I am continually shocked (though I probably shouldn’t be) by how many people in the media are willing to deny free speech to others that they claim for themselves. For instance there this opinion piece by David Hazinski in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that advocates media control of bloggers:
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.
Mr. Hazinski, I hate to burst your bubble here, but you guys just aren’t that important. I have consumed your product for the last 30 years and it’s just not that good. Much of what the media produces today is opinion dressed up as news. A lot of the rest is just aggregation from various wire services.
Opinion and aggregation. Sounds a lot like what bloggers do.
And then, ironically, there are these whoppers:
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.
Yes there was a breach of journalistic ethics in allows a campaign staffer ask a question in the CNN/YouRube Republican debate. But this breach was made by CNN who selected the question but did zero background checking. This example is actually contrary to his point.
Yes there are a lot of hoaxes in the internet. But a lot of these get reported by the media as well with little fact checking. And snopes.com is a great example of a citizen journalist who regularly out-performs his media counter-parts.
Here is a question for Mr. Hazinski; what do journalistic ethics say about a newspaper publishing an editorial proposing regulation that would benefit them directly?