside/aft!


Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

Tags: ,
 
 
 
Ryan McClure
27 May 2014 @ 12:26 pm

I suspect the rash of 3D modeling posts have left many of you wondering, “Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, but what about the writing?”

Last time I wrote about writing (hm…), I felt much more optimistic about how the science fiction novel — okay, fine, it’s code-named “Prime” — could be redrafted into something more to my liking based on the invaluable feedback from my beta readers. As I went along, though, I realized that the revision process felt perfunctory. Not that the story didn’t need revision — it did and does — but rather that none of the planned and effected changes were providing that revision. After a great deal of soul-searching (and about a third of a revised draft written), I realized that the idea of the story had simply gotten away from me. As I feared back in October, what I had written wasn’t what I wanted to have written. It wasn’t the story I sought to tell.

Coincident with this realization, my wife passed on a comment from one of her aunts who had finally gotten around to reading Ashes and loved it. Just like everyone else, she was eager for the sequel and wanted to know when it would come out.

The next day, I chose to shelve Prime for now.

Instead, I turned my attention to Ashes’ sequel, for which I now have a much more solid outline, timeline, list of character motivations, and over 10,000 words written. The third Alour-Tan book is also in the late-stage “back-of-my-mind” percolation stage and my plan is to segue directly into working on it as soon as Alour-Tan II goes out to betas, which I’m angling to happen by the end of June.

I’ll return to Prime at some point, probably starting from the ground up but with an eye to using the collapsed rubble as the bedrock for the new version. For now, though, finishing the Alour-Tan series feels like the right thing to do.

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

 
 
Ryan McClure
24 December 2013 @ 07:03 pm

“How’d you do this year?” she asked.

He didn’t jump. Just like all the other times, he knew she was there just before she said anything. Her visits never scared him. Unsettled, but never frightened. She didn’t work that way.

“Okay,” he said, as if such a bland non-answer could hold any meaning. “Not as well as I wanted.”

She chuckled. It was a light sound, empty of derision. She had never laughed at him. Sometimes she just seemed to find him amusing. “How many times has it ever gone as well as you wanted?” she asked.

He stared down the length of his slouched, seated body and let his eyes focus on nothing somewhere near his knees. “Always.”

She leaned forward from her seat next to him on the park bench. Dark hair fell in wispy strands around her face as she did so, glowing like incandescent filaments when they caught the fading sunlight. Her eyebrows turned up in a look of sympathy and concern, the corners of her mouth quirked up in perpetual wry amusement at life itself. “You set awfully high standards for yourself.”

He shot her a sidelong look out of the corner of his eyes and shrugged deeper into his wholly inadequate jacket. Clear though the sky was, the sun had done nothing to dispel the winter chill from the air. “I have to.”

“I know.” She did. She studied him for several moments and he continued his oblique observation in return. Everything about her smacked of impossibility. Her features were severe and soft, her eyes huge and shrewd, her lips full and thin. As ever, she wore a light, breezy gown that would have been at home in the height of summer or climbing into bed at night, but she paid the frigid weather no mind. “What will you do next year?”

“The same,” he said, “only better.”

She turned to look out across the pond, staring into the waning sunlight. It should have hurt her eyes, but she didn’t work like that. “Nothing different?”

He shook his head. “Nothing different. If I keep piling on new things, I’ll never finish the old ones.”

She nodded, her head rising and falling in time with her deep, even breathing. “You’re learning.”

He chuckled. “I’m shocked myself.”

Her eyes came back to him and the smile she now wore was that same strange, distant but knowing smile he’d seen so many times before. “I’m not,” she said. “It was only ever a matter of time. You were always going to get here eventually.”

“At least one of us thought so,” he groused. He shook his head immediately after, dismissing the reaction. “No, I knew it too. You’re right.”

“I think you’ll make it this time,” she offered. “Maybe, just maybe you’ll even go farther than you think.”

He arched an eyebrow at that. “Is there something you want to tell me?”

Her smile changed again, becoming an impish grin. “Spoilers.”

The wind kicked up and she was gone.

“Spoilers,” he grunted.

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

 
 
Ryan McClure

Most of the time when we get songs stuck in our heads, it’s annoying. We don’t want it stuck in our head, we get sick of hearing it loop over and over–especially if we can only remember snippets of it! But sometimes, I’ll get a song stuck in my head that I just want to listen to over and over again. It’s stuck there, but I don’t want it to leave. For the last week or so, that’s been “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell, familiar to most people as the title music to Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s debut film as James Bond.

