I have a friend who was a reporter for our local newspaper for years. She told me the hardest part of writing for any news service was eliminating her own biases from her pieces. She has recently moved on to a new career in the criminal justice field and says that her journalism training has helped her because she has learned to detach herself from the material she is investigating and hold her own personal biases in check. I am an amateur blogger and I don’t have that ability. When I write I strive to not put my personal slant on things but I don’t really succeed.
I don’t believe that all bloggers who blog news are journalists and I also don’t believe all those that are labeled journalists are in fact reporting without bias. While it is true that bloggers have broken and carried many a news story in the last few years and changed the course of many a life and election, it is also true that a lot of them are not coming from a position of sharing the news but from their own personal biases. Most bloggers are not trained journalists. I think that it is important to have some accountability when you are reporting on stories that can effect peoples lives. It was amateurs that plastered Ryan Lanza’s face all over Facebook-but the mainstream media let his name loose first. Turns out it was his brother who took the lives of all those children. Are the bloggers going to be sued by Lanza or are the journalists?
I can’t debate good or bad(even though my guy lost the last election). Journalists have some accountability for their stories (in most cases, anyway). I also think that having credentials as a journalist can protect the journalist as well. The same can’t be said about most well meaning ( and not so well meaning) bloggers. While allowing bloggers access to interview who they want and events they wish access too is not all bad, I can’t see how everyone could receive protection under the shield laws. That is a lot of shielding!
I think some sort of laws need to be passed in response to the mass of bloggers dabbling in the news world. As much of a legal nightmare as it would prove to be, I think such things would need to be decided on either a case to case basis, or maybe allow for a permit of some kind. I don’t even begin to understand all the ins and outs. A blanket statement would not serve anyone well.
How would you rate this book on a scale from 1-5, with 1 being “horrible!” and 5 being “amazing!” ?
What are the three most important things you learned from (or read about in) _Cognitive Surplus_?
What are three things you disagree with?
Would you recommend this book to people interested in technology and culture? Why or why not?
I didn’t think that I would like this book. I am not much for non-fiction, when I read it is to escape my world. I was really surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I am supposed to write the three most important things I learned through this book-but my favorite parts of this book are all the history involved in it. The coming of the printing press could be likened to the beginning of our computer age. The beginnings of the scientific method and its effect on modern-day science even today-these things sparked my interest in reading the rest of the book. I give the book a 4, only because I spent a bit of time confused each chapter…until I sat and digested the book a bit.
I didn’t find my self disagreeing with the book much at all. I still want a professional to do my brain surgery-and given the choice I will pick encyclopedia Britannica over Wikipedia any day, lol. I will, of course, research my little brains out in the mean time. I most likely would try to see multiple medical professionals over internet research. A mind is a terrible thing to waste!
I would recommend this book to people though, and not just to those into tech and culture. I think people in business could use it as well. It has really good insights into people as a whole. It is really well written and clear. Usually books on technology read like stereo instructions written in Japanese-I don’t get them. I also think that this book would be a good one for high school history classes to tackle. It is short and gives a lot of real world effects for historical actions. It is even laugh out loud funny in some spots.
How does the Haifa day-care experiment relate to the actions of– and on– the web?
Are you part of any “sharing cultures” that are facilitated by– or even exist completely on– the web?
What are the problems Shirky proposes, whether you agree with him or not, with the “brain surgery” argument?
In regards to the experiment-I immediately, without reading the whole page, knew what the outcome would be. I have done exactly what those parents did. Once I had to pay late fees I thought that the extra 20 dollars for the day was worth the chance to have a half an hour to run to the store without kids. I am not real proud of myself, but it is the truth. The adding of the fee was like an ok to take advantage-after all they got paid. This book sure has made me rethink some things, lol. I am not too sure of its relation to actions on the “web” other that it seems like it is a whole lot easier to be bold about any given subject and to clash with others online where you are pretty anonymous. If I put it in the context of cost, clarity and community though it makes a bit more sense to me. When the parents had to pay for lateness (cost) the caregivers role changed (community).
I loved the section of the chapter about the Invisible College. I don’t believe it is stated in the chapter outright-but I think he was talking about the birth of the scientific method, which is truly interesting.
I am part of a few sharing cultures that are totally online. I mentioned them in the previous posts.
I am not sure that I am in agreement with Shirky on the brain surgery argument. While I certainly won’t be engaging a prostitute any time soon, I still trust professionals over amateurs most times. Are all professionals worth their salt, no, but most amateurs are just that. The idea that sometimes having someone do something for you as an amateur is better than having done by a professional works in some areas (like personal life), but I still wouldn’t want an amateur operating on my brain.
- The general subject/idea of the blog. Is it politics? Journalism? Media?
- The political slant of the blog (if you can detect one). Right? Left? Moderate? Libertarian? Rastafarian? Communist?
- Does the blog cite sources for their information?
- How would you compare the information in the blog to your local newspaper?
- What you didn’t like
- Include a link to a particular post (or more) you felt was particularly interesting, funny, moving, angering, poorly written, well written, biased, or informativtal
Talking Points Memo is both a journalism blog and a political blog that is slanted left. In fact it is pretty much the polar opposite of Moonbattery. While the quality of the writing and reporting is better, I don’t really lean that direction politically. As a result I couldn’t just find a couple of articles that ticked me off…most did. I am not the most political of people but my leanings are far more conservative then liberal. I didn’t like the way the site paints most conservatives as gun toting bible thumpers (just my opinion).
I can’t fault the quality of writing though. The gentleman that started the site is a journalist and a historian (according to his wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talking_Points_Memo)
Here is a link to a recent article that ticked me off.
The general subject of Moonbattery.com is political. The political slant is toward the right..wayyyyy right. The blog sites news sources for its information ( for the most part). It is not as well written as some, but because I agree with a lot of the ideas, I can overlook it. The blog is heavily slanted and most of the “reporting” is as well. My local paper wouldn’t handle many of these stories in the same way-which is why I don’t read much from newspapers. I didn’t like some of the language used.
I have blogged about three stories from the site. I had three earlier ones, but I felt that they were outdated at this point so I did three new ones.