Read It Raw From The News Wire Services
I was reading some more of the book, The Media Savvy Leader. David Henderson confirmed one of my biases. When he wrote about the best way of getting your story published is to get it published to a wire service like AP (Associated Press) or Reuters.(P.83)
I prefer to read my news immediately as it is coming out on the wire services. These are available for free on the internet. I often like to read Yahoo!News because it will post the news within minutes of it coming off the wire services. I think that the longer you wait to read the news, the more likely people will attempt to change the content of news articles. There are many services for monitoring news. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_monitoring
Mr. Henderson has not talked about news monitoring in his book so far, but I think it is a very important topic.
I have watched articles change within hours with corrections to their statistics, statements about a specific ethnic group, or political views. It is not just left or right wing political groups which are monitoring the news, it is corporations, government, religious groups, and lobbyists.
You often have to wait a full day before the news appears in the newspapers. By then, it has been massaged to be nonobjectionable or accurate by various interest groups. The news has become sanitized and safe to put in databases like Proquest, Lexis, and similar places. It is a piece of packaged information.
After it has become safely placed in the newspapers, it is then picked up by television. David Henderson opening chapter heading for Chapter 9 is "Journalism Driven by Profit and Fear." He accurately describes that television news is a profit driven industry maintained by ratings. He does not call it "Infotainment"-- but that is what it happens to be in my view. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infotainment
I admit I rather like weird news as well. I like to visit Snopes, the urban legends page sometimes. http://www.snopes.com
The next step in the process after it gets to the mainstream television channels is that it changes from infotainment to pure entertainment. Barack Obama and John McCain both made it to Saturday Night Live. Also, places like The Onion lampoon the news as it comes out. http://www.theonion.com/content/index The news once it is in the papers effectively becomes somewhat questionable.
There is a natural progression in my viewpoint from News (Citzen Journalism, Wire Services)--> Information (Newspapers, Magazines, Magazine Databases)--> Infotainment (Most television news) --> Entertainment (The Onion, David Letterman, Saturday Night Live).
I prefer to have my news fresh from the wires because of this. I have read that breaking this cycle is quite hard for mainstream news because of media censorship. There is an excellent book called Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free press, by Kristina Borjesson, Editor.
These are my views and not necessarily the views of David Henderson. I am just taking some insights from his new book, The Media Savvy Leader Visibility, Influence, and Results in a Competitive World. The book will be released on January 8, 2009.