State of the News Media -raportti amerikkalaisen journalismin tilasta sisältää mielenkiintoisia ja ajatuksia herättäviä näkemyksiä -ja käsittelee blogeja ja niihin liittyviä ilmiöitä useasta näkökulmasta. Raportti nostaa blogit yhdeksi journalismin nykytrendeistä. Muutamia lainauksia raportista:
There are now several models of journalism, and the trajectory increasingly is toward those that are faster, looser, and cheaper. The traditional press model – the journalism of verification – is one in which journalists are concerned first with trying to substantiate facts. It has ceded ground for years on talk shows and cable to a new journalism of assertion, where information is offered with little time and little attempt to independently verify its veracity. Consider the allegations by the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," and the weeks of reporting required to find that their claims were unsubstantiated. The blogosphere, while adding the richness of citizen voices, expands this culture of assertion exponentially, and brings to it an affirmative philosophy: publish anything, especially points of view, and the reporting and verification will occur afterward in the response of fellow bloggers. The result is sometimes true and sometimes false. Blogs helped unmask errors at CBS, but also spread the unfounded conspiracy theory that the GOP stole the presidential election in Ohio. All this makes it easier for those who would manipulate public opinion – government, interest groups and corporations – to deliver unchecked messages, through independent outlets or their own faux-news Web sites, video and text news releases and paid commentators. Next, computerized editing has the potential to take this further, blending all these elements into a mix.
So while news institutions struggled to map their futures, what became clearer than ever in 2004 was the emergence of a decentralized media universe. New forms of journalism evolved in ways that weren’t widely anticipated. Much of the attention on the Internet as a news source moved away from large institutional news sites to the world of the blog. In 2004 reporting in blogs prompted the CBS News scandal involving Dan Rather and the network’s use of documents it could not verify in reporting about the military record of President George W. Bush. CNN’s chief news executive, Eason Jordan, resigned after bloggers jumped on him for seeming to suggest, at the Davos economic conference in January of 2005, that members of the U.S. military fired on reporters in Iraq.
The journalism of bloggers had enormous impact in 2004 and on into 2005, and some writers from blogs gained national profiles, such as Ana Marie Cox, the blogger known as Wonkette, who became a television pundit. Cox, obscure as recently as 2003, found herself appearing as an NBC news analyst during political convention coverage.
At the same time, a serious-minded grassroots, community journalism movement gained momentum as Mark Potts, one of the founders of Washingtonpost.com, launched Backfence.com, a venture designed to create ad-supported neighborhood news sites throughout the country. And the San Jose Mercury News columnist Dan Gillmor published a widely discussed book, "We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People, For the People," and left the paper at year’s end to encourage more citizen-based media. Newspapers like the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. and The Bakersfield Californian began important experiments in creating new forms of journalism with community participation.
If the innovative edge for online media is to come from great media institutions with their resources and experience, the signs so far are disappointing. The content they offer on the Web, while improving in volume, timeliness and technological sophistication, remains still significantly a morgue for wire copy, second-hand material and recycled stories from the morning
Maybe the innovation will be left to citizens, entrepreneurs
and bloggers who see themselves – perhaps mistakenly – as working in opposition to mainstream journalism. If so, the online trajectory is doubly problematic: The energy is coming
from sources with a dearth of journalism essentials like verification
and editing. Meanwhile, the economic base supporting the most difficult and expensive journalistic undertakings is eroding.