The rockin’ style and melody of the piece aside, a couple of lyrics in particular resonate with me.

I’ve seen angels fall from blinding heights
But you yourself are nothing so divine
Just next in line

I want to steal this verbatim for a line in a book somewhere. It’s right up there with Roy Batty’s “Tears in the Rain” speech from Blade Runner or Dirty Harry’s “Do I Feel Lucky?” bit in terms of how utterly badass a line it can be, in the right context. I also get a kick out of how completely dismissive it is.

Arm yourself because no one else here will save you
The odds will betray you

This is the part that taps directly into my brain; I absolutely love what happens musically on that first chorus line. I could listen to that line on loop and be happy. But setting aside the music, the lyric itself has some gravitas to it just because of how cynical it is. At the same time, it actually makes me think of Iron Man (or Batman; any genius-human that becomes “super” through the application of knowledge and training). There are a ton of ways to read the line, from the superficial “you are in a dangerous situation and will need to take up arms yourself because no one else will save you” to the deeper but more mundane idea that you are the architect of your own success because no one else is going to build it for you. If you depend on that, “the odds will betray you.”

The coldest blood runs through my veins
You know my name

So far, I’ve called out a badass verse and a verse about self-actualization, but this one gets me for an entirely different reason. One of the things that Craig’s James Bond captures that I think many will agree got lost in prior portrayals is a sense of cold, ruthless lethality. This line, right here, embodies that for me. Similar to the way “Sympathy for the Devil” never calls out just exactly who is singing the song, this line expects the listener to know from the harsh, ruthless tale weaved by the lyrics just who the singer is. No names are necessary; we already know.

I love dissecting why certain songs resonate with me, so I might do more of these in the future!

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

 
 
Ryan McClure
31 October 2013 @ 05:15 pm

Now that I’ve had a chance to read through and digest all of the feedback on the New Book, I feel much better about it than I did. The deep flaws are still present and the text is going to require a substantial redraft, but I think I have a good handle on how to approach that. It’s going to require a complete overhaul of one character, a refocusing of another, some delayed reveals, some increased stakes, and a bit more attention to event planning, but I think the core of the story is strong enough that it’s worth doing it right.

In the interim, I’m just shy of 10,000 words into Ashes’ sequel—henceforth referred to as Alour-Tan II until I reveal the book’s real title. My writing time of late has been divided between that, organizing the New Book feedback, and getting my writing folders into a more coherent and backed up format, so I haven’t made as much new writing progress as I’d like.1 Still, the time hasn’t been spent idle and I think it’ll pay dividends in the long run.

My current goal is to hammer the New Book into shape during November2 and send back out to my Betas for a new read-through in December. That will, I hope, free me up to continue working on Alour-Tan II throughout December and complete a draft of that by early January ’14. The New Book and Alour-Tan II would both, then, be 2014 releases, with Alour-Tan III hot on their heels.3 I don’t quite want to commit to Alour-Tan III coming out in 2014 at this point, but I wouldn’t call it a completely outlandish notion, either.

I’ve also received the New Book’s cover art that I commissioned from friend and former 38 Studios coworker James Ball and it is freaking awesome. I can’t wait to show it off. Thanks, James!

  1. Assuming a target of 1,000 words per weekday, I should be at 23,000 words on Alour-Tan II by this point. []
  2. I won’t technically be doing NaNoWriMo, but it seems a good timetable to use for the rewrite. []
  3. Assuming Alour-Tan II doesn’t need the same giant rewrite that Ashes and the New Book both have. I have high hopes for it, though, since I’ve known for a long while where this story was/is/will be going. []

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.

 
 
Ryan McClure

This isn’t my content; it’s the original work of Redditor /u/AustinTreeLover and I’m reposting it here because I think the message is important. If you like it and have a Reddit account, go give him some more upvotes.

Here’s the TL;DR: Read it or don’t. Not everything can be summed up in one or two sentences.

I don’t think we should confuse “conspiracy theories” (i.e. anti-vaxx messaging, the moon landing was faked) with actual conspiracies theories (i.e. NSA goings-on, the mafia, Iran Contra Affair, etc.).

