The Middle Ages

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Recently, President Barack Obama announced that the combat mission in Iraq would be coming to an end. Instead of the 170,000 troops that were stationed in Iraq in 2007, there will be 50,000 troops to remain until 2011. The remaining troops will train and assist the Iraqi military.

U.S. Troops will no longer be allowed to perform combat missions unless asked and accompanied by Iraqi forces. This has been all over the news. Obama is making a great step towards doing what is right for the United States.

There have been enough casualties and injuries of United States soldiers over in Iraq. This recent news story may be found online. Since journalism has become more popular on the Internet, the need for printed newspapers has decreased drastically. News articles online are readily available and easily accessible, which is why they are so popular among the public. Plus, reading an article using the Internet doesn't require a purchase to read, such as a newspaper.

Unlike a newspaper, if an online article has a mistake it may be fixed with a few simple clicks. Instead, a newspaper has to be reprinted which takes time, and if people already bought the newspaper before the correcting, nothing may be changed.

I prefer to get my news via Internet especially news about touchy topics such as Obama relaying messages about Iraq. I want my information to be concise and accurate. Printed newspapers seem like The Middle Ages today.

How do you feel about where you get your news from? Also, what are your thoughts on Obama's message to the United States on withdrawing troops?


Do Journalists Need Oversight?

The formation of a new ethics seal has some journalists objecting to the idea of oversight. The TAO of Journalism seal states that journalists bearing it's seal are to be "transparent about who [they] are, Accountable for [their] mistakes, and Open to other points of view." Deborah Potter wrote in her blog Do Journalists need a new ethics pledge? that transparency, accountability and openness "are among the core values of journalism."

But just how should journalists be made to adhere to these "core values"?
The TAO of Journalism seal is a "promise to your readers" intended to allow "legacy journalist[s]...citizen journalist[s]... independent blogger[s], or anyone else practicing journalism in the broadest sense of the word" to gain credibility and trust from readers. The idea is that while there is no overseeing council in charge of making sure journalists who bear the TAO of Journalism seal adhere to the guidelines of the seal, the public is to be in charge of making sure these journalists do not violate those guidelines.

The aspect that many journalists are struggling with is, why do we oversight? As the editor of the Puerto Rico Sun Communications, Clarisel Gonzolez commented on Potter's article, "They can keep their seal, I don't need a seal to confirm my principles." This new seal, along with other seals like it, cause readers to distrust reporters--in most cases without cause. While meant to give more credibility and trust to journalists, it causes readers to have an ever more cautious and critical eye on a journalist's work.

For some journalists, however, perhaps this ethic seal would do wonders in keeping them in line with Potter's "core values." In the case of Mike Wise of the Washington Post, perhaps bearing the TAO of Journalism seal would have discouraged him from "Tweeting" false news. Wise claimed he was trying to make a point about the declining standards of the media, but "He made that point in the worst way imaginable: by making up a phony 'scoop' and posting it on Twitter."

How do we as journalists, then, figure out when we need, if ever, to prove our credibility? Is it only necessary if doubt falls upon our readers? Or is it our obligation as media personnel to give our readers every opportunity to closely examine our product with the ability to publicly criticize, punish and demand the truth if they find our product to be untrustworthy and unreliable?

It is interesting, but also discouraging to think that journalists might need to be held accountable in order to prove that they are meeting standards and properly incorporating the core values of journalism into their work. What does this say about the current state of our craft?


  © Blogger template On The Road by 2009

Back to TOP