Saturday, August 01, 2009

Stick a Fork in Her, The Gray Lady's Dead

Paul Carr, formerly a tech journalist at the Guardian (but now at TechCrunch), points out the problem with journalism today:

And yet, I argued back, after camera phone dude helps us establish that the plane has crashed, who can we trust to tell us why it happened? While bloggers can own the first five minutes of any breaking story - a plane crash, a fire, a burglary - it’s always going to be the professional reporters who own the next five days, or five weeks. They walk the streets, work their contacts and - yes - trawl the blogosphere for eye-witness reports, and then take all of that information, analyse it, follow it up and ultimately provide an account of events that readers can trust.

Or at least this is what they used to do. If that were still how journalism works then the unpaid bloggers wouldn’t have a hope of competing. But unfortunately, thanks to a succession of journalistic fakes and the constant tabloidisation of the press, that trust is gone. Why should someone - either an advertiser or a reader - be prepared to pay for a newspaper when they can get the same old lies and fluff from the blogosphere?
It's a simple reminder that at the heart of all commerce is trust above nearly all else. Of course, that some journalists display jaw dropping levels of contempt for their readers/viewers (BelowTheBeltway) can't help either.

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