Oh yay–yet another swipe at the great unwashed from a self-appointed arbiter of journalistic excellence:
Supporters of “citizen journalism” argue it provides independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media don’t provide. While it has its place, the reality is it really isn’t journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse. The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend.
The premise of citizen journalism is that regular people can now collect information and pictures with video cameras and cellphones, and distribute words and images over the Internet. Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people “journalists.” This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel is a “citizen surgeon” or someone who can read a law book is a “citizen lawyer.” Tools are merely that. Education, skill and standards are really what make people into trusted professionals. Information without journalistic standards is called gossip.
CNN’s last YouTube Republican debate included a question from a retired general who is on Hillary Clinton’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender steering committee. False Internet rumors about Sen. Barack Obama attending a radical Muslim school became so widespread that CNN and other news agencies did stories debunking the rumors. There are literally hundreds of Internet hoaxes and false reports passed off as true stories, tracked by sites such as snopes.com.
Er, so CNN’s inability to do its homework (ie, use teh Googlez) is somehow a knock against ‘citizen journalism’? “Education, skill, and standards” my ass. The fact that this yutz is a journo-prof explains much about the current shoddy condition of the Fourth Estate.
Rewind my selecta:
Information without journalistic standards is called gossip.
‘Journalistic standards’ certainly didn’t prevent The Washington Post from running what Michael Tomasky recently called the “single worst piece of political journalism” he’s ever read. What was that about “[f]alse Internet rumors about Sen. Barack Obama attending a radical Muslim school“, Dave? Snopes.com doesn’t just vet online bullshit, bub.
• Major news organizations must create standards to substantiate citizen-contributed information and video, and ensure its accuracy and authenticity.
Physician, heal thyself. As the inimitable driftglass puts it,
if Journalomysticism had not failed the citizens of the United States so utterly, callously, completely, conspicuously and spectacularly over the last 30 years – if your profession had not deserted its post and let a great, rotting, pin-head-infested abyss take over the sacred real estate once tenanted by a robust and fearless American Journalism – then maybe there would not be so many Smelly Citizen Journalists, desperately tossing their little torches into the Vast Darkness your colleagues and owners left behind when they turned tail and ran away.
So I assumed you must be fucking kidding.