Midway through the chapter “Citizen Journalists?” it was time for a little reading relief. (Perhaps Nicholas Carr does know a thing or two about attention spans or lack thereof.) I stumbled upon the following article on Examinar.com:
The article was recounting a mishap that that occurred on the second stop of a 40-city post Olympic tour featuring the women’s gold medal winning gymnastics team. The bulk of the article was reprinted from a blog post written by a “chance witness.” Sitting at the right place at the right time, the blogger has gained some short-lived Internet “fame.” With a little bit of fluff surrounding the blog post, the article was complete with little time and effort on the author’s part. The original blog post made its way into an article on the Huffington Posts’ online sports page as well as other news websites.
Journalism is grounded with facts. Readers rely upon institutional credibility to determine the validity of an article. What happens when the personal authenticity of blogs collide with the institutional credibility of journalism?
“I’m guessing…If I recall correctly…I think…I assume”
While these words are perfectly acceptable in the blogging world, journalists avoid these subjective words at all costs. Rarely, if ever, should a reader open the newspaper and find an article based upon assumptions and speculations. However, these words made their way from a personal blog to news stories produced by credible institutions. What are the implications of including blogs in news stories and how will this change the way readers verify news stories?
Perhaps my break was a bit longer than I expected, but surfing the Web and sifting through Google was insightful nonetheless.
Wait. Is Google making me stupid, or smarter?