Thursday, September 09, 2004

Keeping The Old Media Honest

Earlier today Instapundit provided a link to this editorial.

Essentially this individual was unhappy with the way the internet, and bloggers in particular, are changing the way in which the old media funtions. He laments the fact that editors and reporters must now be careful about what they write about and how they write it. It is disconcerting to him that editors might now be more inclined to provide balancing stories or scrutinize their articles more closely for fairness and/or accuracy.

Isn't it exactly this type of mindset that has created the problem of credibility the old media faces today?

The problem with the media is/has been that in many instances they have been able to provide the public with news or stories without regard for facts and/or objectivity.

Now it is becoming apparent the internet and bloggers can and do influence the news. Today is an excellent example. CBS came out with a story about new documents relating to Bush and his service in the National Guard. Within 24 hours bloggers had reviewed the documents and called their authenticity into question. Now other news organizations are taking a critical look as well.

It is very likely that in the past questions about the authenticity of these documents would never have been seriously pursued.

The author of the above linked editor is unhappy with the internet and the bloggers. I disagree.

If the use of the internet and bloggers doing their own research helps to keep the media honest, doesn't the public at large benefit?

Isn't it better that news organizations will be more careful about what they report if they know that numerous people will be checking the accuracy of the news reports?

Isn't it better that news organizations shows the different sides of a story or issue?

While the editorialist was unhappy about this prospect, I am not.

The media has claimed for years that they are the nations watchdog. That is great. However the problem has been that they have never really been accountable themselves. Now due to the power of the internet, the media have their own watchdog. They are just starting to realize this, and are not happy. First it was the Swift Boat Vets that they tried to ignore, and now CBS gets hit hard first by bloggers related to their Bush AWOL story.

Right now the old media has to be thinking...."He Who Controls The Internet Controls The Future"...and fortunately for is not them!


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