Keep in mind that the expression “conspiracy theory” used to be a neutral term and only after Watergate did it come to have a negative connotation. Even then it was used to marginalized those who believed in the Watergate conspiracy, which happened to turn out to be true.

Is the local/national news media engaged in a conspiracy? Yeah, kind of. Although, I think you’re right that part of it is that they use the same techniques, I would say it’s also more insidious and unethical than just that alone.

[I am speaking of U.S. based news below]

I’m bored at work and I used to do this for a living, so, here you go:

Media companies absolutely, without a doubt (as has been proven with leaked memos, whistle blower details, personal experience, etc.) do have agendas based on their advertisers’/sponsors’ needs and talking points that generate the most money for the corporation. It’s not an accident or a product of circumstances, it is deliberate, calculated, and at this point, pervasive.

There are many factors at play that have come together to create the perfect storm of inaccurate, irrelevant bullshit in “news”. These things — both those deliberate and otherwise — keep things pretty much streamlined to convey the same or similar messages.

Off the top of my head (I’m speaking of broadcast stations here, since broadcast is a more exaggerated example):

  • Consultants — These guys are inline with what you’re saying. Stations hire outside consultants to come in, assess and do one single thing: Increase ratings. Period. (Ratings = money) They don’t discuss journalistic ethics, they don’t discuss what people need to see, they only concern themselves with generating revenue. So, yes, all consultants pretty much say the same thing: death, fear and local news first, everything else, regardless of importance, comes next. Don’t piss off the advertisers.
  • 24 hour news cycles/story length — Newsies used to have 24 hours to months to research and produce a story. Yes, news outlets always wanted to be first with breaking news, but all stations dealt with the same constraints, the same timelines. The term “breaking news” doesn’t even have any meaning any more. Everything is labeled “breaking news” because everything has to happen now. See the film “Recount” to get an idea of how breaking news has very real implications on major events. The media makes news by trying to get it first. The average story on a local news show is 15 seconds to 30 seconds. There are what’s called “packages” that can run up to a whole 3 minutes, but most of the stories are much shorter. So, when you’re covering stories fast and with little time to give background or details, you get crap news. Since all stations do this, we have all the same crap news.
  • For profit news stations — It used to be — believe it or not! — that the managing entities of most news stations and print outlets took a loss on news. It was understood. They just wrote it off. It wasn’t the goal to make money. Sounds crazy, but this used to be the case. This kept the journalists focused on providing important, relevant news as opposed to whatever the advertisers want. See the film Network as a good example of how this works.
  • Medium — It is very common for a story to not run if there’s no video. Unless it is really important and sometimes, not even then (remember: the stations decide what is important), it doesn’t run. This narrows the stories covered. If it’s broadcast, your stories are going to be limited to what you can show, regardless of importance.
  • AP — So much of what you see comes from a wire service, usually the Associated Press wire. This means all stations are playing the same stories put out by the wire services.
  • Piggy-backing — Piggy-backing is basically today’s copy pasta. Just taking one story from another source and running it like it’s your own. This is something else that used to be a big no-no in news, but now is so common place I doubt new journalism students even cover it. With social media, the internets, etc, piggy-backing is so common and accepted, we don’t even realize how damaging and dangerous it can be. The first time I heard a major network quoting Facebook posts or reddit, I threw up in my mouth. A lot. The problem with piggy-backing is that all the news comes from one source. If that source is incorrect, we’re screwed. If it’s repeated enough, it becomes fact. See: WMDs.
  • Disguised ownership — I actually had a bad personal experience with this. Just pissed me off. Basically, at the station where I worked they wanted to dress up the set to look like another show. We used all the same personnel to write, produce, direct, etc. it, but called it something else. This saved on cost, but was wholly unethical. What’s the harm? The public thinks they’re hearing a story from two independent sources when, in fact, they are not.
  • Balanced news — News should not be balanced. The fact that Fox News uses this as a tagline when it directly contradicts the foundation of journalism ethics is mind-blowing. Truth is not relative. Should Birthers get the same amount of air time as whether or not the ACA is good program? Why did I sit through endless stories about Jon McCain’s wife stealing a cookie recipe? Was there nothing else going on on the entire planet that week? And it’s not up to the newsies to make these determinations in a vacuum. There is a list of journalism ethics that should be considered. I’m picking on Fox because it’s actually in their tagline, but other stations are guilty as well. When MSNBC came out with a new platform where they’re “Leaning Left” to counter Fox News, I again threw up (watching news is a great diet program for me). I get it. Fox News controls (through contracted affiliates) more stations and media outlets than all other conglomerates combined (or last I checked). So, the idea was to counter that. But, that’s a piss-poor way to do it. There should be no left or right. There should be only truth. NPR did a better job when they announced they would no longer cow to sponsors, no longer present “balanced” news, but report the facts. What good does it do to have one talking head giving a right view and one talking head giving a left view? I want to know who’s accurate. With that accurate information, I can make up my own mind, but having two people unchecked rambling without any mediator fact checking is useless.
  • Sponsors — Having worked in news 20+ years ago, I can actually remember the fighting in the newsroom over this one when it first came out in the open. A lot of good newsies exited at this time. At first glance, the idea that everything on a station is sponsored — from the weather report to the sports camera — seems innocuous enough. But, it degrades the line between what stories are important and what stories the sponsors want you to run. At first, it was kind of an unspoken thing. A wink-wink, nudge-nudge. “Psst, that pisses off our sponsor, run it late in the line up, 10 seconds, no graphic.” Then, it got very open, “Don’t fucking run that, you idiot! We’ll lose our sponsorship!” All the way to sponsors actually having meetings openly with news directors to discuss a “joint benefits” of running or not running a story (this actually caused me to quit a job on the spot once, oh, how idealistic and naive I was, lol). And have you ever wondered about the word “sponsor”? It means, basically, I will pay for your news van, satellite shots, whatever big ticket item and you put my name on the screen. This came about because taking money outright through advertising and agreeing to change the news content accordingly is unethical. So, enter “sponsorship” because the station managers and consultants can argue it’s not technically advertising. But, the ramifications are exactly the same.
  • Fear mongering — This is not only a real phenomenon, but it’s very open. News directors openly discuss running scary stories. In fact, “localize, localize, localize” and “if it bleeds, it leads” are probably the two most common expressions heard in most local newsrooms. So, who does this help and who does it hurt? It helps sponsors and advertisers because people watch and spend when they are afraid. It hurts the public because it narrows down the news to not necessarily what stories are important to the viewer, but which stories scare the viewer the most. Every time I hear a news report with something like, “Up next on the 9 at 9, Extremely rare cancer found only in a four by four foot location in central Africa . . . Can it affect you?” I always answer the television: No. No, it cannot, News 9, you asshole. Another problem is asking questions to avoid being wrong, but scaring the shit of people anyway. “Ear rape! Could you be the next victim?” No, I very probably won’t be.

