Micah Sifry extends the BloggerCon-verstation about journalism with this post at his Iraq War Reader site. It’s a great essay that articulates a lot of what I believe in terms of information and the need for media and info literacy…and how blogs can contribute to that. While he makes some great points on his own, I particularly liked this quote from his editor:
Newspapers have abdicated their duties in getting to the “truth” of a story. [I’d add TV even more so.] Instead, in the name of objectivity, they simply report the he-said, she said on how much some new initiative will cost, as if there were no way to empirically determine the answer. Bloggers rarely link to this kind of story. The most widely-read ones seek out some piece of writing on the web where a person has actually determined the real answer, or gotten an on the record quote, or put forth an question no else has asked, and then they link to it, saying, in effect, ‘If you believe me, then you can believe this.’
It’s an interesting aspect of writing that we rarely ask of students, that gaining the trust of your reader part. Have we ever asked students to do sustained writing over time about a consistent topic for an audience? Should we?