01 May, 2017

Why Are Some Entertainment Reporters So Bad at Their Jobs?

Not a self-portrait...
There is a vast sea of podcasters, bloggers, YouTubers, and reporters covering the entertainment business who seem to not understand important basics of the business and topics they are covering.

There are simple things like the differences between a TV director's and film director's impact on the written material. Or a TV writer's vs film writer's power over the material. Or the control a TV executive producer has over their show vs the power a film executive producer has over anything. Not to mention the difference between a writers room show-runner vs a show-runner who mostly deals with the business side, and those who do both. Or how a film may have 200 producers credited who had virtually no creative input. Or how some writers are credited on a movie as a courtesy (for example, Empire Strikes Back and Guardians of the Galaxy each have a writer credited who had no input in the final screenplay). Or how McG gets his name onto everything, does nothing, and has one party at his mansion per year that everyone goes to because it's pretty jammin' and he gives cool SWAG. Or what a movie director actually does and how it is different from a TV director --plus when and why it doesn't apply. Or what a cinematographer is. Or why and when demanding a show "right its course" with a plot-line you don't enjoy is ridiculous when you should know all the episodes are in the can. Or what in the can means and why it matters to know such a thing.
How do some wake up every morning and put out garbage content about a specific subject they claim to be passionate about (say Marvel, Lucasfilm, or Pixar movies) but make virtually no effort to understand the business side of, yet comment on with confidence (like thinking Disney runs day-to-day operations at Marvel, or Lucasfilm, or Pixar, and dictates the creative process)? Are they afraid of finding out facts because facts stall the creative process if fictionalizing news? Because too many cover the entertainment business as if it exists only in their mind. Sadly, most people who read, watch, or listen to these individuals think they're an authority on an industry they cover so extensively and incorrectly. And they disseminate that lack of knowledge all over the Internet as if it is fact because lazy reporter #587 said it. 
For example, the consistent notion of "new Star Wars canon" or "Disney Star Wars" when it's just Lucasfilm canon now made official, instead of the nebulous "hey, is this canon?" fans had prior to Kathleen Kennedy taking over the company. A story canon Disney doesn't have any vast input in creating nor running, yet somehow reporters who make actual human money to understand the business say "Disney canon" or "Disney's Star Wars" with shocking and embarrassing confidence even though everything we've ever heard about it, and the company as a whole, is Kennedy runs it and Lucasfilm creative types control it without Disney interference --and before you scream "you have to be stupid to think Disney doesn't have input," I said "interference" not "input." As I parenthetically mentioned earlier, the same applies to Marvel and Pixar.
Look, I understand if a reporter covers 200 subjects per day and doesn't know the day-to-day operations of a company, but if someone's entire channel, blog, website, or podcast is dedicated to covering the inner workings of Coca Cola, you would be fair to expect the individual covering it would not utilize the Pepsi Co playbook for running Taco Bell in America to determine how Coca Cola markets Fanta in Germany. Yet people think it's fine if a whole passion project analyzes its foundation based on how someone feels it might work? When a few minutes on Google (you should check it out, it's an amazing search tool) would illuminate more accurate information. Why not just, I don't know... make an effort? It would assist analysis a great deal and make the article seem smart and accurate. Or is that the point, to not make an effort so it seems anyone can do it so modern reporting can speed up the death of journalism?
I haven't even touched on things some clearly don't understand on any level, such as studio marketing decisions, but comment on them as if they had post-graduate degrees and/or professional experience in the field. "Why haven't Disney and Lucasfilm put out a teaser for 'The Last Jedi' yet," some shouted from the rooftops of their entertainment sites, 9-months before the movie's release. "Where is the WONDER WOMAN overhype?! IT MAKES NO SENSE!" some just recently screamed, as if Warner Brothers marketing is sitting there going "look, sure we spent hundreds of millions on this but we're just going to let it tank because we have an anti-feminism agenda." So you truly think the WB marketing department is out to get DC for being too progressive? Have you considered they have a plan that is better than yours? Did people lose their minds when JOHN WICK didn't put out a trailer until weeks before it was released? Few even knew about the movie. And it over performed. Or how many of these know-it-alls came up with the DEADPOOL marketing strategy that ended up delivering one of the biggest comic-book hits ever?

Simple answer is, none of them. Because most don't know anything. Not because they can't know anything, but because they're too lazy to research, collect, absorb, and analyze actual information pertaining to the business they cover and claim to understand. Hell, the fact I even mention their laziness will elevate their self-preservation instinct and make them resist the entire notion of MAKING AN EFFORT until eventually the entire collective of ignorance will convince itself not knowing anything is a good thing.

There are fantastic entertainment reporters, bloggers, and fans running passion-sites who make the effort and deliver solid material on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, it seems they are becoming unicorns in a sea of content roaches... scrambling to deliver anything to feed the swarm.

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