Dan Shanoff at Quickish.com (via @noelmu) perfectly uses that classic game — “Telephone” — as a metaphor for how web journalism sometimes is twisted through the internet ether:
a WCCI-Des Moines web reporter sees the Bleacher Report opinion column at the top of Google News, then twists it into this, yesterday morning:
“BleacherReport.com reported there are rumors that ABC is considering…”
But — to be fair to Bleacher Report — its columnist did no such thing.
And so, like a game of “Telephone,” WCCI tweaks the situation just enough to spin it into a new orbit.
What a wonderfully apt comparison. Having just played telephone with the students in my games course last week, it should probably be no surprise to us that stories such as this do get twisted in this way. Or at least, not surprise when we realize that web journalists who are incentivized to rifle through piles of data to get their stories out quickly might spend as much time reading a post as they would listening to their neighbor in Telephone.