Former NBC Jounalismist and current professor of All Things Jounalismish at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalismosity thinks the grubby proles and pamphleteers should keep their fucking hands off of his Fourth Estate.
Emphasis has been added…mostly just to keep my hand from punching right through my screen…
Unfettered 'citizen journalism' too risky…and Blogger Ethics Panels For All. Amen.
By DAVID HAZINSKI
Published on: 12/13/07
You're beginning to get a lot more news ... from you.
It ranges from the CNN YouTube debates to political blogs to cellphone video of that sniper who opened fire at an Omaha Mall. These are all examples of so called "citizen journalism," the hot new extension of the news business where the audience becomes the reporter.
Supporters of "citizen journalism" argue it provides independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media don't provide. While it has its place, the reality is it really isn't journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse. The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend.
The premise of citizen journalism is that regular people can now collect information and pictures with video cameras and cellphones, and distribute words and images over the Internet. Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people "journalists." This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel is a "citizen surgeon" or someone who can read a law book is a "citizen lawyer." Tools are merely that. Education, skill and standards are really what make people into trusted professionals. Information without journalistic standards is called gossip.
So without any real standards, anyone has a right to declare himself or herself a journalist. Major media outlets also encourage it. Citizen journalism allows them to involve audiences, and it is a free source of information and video. But it is also ripe for abuse.
Having just anyone produce widely distributed stories without control can have the reverse effect from what advocates intend. It's just a matter of time before something like a faked Rodney King beating video appears on the air somewhere.
Journalism organizations should head that off. Citizen reports can be a valuable addition to news and information flow with some protections:
• Major news organizations must create standards to substantiate citizen-contributed information and video, and ensure its accuracy and authenticity.
• They should clarify and reinforce their own standards and work through trade organizations to enforce national standards so they have real meaning.
• Journalism schools such as mine at the University of Georgia should create mini-courses to certify citizen journalists in proper ethics and procedures, much as volunteer teachers, paramedics and sheriff's auxiliaries are trained and certified.
Because a “fettered” citizen journalism has an ever so much nicer, tamer, more gelded ring to it, doesn't it?
I am tempted to opine that somewhere in the Ben Hecht wing of Style Heaven, Mike Royko has put his beer down long enough to roll his eyes and pick out just the right gauge thunderbolt to drop on this truckling chufflicker. Tempted, but that would mean that I take this article seriously, when it’s so obviously a hoax.
I mean, here we have an article in which a gen-u-ine professor takes time out of his busy day to inveigh against The!Direst!Threats!to Journalissimo, and yet when I go to search it, I can’t find the word "Fox" mentioned anywhere.
Couldn’t find "Hume" either.
Or “The collapse of ‘Nightline’”.
Or “Roger Fucking Ailes”.
Or “The shuttering of foreign bureaus”.
Or “The Rise of Corporate Media”.
Or “The Firing of Phil Donahue”:
Or “Media Consolidation”.
Or “The killing of the Fairness Doctrine”.
Or “Tony Snow”.
Or “Charles Krauthammer”.
Neither “Joe Klein” nor “Joke Line”.
No “Jonah Goldberg”.
No “Karl Rove getting his journo card punched by Newsweek”.
No “Jeff Gannon” or “James Guckert”.
No “Michele Malkin”.
No “Lou Dobbs”.
Judith Miller was nowhere to be found.
Bob Novak? MIA.
No “David Gregory”.
No mention of “Downing Street” or “Macaca” or “Justice Department Political Purges” or any other of a dozen stories broken or kept in the public eye by citizen journalists because The Villagers did not want them in the store window of the MSM Outlet Mall.
No mention of “The Gaggle”.
Or “Rolling over for Tony Snow”.
Or “Rolling over for Scott McClellan”.
Or “Rolling over for Ari Fleischer”.
Or “Cross Fire”.
No “Chris Wallace”.
No “Bill Kristol”.
No “Neil Cavuto”.
Didn't find a-one of 'em mentioned; just the perils of letting the Great Unwashed paw at Lady Media's Fun Bags without a J-school degree and a moist towelette.
Which is odd, because frankly, Professor Hazinski, if Journalomysticism had not failed the citizens of the United States so utterly, callously, completely, conspicuously and spectacularly over the last 30 years – if your profession had not deserted its post and let a great, rotting, pin-head-infested abyss take over the sacred real estate once tenanted by a robust and fearless American Journalism – then maybe there would not be so many Smelly Citizen Journalists, desperately tossing their little torches into the Vast Darkness your colleagues and owners left behind when they turned tail and ran away.
So I assumed you must be fucking kidding.