Sunday, April 19, 2009

Journalism's red ink.

The future of journalism is something of a hot topic in the media. Probably because it is a subject near and dear to the media - their bread and butter. Blogging comes under scrutiny for its lack of 'rules'. Bloggers can, and do, say what they want without the fetters and constraints of editors or fear of offending advertisers who, whether journalists like it or not pay for the existence of the mass media.

Amongst the mudslinging I came across this list of suggestions from blogger Peter Cresswell (via the Whaleoil blog who, like Cresswell makes no bones about his conservative/libertarian views). I agree wholeheartedly with the points on the list. The fact is that media in New Zealand (and I am sure the rest of the western world) have created their own crisis by failing to observe an objective standard:

* don't editorialise;
* don't pontificate;
* don't ask how people feel, ask instead what they saw;
* don't report events as if people are outraged, just report the events themselves;
* don't report what "celebrities" do as if it matters a damn;
* don't report puff pieces about actors/musicians/writers as if they're not just puff-pieces for their new film/album/book;
* don't report what everyone knows is just spin) -- report instead what's being spun, and the news that someone is spinning, and who;
* don't assume the whole world has the same values as your friends;
* don't just rewrite press releases as if they were news;
* and don't create the news yourself.
* In short, just report the news. All of it. As if the truth actually mattered.

Here here.

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