The Huffington Post was sold this week for millions. For years I have dipped into it occasionally for a balance on the news. I even fought the folk here at InfoMine telling them the format is attractive and easy to use. At last this advice is getting implemented–but only partially.
Why do I like the Huffington Post? Because it has an edge; it has tension; there is a whiff of scandel; a hint of sin; an insight that makes you think; a confrontation with mendacity; a perspective that challenges; an independence that is totally American; a variety of voices & opinions that is not reducible to the common level; and a mix of tone and tide that reflect the chaos and wildness of life. Republican or Democrat, you read the Huffington Post with trepidation and pride in a country that can think, debate, and act, for better or worse.
Go to Mining.com, a part of InfoMine, to see the new layout. A lot more attractive than the old cluttered page that was its face. Here we have promise of easy to follow news of the mining industry. Yet they have a way to go to capture me as a regular reader. They have a long way to go to achieve the verve of the Huffington Post and be sold for millions to AOL. Here are some reasons why I search for mining news via blogs and the nooks and crannies of the internet—and avoid the institutional perogative and platitudes of Mining.com:
Too many articles by humbugs on the price of gold. Just how many times can we read those pontificating buffoons telling us gold is going up, will go up, and will go higher? Only to have to wallow through their self-negating justifications that the reason gold is going down is all the fault of Egypt–but not to worry for gold will go up as soon as the Egyptian people are free to buy gold.
Similarly for silver and copper. They go up and they go down. Presumably in response to world events and fundamental demand. But do we need three or four articles a day giving us another tired old justification for rises seemingly interminable?
China is a great source of inspiration for mining journalists. But mostly they lie and obfuscate. Praise the latest Canadian company to bribe an official to get access to a new deposit. Speculate on China as the reason for new SuperCycles of demand or contraction. Those constant deaths in vast numbers in the mines of China are another source of easy writing for lazy journalists and news selectors. But seldom do we get an honest assessment of a strange land still in the grip of secretive families grabbing the new wealth for themselves and exploiting the serfs for cheap labor.
There is an absence of fresh voices and new ideas at yet on the new Mining.com. Too many repeats of stuff put out by publicists for companies seeking to prop up the share price. My ex-wife once worked for a journal that simply cut and pasted so-called “news releases” from companies. With a bit of skill, you can doll up even the dullest of these press releases to sound like original news. But once you are aware–go find a new voice.
Compare the absence of detail in the piece at this link on coal mining salaries with the following three blog pieces I have recently posted:
Next week I will get to the coal mining wages and salaries to rectify the flaccid non-information of the Mining.com piece.
These two pictures prove my point that they need more original photos of mines. It is all too easy to post a picture of a truck to doll-up dross prose. But mining is so much more than big trucks. Clearly we have to avoid them if we seek not to get crushed. But at most mines that I go to, we never even see the trucks–for that part of the operations is kept way off limits to mere consultants. A good safety measure if ever there was one.
Having written this, I am not sure I have the courage to go into the office next week. Maybe they will shrug this off as just another of Jack’s blog rants & raves. Maybe they will one day let go of their fear of my writings and even post my blog and the many other great mining bloggers on a new Mining.com. See my blog roll for all the mining bloggers I have come across. And none of them writes about the price of gold, silver, or copper. And none of them posts pictures of big trucks rumbling down repetitive highways of the minds of journalists.