Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Authorized Journalist" mentality on display...

...Several months ago, I saw an interview with Kutcher in which he declared: “We can and will create our media.” By “we,” Kutcher was talking about anyone who subscribes to the belief that their views and opinions are just as valuable as the views and opinions of media professionals who have the benefit of editors, producers, fact-checkers and tons of experience.

Put another way, this tribe believes that the views and opinions of columnists, radio talk-show hosts, TV commentators and other pundits are no more valuable than what you pick up from Twitter, Facebook or the scores of nameless, faceless individuals who blog feverishly.
...what most people don't understand is that much of what you get from the media doesn't just come out of thin air. It comes through endless reporting, research, thinking, experience, analyzing, interviewing stakeholders and processing feedback from readers, listeners and viewers.
Experience doing what, exactly? Many journalists don't have much experience in any other fields besides journalism, as that was their first career choice. That's exactly 180 degrees counter to what I've heard makes a good journalist -- that is, experience in other fields besides journalism. This is where the beauty of the blogosphere lies, in that one can get more points of view than just those from spokespersons with certain agendas due to the wide variety of professions represented therein. And fact-checking? Analysis? If people like Ruben Navarrette actually did that sort of thing, David Codrea never would have had to say word one (or many fewer words, at any rate) about the "Authorized Journalists." That's not to say that mainstream media's product is completely worthless, but by and large I still don't understand just what makes Ruben Navarrette's opinion worth any more than mine on, say, an "assault weapons ban," especially when he has cast those of us against such a ban as "those who love their guns more than they love Mexico." He's not being any more fair or accurate than he describes bloggers as being. And I think that to lump blogs in with Facebook and Twitter is outrageously unfair to those who know the topics about which they blog. I guess, once again, my expectations were too high, because I expected better from Navarrette than this.