It’s about time we held our journalists responsible for their part in this climate of misinformation and suspicion. No longer should the general public be content with news networks and publications too busy trying to win ratings and readers rather than performing their actual job of informing the public. And just informing, not shaping their opinion. No editorials, no opinion pieces, just the facts.
Until then, I’ll keep looking to foreign news agencies who take their responsibility a lot more seriously as a source of information than their US counterparts for my news fix.
On the blog Living Between Worlds, Katie Westrich asks, “what happened to investigative reporting?” after the coverage of the Oslo attacks in the news. What followed after the acts of terrorism was political rhetoric, gimmicks and emotional appeals rather than hard news coverage.
How long has this been the case? Are we just now noticing it? The RTDNA might be a good place for journalists to begin to wonder.
I’m reading Anthony DeRosa’s post again on how some traditional media companies refuse to enter into the link economy.
The practice is also prevalent here in Tumblr, it seems.
Photos and articles are sometimes posted sans attribution or links to the sources.
Other Tumblr users, meanwhile, delete the link to the original tumblelog that posted the material.
No. If it’s on the web, it’s not yours. You can’t pull out the fair-use-clause card if you don’t attribute or you try to claim something that is not yours.
“Bearing witness is often a far more effective way of saving lives than helping in more direct ways,” says The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof on the age-old question on whether journalists should drop their cameras and iPhones to help people in need.
Although each situation is unique and there are moments when journalists have to go beyond the call of duty to help someone directly, I still adhere to ethical rule that journalists should not get personally involved with their subjects.
I had a debate on Twitter not too long ago with someone not from the journalism industry (an entertainment TV show director!) who insisted that journalists should go beyond mere reportage, comparing us to - in his own words - Spiderman who has great responsibility to go along with his great powers.
My reply? Journalists are not superheroes.
Our immediate responsibility is to the news organizations that employ us. Our responsibility to our audience is to relay information to them accurately, clearly, quickly, and as objectively as possible.
Some of you may agree while some may not — arguing that media’s unique access to the hallways of power, people, places, and an audience willing to listen — allows it to be a supra-entity that knows no boundaries.
I say it again - we are not superheroes.
In the Philippine sociopolitical and economic setting, I understand why ordinary people seek journalists’ help amid the perceived failure of some government agencies to meet their needs.
I agree too with the idea that journalists need advocacies to give meaning to their chosen profession.
However, may I point out that most journalists do not have professional training in social work, criminology, or even emergency rescue.
We have mass communication and journalism as our foundation. That is our strength.
A journalist playing the role of a crimebusting cop may send an innocent man to jail. A journalist thinking of himself or herself as a savior of the poor, at best, may only promote mendicancy and dependence on charity.
A journalist as an emergency rescuer who drops his notes to try to save the life of someone in an accident? He or she may do more harm than good if he tries to move the injured man.
We are the storytellers, not the actors and actresses in the story.