And I Kill Journalism AGAIN!

Go me!

And look, I’m arguing simply that most of the autowittering on about blogs and their supposed reams of inaccuracies and unchecked facts and anonymous sources and OMG THE HORROR TAKE THEIR PENS AWAY is based mostly on defensiveness and projection. No matter where or how your work is published it is done by a person and thus will be full of mistakes and confusion in a sitch like this, I don’t care if you work for the Daily Telegraph or are Twittering from your kitchen.

Mistakes should be corrected and we should all think very hard about how to do it better next time, twas ever thus, but maybe the people wanking about needing a blogger code of conduct every time somebody steps out of line in a Kos diary should read Shafer’s piece and calm the hell down. This doesn’t need a manual, and convening a committee to write one and edit and photocopy and distribute it to people who will use it as a coffee coaster … I mean, go ahead if it makes you feel better, but you could just make people write “I will try harder not to fuck up and get stuff wrong” 100 times on the white board and call it a day. Result would be about the same.

Via Romenesko.


6 thoughts on “And I Kill Journalism AGAIN!

  1. Here’s the thing that really annoyed me about the Mumbai coverage. Everybody knows how unreliable eyewitness testimony is. Anybody who has ever watched an episode of Law & Order: Anti-Graffiti Unit or CSI: Olathe, Colorado knows that.
    So why is it that so many people take the initial reporting from the scene of an incident as gospel? WHO DO THEY THINK THE REPORTER IS INTERVIEWING? To tell you the truth, I’m not surprised reporters often don’t bother to caveat their reporting, because, SRSLY, shouldn’t every reader on the planet know enough that such caveats aren’t necessary?
    As far as blogger ethics are concerned, if anything, I’ve found many of the major blogs I read to be *more* accurate than the traditional media. Why? Because many of those blogs look at the reporting of the trad-med, compare the various accounts, and some even gather information from their own sources. Yes, the constantly updating nature of blogs leads to inaccuracies. But in general, I’d rather rely on a three- or four-times updated blog post than a one-off article in the Times or the Post that may have been written in just as much haste as the blog post, and may not ever be corrected.
    Finally, I know all this has been said before, but fer cryin’ out loud, could the trad-med folks get it through their enormously thick skulls that “blogger” is a generic term like “pain reliever” or “computer.” Applying Head On directly to your forehead may relieve your headache, but morphine is a bit more powerful. Likewise, my old Apple IIe was a computer, but it’s nothing like the IBM Roadrunner. So why on earth do the trad-med idiots keep using “blogger” as though it refers to the blogging-equivalent of Head On, when the most-read bloggers are the blogging-equivalent of the IBM Roadrunner?

  2. That constant-updating thing? That’s what the AP used to charge you for: the newswire.
    UPI ran one, and Reuters.
    Nowadays there are others out there whose agendas aren’t as cleverly camouflaged as AP’s was/is.
    I’m thinking for instance of Drudge and the CSM.

  3. And of course, many of the big press agencies out there weren’t involved with Yellow Journalism about 100 years ago?
    Unfortunately, I don’t have the citation handy, but I saw a report in the last few days that of those journalists who were imprisoned for their journalism, a very significant number were blogger-journalists.

  4. The press foisted spacer onto their clientele when reporting the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.
    What does that even mean? You wouldn’t foist spacer on me, would you?

  5. I don’t understand why ‘print journalism’ doesn’t use the printer that everybody has in their house to help sell newsprint, instead of bitching about the internets. Why not sell daily PDFs instead of daily papers that print while you are making your coffee in the morning? A paper with ads targeting one customer at a time instead of fur ads to 16 year olds who are reading the HS sports and strip club ads to the person reading the religion section. Instead of moaning about the internet why don’t newspapers celebrate the fact that can access a distributed printing network where the customers gladly supply paper, a press, and ink on their own dime?

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