Why Now?
Sunday, January 16, 2005
  Panblogic Topics

The Blight attempts to cover the Armstrong Williams problem by claimed equivalency with the Dean campaign hiring Markos and Jerome for web site consulting continues.

People are also annoyed by the Harvard symposium on Blogging, Journalism & Ethics.

Both Duncan and NTodd are noticeably annoyed by the claim that people have no responsibility for what they link to if they post a disclaimer.

This concept came from journalism, and it is basic to the decline of journalism over the past several decades. That journalists can simply report frauds, lies, and rumors with no attempt to verify what they are reporting is not ethical, even if they report both sides of the story.

There is nothing ethical about repeating a story that John Jones is a pedophile and then reporting that John Jones denies it. If there aren't some facts associated with the claim, this simply spreads gossip, rumors, and innuendo without informing anyone. I don't care how "informed" the "sources" may be, if they refuse to take credit for their words, the words shouldn't be reported without confirmation.

People have lost their jobs and had their lives destroyed by this conduct. The 1981 movie Absence of Malice puts Richard Jewel, Wen Ho Lee, and Stephan Hatfill into context. It doesn't make any difference if you are later cleared, your life has been destroyed and you cannot be "made whole".

It's pretty insulting to assume that even Drudge lacks the ethics of journalists. The problem is the number of bloggers whose ethics are no better than the corporate media.

Extra credit: compare and contrast the effects of the writings of Matt Drudge and Judith Miller. Include body counts and effects on the National Debt.

[Update: Link and typo fixed]


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