How strange! I was reading Stilgherrian‘s rant – or, open letter – to traditional journalists:

Dear Journalists, how can you spout all that stuff about “standards” and then go back to your mucky business?

Oh, that’s right. You’re a proper journalist. It’s all the others

Actually, I know why you’re so bitter about “those bloggers”. You worked hard on that student newspaper or street rag while living in uni-student poverty, put up with the abuse of grumpy old chain-smoking subs who bawled you out over trivial spelling mistakes, put up with the unpredictable patronage of editors who promoted everyone else to A Grade but you — you endured all of that hoping that one day you’d get the plum posting. But no! The newsrooms are now being decimated, and the masthead’s adorned with photos of celebrity chefs. And bloggers — bloggers! People with no professional training are leaping into the limelight. Some of them are even being paid! How dare they!

… when there was a knock on the door. It was a postman! I was shocked – who uses snail mail anymore? – and somehow a letter to Stilgherrian ended up in my hand.

Of course I opened it -carefully, using the steam from a kettle, so he won’t know- and this is what it said:

Dear Mr Stilgherrian,
After your continued and incessant attacks on traditional journalists, we will respond by noting that as all bloggers are crap and ill-educated and passionate biased, and as all heritage media have standards and ethics* and have never been caught being naughty, your membership to Old Media has now been terminated. Please mail back in your membership card and remove the I AM A BONAFIDE JOURNALIST tattoo from your left buttock.
Yours Sincerely
Journalists

*EXCEPTIONS
Cash for comments – radio
Exploitation of youth for reality TV – television
Kickbacks for good food reviews – newspapers
Harassment and eventual death of Princess Di – top magazines read in Australia
Hiding advertisement as undisclosed infomercial/entertainment.
Plagiarism (examples? that wikipedia one?)
Faking it (travel guides written by travel writers who don’t travel)

The rest of the letter was smudged by the steam from the kettle. What else do you think should be on the list?

One generalisation begets another, methinks. Saying all bloggers are crap is like saying all journalists are biased. Which unfortunately is exactly what Australians think:

We don’t trust Mainstream Media – the numbers show it. (from my old blog post)
Media Bias
A large 85% (down 1% since September 2004) of Australians believe that Newspaper journalists are often biased,
74% (up 1%) believe TV reporters are often biased and
69% (down 6%) believe that Talk-back radio announcers are often biased.

The only form of mainstream media to escape the condemnation of the majority (and only just) is theInternet – 49% (up 8%) of Australians believe Internet sites are often biased. Roy Morgan

Did any of you bring that up at these debates-from-last-century? tsk tsk. 😛

Let’s compile a compendium of unethical traditional media behavior – not so we can be mean to journalists. No, I quite like them, the little poppets. But so we can respond at conferences and debates and such, when we are told we are rubbish. We nod and say yes – of course we are – everything we ever learned about media we learned from journalists. and What a brilliant example they have set for us all. Particularly their standards and their ethics. And then we list off the incidents that make Media Watch giggle. Heh.

*pokes Stilgherrian* I’ going to Twitter this to him now. 🙂