Stupid Journalism Stunts #1

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

dunce.jpgOnce in a while, I could across something so mind-bogglingly stupid that I’m forced to sit, slack-jawed and drooling, while my brain tries to hide from the infectious power of THE STUPID.

Here’s [ on such a thing](
BBC Radio Scotland is running a journalism experiment of sorts today – pitting an office-based, but internet-enabled journalist against another hack only allowed to ferret out stories face-to-face without even so much as a mobile phone for company.
This is being characterised as being a clash of new journalism techniques and old ones. 
Hang on a second. My brain tried to hide from THE STUPID again. Give me a moment.
Right. Better now. Thanks. 
The false assumptions behind this experiment are so rife that there’s a group of farmers already arguing for a cull, lest they become a threat to crops. So, the guy in the field is deprived of the new technology of mobile phones (as long as you define “new” as “three decades old”), yet the new journalist … is also deprived of them. Insane.
The whole point of new technology – of mobile internet, mobile phones *et al* is that is should free journalists from their desks to get out and about. The idea that the internet ties you to your desk is *so *last decade that it hurts. And field journalists have been using mobile phones since the 80s at least. 
This appears to be a competition between a mid 90s journalist and one from the 1920s. And I’m afraid that anyone who thinks that this teaches them anything about journalism in the 21st century has already been infected by THE STUPID.
And there’s no cure for that.
**Photo by **[**CogDogBlog on Flickr**](**, used under a Creative Commons licence**
Journalismmobile internetmobile phonesmobile workingTHE STUPID

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.