Confused By The "New Journalism"

02/16/2008

Clark_kent_superman__2 Is consumer generated content the new direction in journalism? Will reporters have alter egos like Clark Kent and Superman. Which media will be the super hero: the blogger or the reporter?

Richard Edelman has an interesting post about the Financial Times' new model of including blogs written by their reporters. Now incorporating blogs into main stream media is not new or news; however, I must admit it still confuses me. Last September Geoff Livingston and I cross posted about a situation where a reporter, our opinion, crossed the line of good journalism.

So I dropped this comment on Richard's post. Note: the quote is taken from the post.

Richard -Based on this - "The reporters are given the option of putting out short versions of breaking news, then adding to the story based on talking to sources, or using Reuters wire copy for the initial break and then posting a story when fact-finding is completed." - does that mean that those blogs would be consider "opinion" (since no research has been conducted) while stories would be considered traditional journalism?

Do you think that if reporters write posts before, completing a story, that the story is likely to be more subjective than would be considered traditional reporting?

Do you view this as the new journalistic direction?

I wonder what Robert French's students and Amy Gahran and BL have to say.  What about you?

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I think journalism is returning to its roots. Back when Jonathan Swift wrote a Modest Proposal about the eating Irish babies, he was launching a scathing critique of racism that blended news with opinion and satire. Reporting began infused with opinion, and as the editorial controls come off the blog wagon, opinion is back.

You are right to raise the concern that reporting standards of fairness, balance and accuracy may lose something in this transition. I think there will always be a role for that, since accuracy and fairness attracts readers. The best bloggers are matching NYT editorial standards. As competition increases, the pressure to improve reporting will continue, and blogs and traditional news will end up merging.

Except with a little more "edge."

Posted by: Ben Kunz on Feb 16, 2008 5:07:23 PM

Psychic friends network alert! i just blogged about recently as one of my Twitter buds (@astrout) was similarly discussing this.

Follow the link on my name for details, but in summary, Bloggers and Journalists each bring something of value to the table, and, each is vulnerable to lapses in judgment.

I agree with Ben in that those who seek the goal of accuracy will rise to the top, regardless of their route.

Posted by: Roxanne Darling on Feb 17, 2008 2:49:19 AM

The public thinks expects to get "accurate", unbiased information in news articles - but opinions in anything editorials, including magazines. I think that most readers expect blogs to include "factual" information with the writer's opinion around it - that's what makes it compelling.

I write about issues when you work and live with chronic illness. Most posts are premised on something that is "indisputable" - maybe not "news" but it often someone's experience. And then I offer my opinion. I think the best blogs do that. Time will tell us which blogs keep readers.

In the end, that's what news organizations, reporters and bloggers are about - readership.

Posted by: Rosalind@WorkingWithChronicIllness on Feb 17, 2008 9:00:50 AM

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