"all this old versus new media aggro is just a distraction from the fact that neither [bloggers nor] Rupert Murdoch . . . have an answer for the future of journalism."
Well, it's not like I'm duty bound to solve all the problems for the profession of journalism (there's more than enough problems in my own profession of architecture, thanks very much), but here's a simple enough solution for the old media to adopt -- so simple that even a journalist might understand. Here it is::
Recognise the division of labour, boys and girls, and just report the news!
We, the bloggers, can get on with commenting on the news, since that's what we do best; and you get on with finding and reporting the news, since that's what you're supposed to do best. In other words:
- 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;
- dobn't report what everyone knows is transparent science fiction; report real science fact instead;
- 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.
This week offers the perfect example of why people are switching off the mainstream. With 400,000 Americans taking up pro-freedom signs against their government, the mainstream media has either pretended they don't exist -- preferring instead to focus on the tough issues like the new White House dog -- or tried to suggest all the protesters are insane. Meanwhile, the issue of the week in New Zealand, according to every news report every time I switch on the local media, is the latest in the Tony Veitch saga -- giving numb-nut so-called journalists the opportunity to interview each other over how well they did (or didn't) handle the story, and Mark Sainsbury and John Campbell the chance to wring their hands over the courage/bravery/pluckiness [delete one] of the two protagonists.
No wonder no one can take mainstream journalism seriously any more. Instead of Philip Marlowe, we have to endure endless re-runs of Barbara Cartland.
UPDATE 1: Why do so many journalists blog, despite their apparent opposition to the concept? Simple, says one journalist cum blogger: "there’s a part of me that loves blogging because you’re allowed to break the journalism rules."
So read on here, journalists, for the top 10 journalism rules you should go right ahead and break on your blog. Do it, it's okay.
UPDATE 2: Deborah Hill-Cone's