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.
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.
From the story: “In November, Local 6 broke the story about the controversial garden after the city [of Orlando] told the Helvenstons their 25-by-25-foot front yard vegetable garden was not in compliance with the city’s code.
After hundreds of emails supporting the couple flowed in and initially allowing the Helvenstons to keep their garden, saying it will hold off on violations, the city has since asked the couple to uproot the garden and replace it with a lawn or face fines.”
I just don’t get it. At what point do we say enough? It is a garden for cripes sake. City code…for a garden? What is the garden hurting. What is the thinking behind this? Replace the garden with a lawn? I don’t understand how that will enhance their neighborhood. I would think that in these uncertain times a garden would be infinitely more useful than a lawn! Not only that, lawn maintenance is just a waste of money when compared to a garden that produces healthy food. I have had large gardens most of my life and I know that a garden that size would provide for a pretty good size family year round if you canned your produce! I couldn’t afford to keep the garden, I would end up losing the house. I would love to be able to stick to my convictions like these people.
Don’t you wonder what is next?
I think I just found a story that shows that Shirky is right. Social media does make it possible not only to organize but to mobilize groups of people. Unfortunately it is for nefarious purposes, but it is still true. Flash mobs are being used to rob people. Kids (and I doubt it is only kids) are getting together via twitter and other social networking sites to rob stores. They flood a store, rob it and then disappear into the crowd before the police show up. Thieves then use the same social networking sites to offload their ill gotten gains. It is pretty ingenious actually, and it certainly proves that groups can be organized and such via Twitter!
Take that Gladwell!
I am not really one for political soap boxing but this really chaps me!
I am a gun owner. I have guns in the house. My husband is an avid gun enthusiast and collector. I don’t shoot much, mainly because of carpal tunnel in both wrists (thanks WalMart), but I know how to and would have no problem defending myself. My husband has a concealed to carry permit as well as clearances up the wazoo for his job. I don’t consider us gun nuts at all, even if our collection is up there in number…
Over that last few weeks with all these shootings the media has been all over gun laws and restricting owner ship. Why then do we hear nothing about this attempted shooting in San Antonio? Is it because the guy was stopped before 70 people were injured by a gunman? Is it because a woman with a gun brought an end to the rampage? Why is it that I had to go to this site to find this story?
Also-I have to say this.
Saying that guns kill people is like saying my fork made me fat. Sorry, I didn’t eat that pasta-nope, my fork made me eat the pasta.
Sounds stupid- don’t it.
Do you feel like you are starting to “get” feed reading and how it can offer an improvement over traditional web site reading? Have you used (at least read) web feeds before? Do you have questions that remain unresolved?
I definitely like feed reading! I am normally pressed for time-I have two kids and a houseful of pets that never seem to understand “I am busy”. Getting feeds to exactly what I want to read from the sites I end up at all the time is great! I especially like the fact that I don’t have to keep checking back to the sites for new info-I get a feed whenever something new comes up ( especially with my fave band site).
I haven’t used them before now, though I have read some. I think that I will be utilizing a lot more “tricks of the trade” to streamline my surfing process more. It really saves time.