So, basically, yes, you are correct, in many ways it’s about general techniques. But, there is also a deliberate, calculated, conspiracy to fudge news or lie outright to make money. That’s the motive. It’s carried out in various ways, but it’s deliberate and pervasive and why I left news. Do not think for one minute that Fox News and CNN executives don’t sit down and nail this stuff down, crunch the numbers and send out memos to push an agenda that benefits them financially. They do. I read a quote from a politician once (paraphrasing and sorry, can’t remember the source) who said he used to think the politicians ran the news stations, but realized the corporations run the politicians through the news stations.

Source: I was a mass media and journalism major (This is the most I’ve used that degree in a while), worked in both newspaper (whole other set of problems) and broadcast journalism and taught journalism.

Side note: Last time I wrote something like this a redditor wrote me a long PM saying he “hated” me and hoped my whole family died because obviously I’m a liberal hack asshole. Well, I do lean left, especially in social issues. But, I haven’t been in news in a while, so, I can do that now. When I worked as a journalism advisor to a college newspaper, the editor and I nearly came to blows over an Obama poster she put up in the newsroom. I don’t care if it’s right or left, newsrooms room should not be biased. I’ve never wanted to smack a student so bad in my whole career. She could not wrap her brain around it. She accused me of being a rightwing bully. So, no matter what I say, some will see me as too left and some as too right. I maintain neither is true, but we’ve been conditioned to think this way to marginalize the opposition.

TLDR: Read it or don’t. Everything can’t be summed up in one or two sentences. If you’re not interested, that’s okay, just move on.

Mirrored from Ryan McClure.