Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rettberg Chapter 4, "Journalism of Verification"

Chapter 4

To me, the idea of blogging is similar to that of keeping a journal; although many blogs are formal and educational, many of them simply share thoughts and opinions. This blog, for example, highlights the main points of our readings, but also explains some of my opinions. Often I feel like I’m babbling on about my life and experiences, which is the point I suppose, but also seems like it would be rather pointless to everyone else. Thus, it is hard for me to think about blogging as a form of credible journalism, even though I do sometimes read blogs for current events. 
Also, first hand accounts, like that from the Virginia Tech shooting, offer a new insight that is particularly intriguing and helpful to gaining a full perspective. Although it was a deeply personal account, I would still call it mostly credible and definitely important.
Is there a way to separate personal or uninformed bloggers from those that act as journalists?

"Journalism of Verification"

“The essence of journalism is a discipline of verification.”
I discussed this somewhat earlier, when I questioned the validity of bloggers because anyone can be one. Journalists are fighting a constant battle to legitimize themselves and their work, often doing so by fact verification.
However, journalistic bloggers have a harder time doing so since they rarely have editors and are published on a notably unreliable source, the Internet. It is extremely difficult for a blogger to verify their stories and opinions, although sometimes they try. Since journalists and bloggers both seek verification, which is the essence of journalism, by default can they both considered journalists without question?
I don’t know the answer to this question, but I sometimes wonder about its importance. As new mediums emerge and technology continually changes, should we work so hard to define something that may not even need definition in a few years? Or that doesn’t seem all that important to define now?

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