Monday, July 27, 2009

Online Threat To Standards

Um, what?

Certainly, we are concerned about job stability. But veteran journalists are equally troubled by the online threat to standards we hold dear.

If anyone had told me five years ago that newspapers would allow anonymous comments and that we would have to respond to them, I would have invited them to come for a walk with me to the land of grown-ups. Now, I regularly address authors of online comments by their made-up names and pretend this doesn't feel like junior high school all over again.

The so-called citizen journalism of most blogs is an affront to those of us who believe reporting and attribution must precede publication.

I thought we were finally getting over the incoherent rage at TEH BLOGGERS ARE DESTROYING JOURNALISM. I don't even know what "reporting and attribution must precede publication" means. But as for people with "made-up names," it's quite awesome for those who feel they have the privilege to participate in public searchable discourse to use their real names. Anyone who fails to understand why some people might not be able to do that is clueless.

There is no online threat to your standards. Your publication can abide by whatever standards it wants to. Nothing on the internets changes that.