Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How the media grapples with telling the truth

On Monday, July 13, the New York Times once again showed some interesting insights into the shift in reporting in a Web 2.0 world. In four separate articles, the paper deftly examined:
Read in succession, these articles show how much social media has changed reporting and how end users receive information. To state the obvious, social media has taken over a means of disseminating and receiving information. But we already knew that. The proof? I read all of these articles on line and provided you with links to do the same.

What we haven't come to gripes with is who should we trust. When bloggers don't write negative reviews, they are not reviewers but pitchman.

When TMZ breaks an entertainment story, should we trust them as much as the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal? New media and bloggers have created a surfeit of information, but not all of it has equal weight or veracity.

The Times also covered this trust issue in June, which resulted in fireworks. I discussed that here. (A quick aside: this time around, the opposition remained quiet. Do you want to know why? None of the articles quoted anybody with a big microphone.)

Even when a magazine or newspaper has an axe to grind, it tries to get the facts straight, if only align them with a predetermined premise. Get the facts wrong and the axe grinder point becomes dull.

As fewer people read newspapers and magazines, instead of relying on Twitter and blogs to feed their information additions, who is going to resolve the trust issue? And more importantly, who benefits if we don't resolve it?


Anonymous said...

Brilliant blog, or am I just a pitchman?

Outcroppings by Tony Loftis said...

Could you be right on both accounts?

Follow me on Twitter @anthonyloftis