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In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal? 156

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-play-one-on-tv dept.
oztechmuse (2323576) writes "As the source of news moves increasingly away from traditional channels to the millions of people carrying mobile phones and sharing commentary, photos and video on social networks, the distinction between journalists and bloggers has become increasingly blurred. Making sense of this type of information has been as much a challenge for journalists as it has bloggers. Journalists, like bloggers, have had to learn new skills in working in this environment. Highlighting this has been the release of the Verification Handbook which attempts to educate journalists in how to process user-generated content in the form of videos or images acknowledging that much of the reporting about situations, especially emergency ones, comes from the public. The techniques outlined are accessible to anyone reporting on a story, adding to the eroding gap between bloggers and journalists."
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In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

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  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Monday March 24, 2014 @10:42AM (#46563557) Journal

    That's a new direction which, fortunately, courts are shifting towards -- that there are no meaningful distinctions between journalists AKA "The Press", in First Amendment terms, and everybody else merely exercising First Amendment free speech.

    Some say there should be no distinction at all w.r.t. speech, which I agree with. You know Congress would try to restrict speech by restricting presses under some trumped-up rationale. That's why that clause is there, not to grant a larger free speech pass to the press.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday March 24, 2014 @10:49AM (#46563631) Homepage Journal

    A lot of people (most people, actually) tend to believe that the usage of the term in the First Amendment implies the "fourth estate," a characterization of the 'professional' journalistic media; however, according to, [] the term "the press" was not used in reference to professional journalistic endeavors (i.e., the 'fourth estate') until the mid-1820's, long after the Constitution was written and ratified. Prior to that, the term "press" in literary reference was commonly accepted to mean the printing press.

    Thus, it stands to reason that the freedom our founding fathers were protecting in the First Amendment is not the freedom of the fourth estate, but rather the freedom of the common man to disseminate information freely, be it in blog, newspaper, or other format.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday March 24, 2014 @11:32AM (#46564089)

    I'd say a better question is what is the average level of quality produced.

    Even using that metric, your conclusion is flawed.

    CNN may post "Child Run Down by Drunk Driver,"

    Or that a plane was swallowed by a black hole...

    you generally don't have to slog through a million pages of "My Cat Did the CUTEST THING!!!"

    Hint: BuzzFeed is not a blog, and most blogs do not have that problem. They have some advertising on the side but so do most commercial news sites (CNN does on the home page).

    The other major problem has been that many commercial news sources have been count countless times now posting inaccurate stories. Bloggers at this point, overall, are MUCH more careful with accuracy and careful presentation of facts. Commercial news sources are much more pressured by a deadline to get ANYTHING out.

  • Groklaw (Score:4, Informative)

    by Quila (201335) on Monday March 24, 2014 @01:07PM (#46565079)

    Groklaw had the best journalistic coverage in the world of the SCO v. IBM case, but it's "just" a blog. There's no fine line where a blog stops being "what I feel" and reports hard news. Take MSNBC, it's 85% commentary, yet still considered news, and their standards, such as using facts and verifying things, aren't that high.

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]