I didn't get around to making a post last week, so here we go. NewsBusters has a lot of talk about the war in the Middle East this week. There are a few other issues discussed; but the main theme centered around the War. There is one news brief discussed in particular, that I found to be interesting. It has to do with the power of the media, and ethics. CNN aired footage of terrorists sniping at American soldiers. They are defending it by saying they are only trying to show the "unvarnished truth". CNN said that the decision to the air the footage was made after an intense editorial debate at CNN's highest levels. Others (NewsBusters) have the opinion that this is only aiding the enemy. The terrorists have supposedly said that their goal is to scare the U.S. and its allies into yielding. The opposing argument is that by airing footage like this, we are fueling the fire. I see where they are coming from. Images are very powerful and virtually every American has access to a television. This could very well escalate fear in people. There is a understandable that CNN feels it is the real war; but they must be careful when dealing with such a powerful news medium.
PRESSthink has announced a new tool they will have available for their contributors to research spouses on the campaign payroll of Congress members. It is not illegal to do this but it is hard for reporters to get this kind of information without a lot of time. What they are doing is have members come together and research a few Congress members, each with a program that combines relevant data bases to get a result in five minutes. They say if they get enough volunteers they could have it done in a few days. Having a spouse work for you on your campaign is not illegal, but it can't be questioned if it is not know. The public does not know. With the help of NewAssignment, the public will have the facts. They can then investigate to see if there is any kind of illegal or unethical things being done to benefit the Congress member in his/her campaign.
The Online Journalism Blog talks about video journalism and blogging. First, videojournalism is the next step for web-based journalism. It is thought however, that video is less interactive and fundamentally passive. You are not always engaged in a video. It can be easily ignored or blend in to the background. With print, you must be engaged. You are reading it, therefore you must pay attention to it. But with video also comes interactive websites that you can engage yourself with. I think all these arguments about the future of journalism are out of fear of change. I'm sure there will be flops in the transition to electronic media; but the glitches will get worked out and it will be an everyday thing. We've gone through changes before and after the transition, it was business as usual. Such is life.
The other topic on the OJB was the power of blogging. Bloggers (in some cases) are earning more than journalists. It just goes to show us were blogging is going. It is all part of the convergence of media. It is an exciting time to be a journalist. There is also talk of the latest news source, telegraphing online. Google can bring up news briefs with searches based on what users are looknig at and have looked at. They would have opportunities to get multiple tidbits of news at any given time or search. I wont get into the details of how this works; but it is just another example of the changing media.
Finally, the OJB had a list of things you can do to make better blogs. The list was created by Vincent Maher. There is a summary of this list at Poynter.org. You can also check out Maher's description of these tips at his site, vincentmaher.com. This is yet another media convergence example. If you're really interested in blogging, chech it out.