Disclaimer

    For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a hitchhiker’s guide, or who do not understand sarcasm, the primary purpose of this website is humor or parody. While the information here can and should be informative, it should also be taken with a rather large grain of salt.

    Should you find anything in this guide that you disagree with or in fact know to be false, please do remember the golden rule first laid out in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

Guide Entries

Gatekeeper

Traditionally, one of the roles of an editor in journalism has been to serve as a gatekeeper. The idea being that there is misinformation, fakery and gossip standing at the gates just waiting to infiltrate the newsroom and thereby pollute the larger society. Prior to the Internet, the gatekeepers were grizzled veteran editors who did… read more »

Soft News

Soft news consists of the vast wasteland of stories that are not actually newsworthy, but are entertaining in nature. They also include frivolity and gossip, such as stories about Kimye, who in Hollywood is dating, divorcing or on the outs with whom, and how many twitter followers a loaf of bread has this weekend. Sadly,… read more »

Hard News

In journalism, hard news often refers to stories about local government, city council and county commission votes, stories about the school system, and political stories. In other words, hard news is comprised mostly of the stories Americans refuse to read or watch, in favor of what is often called “soft news” like stories about the… read more »

Said

“Said” is by far and away the most perfect and sacred word in all of Journalism. According to the Associated Press, every print editor in the world, and all serious journalists, this is the only way one should indicate that a source has spoken. A true journalist would rather lose his recording device of choice… read more »

Claims

The word “claims” is often used by journalists to indicate a statement made by a source that is either patently and provably false, or that cannot be verified by a journalist. While in some cases the statement cannot be verified because it is simply not something that can be proven, more often than not, the… read more »

MSNBC

The propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. In an effort to compete with the partisanship of Fox News, a liberal alternative for news found its home at MSNBC, though one would be hard-pressed to find actual news programming amid this network’s set of whacko talking heads. Reality left the building a long time ago and… read more »

Fox News

The propaganda arm of the Republican Party. Fox News has spent the entirety of its existence proclaiming to all the world that it is “fair and balanced,” despite the overwhelmingly obvious fact that it leans so far to the right that it’s head is now firmly planted in the sand. The network has recently become… read more »

Chyron

The chyron is also known as the “lower third,” as in the lower third of a television screen during a news broadcast. Legend has it that some self-proclaimed genius executive at a cable news network decided viewers wouldn’t mind losing this screen real-estate and that it would be better used for trite headlines. The original… read more »

Anonymous Sources

Contrary to their name, anonymous sources are not actually “anonymous.” These are not unknown people hiding behind hotmail accounts and hidden phone numbers. They are instead confidential sources, known to the journalist reporting the story. When a story says a source is anonymous, it does not mean unknown. The person is vetted and is a… read more »

Advertising

Journalists have a tenuous relationship with advertising in that they thoroughly despise it yet are utterly dependent upon it for their survival. 99.9 percent of all American journalism is advertising supported and the .1 percent that isn’t will be going out of business soon because it isn’t able to sell ads. This is largely due… read more »

Sidebar