Misc

Hamster wheeling ....

Lorcan 1 min read

I have found the expression ‘hamster wheeling’ useful over the last few years. I tend to use it in the context of any frantic effort where the participants have to keep several things going at the same time, and where it seems that slowing down might cause something to fall off.

More specifically, it is an appropriate description for those operations, common in a digital library environment, where a set of grants are used to keep a set of people working on a set of projects. Many of us are familiar with such environments, either as participants or observers.

In this context, I was interested to see a similar expression used in a report recently in Ars Technica.

But, “these additional responsibilities–and having to learn the new technologies to execute them–are time-consuming, and come at a cost. In many newsrooms, old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporting–the kind where a reporter goes into the streets and talks to people or probes a government official–has been sometimes replaced by Internet searches.”

Thus, those “rolling deadlines” in many newsrooms are increasingly resembling the rapid iteration of the proverbial exercise device invented for the aforementioned cute domestic rodent. The observation was first made by Dean Starkman in a Columbia Journalism Review piece titled “The Hamster Wheel.”

The “Hamster Wheel” isn’t about speed, the report quotes Starkman as saying. “It’s motion for motion’s sake… volume without thought. It is news panic, a lack of discipline, an inability to say no.” // Has the Internet “hamsterized” journalism?

Share
More from LorcanDempsey.net
Misc

Hamster wheeling ....

I have found the expression ‘hamster wheeling’ useful over the last few years. I tend to use it in the
Lorcan 1 min read
Misc

Elected ...

I thought it would be nice to record that a couple of my colleagues had recently been elected to positions
Lorcan
Misc

Open for business

Well, I wish I could say I was back by popular demand … but that might be stretching the truth just
Lorcan
icon

Follow along

Deep dives and quick takes. Libraries, society, culture, technology, ...

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to LorcanDempsey.net.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.