Friday, January 4, 2008

Whose fault is the deterioration of journalism?

Posted by Teresa at 6:15 PM
According to Helen Thomas, it's people like me who blog. Here's what she said:
“What I really worry about is that I think the bloggers and
everyone, everyone with a laptop thinks they’re journalists,”
Thomas said. “And, they certainly don’t have our standards.
They don’t have our ethics, and so forth. There’s a deterioration,”
she continued. “Reporters laid down on the job in the run up
to this Iraq."
First, I would argue that there are bloggers, for example Jeff Jarvis, who have
serious credentials when it comes to journalism. The facts are there's been an
increase in popularity in journalism studies. However, traditional news media;
cable and broadcast news, local news, newspapers, wire services, news magazines,
have always been cut throat industries and hard to break in to. So where are
these people going to go? Naturally, they will go to the web and pave their own
path.

There are also bloggers who aren't journalists but have extensive knowledge in
their field. For example, you can find law blogs done by lawyers with years of
courtroom experience or military bloggers who've had years of military service.
Why shouldn't I trust what these bloggers are telling me, Helen? Because they
don't work for a national news outlet?

My second point is traditional news media lost their journalism ethics way before
the blogosphere. Journalism deteriorated when the news media when it felt it
needed to compete financially with entertainment media thus sensationalized
news events. Journalism deteriorated when facts were no longer important.
Journalism deteriorated when reporters couldn't leave their political bias behind
so they can prove their side is right. But no it's the blogospheres' fault.

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