1. Um, no, I don’t that’s why he said that. You cherry-picked one incident (from over a year ago, by the way) and used it to make your case.

    I think he said it because the Internet IS an enormous rumor mill, and aside from a few very select watchdog sites, a lot of partisan statements go un-checked. That goes for both parties, lest you think I’m blindly defending Obama. How many sites claimed that John McCain and Barack Obama were not citizens of this country? Now, of those sites, how many showed photo-shopped birth certificates to support their claim?

    The un-checked nature of the Internet is truly a product of democracy, and everyone should be able to share their perspective. Neverthless, while I don’t think it should be regulated or restricted in any way, we DO need to make sure we know where to go to get information WITHOUT spin. The news sources that are trustworthy must come up with the means to keep churning out news … because without a stalwart fourth estate, democracy will die, regardless of how much freedom of speech its citizens enjoy.

  2. That first sentence should read “I don’t think that’s why he said that.” I should really proofread my sentences more! πŸ™‚

  3. Have to agree with Amy here too. And, to be honest, reading the Obama quote, I can’t see how anything he said is up for debate.

    He’s not saying readers should pay for news content (unless that’s what he went on to say – I don’t know the speech). He said there needs to be a business model that supports online news. Of course there does. Whether that’s advertising, sponsorship, micropayments, subscriptions, syndication or something else we haven’t seen yet, news has to cover it’s expenses just like I need to work to pay my bills to allow me to blog for free.

    And we know that one of the biggest challenges the web faces is the battle against misinformation – either deliberate or created through laziness. That is a battle that is still to come; how we ensure accuracy and not rumour becomes the norm in the crowd sourced world we live in.

    Now if it turns out Obama was specifically talking about charging readers for online news similar to the model currently being pushed by Murdoch, then that’s a different matter and one that I would also criticise.

  4. Newspaper journalism is still one of the corner pillars of a non corrupt society. We have journalists to thank for a more balanced world. As one simple example, imagine if journalists weren’t about to uncover the expenses issues with politicians. I think Obama is spot on, the model needs to ensure proper journalism is still a funded and rewarded profession, as much as they may love their work they can not do it for free, so users or advertisers alike must always support this profession. The problem with media multi platforms is there is less and less mass marketing opportunities and more splintering of advertising revenue and therefore less to pay real journalists. In saying all of this I actual own a social media company and many of the word of mouth cases we have broken have been then picked up by local newspapers in the region. I think that may be the future model

  5. Although newspapers are not without spin, and print journalists sometimes get their facts wrong and will continue to do so – in some cases by repeating what they find on the internet – I support Amy’s POV. As a whole, IMHO, newspapers continue to be a far more trustworthy, reliable source of fact than ‘the blogosphere’.

    And sorry Laurel, but I believe to call recording the President at a fundariser as ‘undercover investigations’ and to tie that to ‘take[ing] on the role that journalists also do’ is perhaps exaggerating just a little.

  6. Odd that the average punter can tell the difference between The Australian and the local rag/tabloid, but can’t tell the difference between The Huffington Post and a redneck blog.

    Also odd that when a journalist catches a political figure on tape making inappropriate statements, it’s a “scoop” but when a blogger of the standing of Mayhill Fowler of the Huffington Post gets not one but two scoops , it’s exaggerated to call them journalistic scoops.

    If social media is drinking their own kool aid, journalists are dying from their own version of it.

    Time to accept that bloggers can and do the same work as journalists, and build some models that incorporate that – Denial = Fail.

  7. Sorry Laurel, missed the point of the opening sentence in your reply.

    To clarify, I wouldn’t call a *newspaper* journalist catching a political figure on tape making inappropriate statements ‘investigative journalism’.

    And to suggest that someone with a differing opinion is in denial? Disappointed.

  8. Oh I was being sarcastic – not all blogs are created equal and we know that. Not all newspapers are created equal and we also know that.

    If you don’t like Mayhill, what about the Judge that blogs about corruption in courts, the ambulance driver that reveals corruption in ambulance services in the US and the policeman who blogs about corruption in UK police force (he’s now been ousted from the force). Not deep enough? πŸ™‚ Deep Throat won’t call Bob Woodward, s/he will blog.

    And you can make an emotive spin “disappointed” on what I said – I stand by the fact that if newspapers don’t learn to work with bloggers (good bloggers) and develop more than articles with comments, they will be disintermediated. I also stand by the denial statement – classifieds have dried up, display ads have dried up, readership has dried up. To say that it hasn’t because it shouldn’t is denial, no?

  9. Laurel, please, emotive spin? Is not “Denial = Fail” emotive spin? I also stand by my comments. But I don’t think you’re in denial, you just have a different opinion to me.

    But I suspect you and I agree in general, if not in the specifics. Your point “not all blogs are created equal and we know that. Not all newspapers are created equal and we also know that” – I agree. That’s why *in general* I still find newspapers a far more trustworthy, reliable source of fact than β€˜the blogosphere’. Who said I don’t like Mayhill? Where did I say anything *should not* happen? I merely disagreed with your suggestion that Mayhill’s article was ‘investigative journalism’. I’m happy to believe that there are people who do not work for print media who are capable of producing useful information for distribution by whatever means.

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