Monday, September 21, 2009

President Obama, don't blame bloggers - you are saying people are stupid

While this was reported in the Toledo Blade, I felt it was more appropriate for me to rant here, where I do express my opinion more openly than on Glass City Jungle. I am so tired of hearing crap about how bloggers don't fact check or research. Some of us do and the reality is that it is the readers out there who reward the ones that don't who are to blame more than those of us who not only get very little recognition but have to deal with constantly saying "I'm not that kind of a blogger."

In the Blade's, Newspaper journalism gets words of praise Print media's role vital, Obama says here's what tripped my trigger the most in bold:

"Journalistic integrity, you know, fact-based reporting, serious investigative reporting, how to retain those ethics in all these different new media and how to make sure that it's paid for, is really a challenge," Mr. Obama said. "But it's something that I think is absolutely critical to the health of our democracy."

Across the country, newspapers are struggling to maintain readership and advertising revenue that has been lost to the Internet. Thousands of journalists have been laid off, and over the last year several newspapers have closed.

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver ceased operations, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer now publishes only on the Internet, and several large newspaper corporations have filed for bankruptcy, including the Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times

Mr. Obama said he noted the trend. "I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding," the President said.

"What I hope is that people start understanding if you're getting your newspaper over the Internet, that's not free and there's got to be a way to find a business model that supports that."

Just say it, say that you think people are too stupid to be able to tell the difference between opinion and determine what is credible if it comes from a blog and that magically if it's printed in a newspaper where someone is paid to write it that it somehow means more.

I put over 80 hours a week into my blogging, most of it on Glass City Jungle, I work one day a week as a fact checker for the Toledo Free Press, I care about facts. I am not the only blogger out there who cares about facts, who cares about their credibility and even those who do share more opinion than news, if they don't back up their opinion with facts? It's not rocket science...people should know that...We are not responsible for those out there that believe things that have no factual basis either online or in print.

I don't do it for the money, what I make online does not pay my bills, it doesn't even cover the expenses for the blog, so to try to claim that only those who are paid media can do this fairly is complete and utter bull. The Block family wants to create the ability to earn money from online content, they got the President of the US to state he supports that, that news is not free, which considering people no longer have access to "free news" anymore now that the whole process of this digital adapter being required has turned out to be nothing more than a joke with the only way people can actually access news and information is to subscribe to cable or satellite, perhaps he is telling us something really profound. That those of you who are poor or those of you who live in areas where the internet or digital television reception does not work don't deserve to have access to any other opinions than what the traditional mainstream media wants you to know and you should pay for that...

I disagree...


Cyberseaer said...

The Catch-22, as I see it, is that the government and industry has made us, as a society, lazy and dumb and now that there is another outlet of information that doesn't always agree with the governemnt, the president lashes out and trys to discredits all bloggers.

Just another example of the people in power trying to control the masses.

I wonder if Thomas Jefferson would have like the internet and would he have blogged as well? Hmmmmm.

Lisa Renee said...

I can imagine Jefferson blogging and debating people online.


Not all news sources are good, not all blog sites are good, but to try to say that the mere title and paycheck of a journalist means someone has higher standards or will pay more attention to facts/context just isn't true...

Lawrence Moore said...

Fact checking... does anyone actually do that anymore?

Now yes, I know many do. You do. I try to. But I find the idea that print media (or even TV) is somehow superior to "internet" media to be ludicrous at best. If print media were somehow forced to print retractions for everything they "got wrong" these days, I think it would be the final nail in the coffin of print media.

The bad part is, with fewer and fewer "journalists with integrity" out there, actual fact checking by the public has become a time consuming, and often fruitless task. Opinion passing for news... it's scary and sad.

And, maybe he should just come out and say it. "Persons" are smart. "People" are stupid.

Just one bloggers opinion. :)

Lisa Renee said...

I agree completely Lawrence, you are one of us in the "credible" column.

We all know there are bloggers out there who are less than responsible with the truth, but that's not a valid reason to proclaim us all less worthy than the traditional media.

Golf Bob said...

Hey if it was not for agressive reporting there would be absolutely no control of politians. I am English but work in Germany, the laws on the press are disgraceful in Germany . The press are not allowed to report anything private for example an affair, or a dishonest business deal as that falls in the private sphere. Lets not forget Watergate