Interesting article on Weblogs as Journalism. Here’s a quote: “But weblogs are powerful for exactly the opposite reasons: they allow opinionated bloggers to post to the web without an editor. Depending on your point of view, this lack of objectivity and peer-review is either weblogs’ greatest strength or their greatest weakness.” I agree that gives a raw power to weblogs that more traditional forms lack, but I’m still not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing. If weblogs do grow into a favorite flavor of news consumption, we’re going to have to do a much better job of training our kids how to digest them. I think in the long run, they will create more polarization of ideas and opinions, which will inevitably will dilute the objectivity of real journalism.
Another excerpt: “After all, you can always filter out bias… but it’s impossible to filter out misinformation.” That, I think, is only true if you are a sophisticated enough consumer of information. I wouldn’t trust the majority of our soon to be graduates to be able to discriminate between fact and opinion consistently, especially when the messages are being created by professional spinners with very focused agendas (Case in point the Israeli/Palestinian conflict). They haven’t been taught how to do it. And bias is so ubiquitous today in the vast majority of media that my kids come into contact with. It’s the status quo, which makes it much more difficult for them to recognize it.