Jeff Jarvis has responded to New York Times slamming bloggers as unethical and without standards by pointing out that blogging is “process of journalism” whereas mainstream media is “product journalism”.
Darlin leads with TechCrunch and Gawker sharing bogus rumors of Apple buying Twitter. He acknowledges that TechCrunch said in its post that it could not confirm the story. But still, he uses it to jump to the first of his broad-brush generalizations: “Such news judgment is not unusual among blogs covering tech. For some blogs, rumors are their stock in trade.” Couldn’t one say the same thing about political reporters who spread rumors and trial balloons, knowing they are just that, or business reporters feeding rumors and speculation about mergers or firings? Blogs are hardly alone in scoop mentality. Newspapers invented scoops.
The blogs that try to be accurate follow this:
Not all blogs are created equal of course. Some are shock jocks (shock blogs) like Perez Hilton or maybe Valleywag? (dunno, don’t read Valleywag myself). Others are more highbrow. Like this blog, fer instance. Heh. Just like tabloids vs oh, I dunno, anything by Murdoch. (that was a heh again).
The only thing I want to note is that bloggers have the same challenge that newspapers have today: we have a vocal audience. A very grumpy, sneery, pedantic, audience that love to find fault with our blog posts, create World War Three over a misspelling, and basically flame our poor shaking typing fingers. Ow! Burnies! Publish and be damned? Blog and be damned/cussed thrice over!
The online community is our editor. And the community has greater knowledge collaboratively than any newspaper or blogger. And the community is speaking back. We HAVE to be accurate, or else have our inaccuracies shared with the world in a public display of humiliation. The World Is Our Editor….
… just a shame the world turned into a grumpy, chain smoking ol geezer behind a desk, that loves to highlight your many imperfections as a writer to the whole sniggering office/world. Like some irate deskbound patriarch popping antacids.
If we, as a bloggers, care about our reputation at all, we watch what we post. We have to. Reputation is the currency in which we get paid – not drinkies at press launches, no Christmas bonus and not with a weekly salary. We (mostly) want to be acknowledged as thought leaders, original thinkers, not some inaccurate, rumor spewing, half baked noodley idea generators.
And mainstream media is for the most part going out of it’s way to withhold that respect, the Payload. Shame, cos bloggers are probably their target audience – those interested in finding, filtering, discussing, forwarding the News. A real shame.
Disclaimer for my most pedantic readers: I spell some words in American way, some in ‘Australian’, also, not all editors are grumpy mean bastards (some are women), some journalists get paid freelance, fortnightly, monthly, etc etc.
By the way, The New York Times doesn’t have “readers” any more, they have “users”. Which means they still don’t understand. We aren’t “users” of an information tool, we are “members” of an information community. Expect another change soon.