November 28, 2005

We The Media Chapter 9

"Nothing, in a journalistic sense, justifies blatant deception.
But the line between improper doctoring and making an image
better is less clear than we might like. For example, simple cropping
can remove someone who was in the original picture or it
can highlight an important element in the image" (Gillmor 177).

Wow. Gillmor just proved my original point as to why print journalism is more reliable. I do realize that there are good online news sources, but as he said, deception is never an excuse. I'm not saying that it has never happened in print journalism either. But it seems that those journalists are either crazy or simply just misinformed (which once again, it is no excuse). The overall point is that it is obviously more likely to find deception on an online media journalism page, then on a print journalism page.

Right now, I am still playing "devil's advocate" because I still am really skeptical about online journalism. I think that there are many good things to offer through blogs and other news sources. At the same time, there are still many flaws that are occurring through there online sources that we as the consumers can simply not trust. The picture with Senator Kerry and Jane Fonda is one of those situations that could possibly be considered libel, which in turn that person would be burned at the stake (not really). If that occurred in a newspaper, people would be getting fired left and right, including the writer of the article, and the editor who let that happened.

In conclusion, I am still not sure what to believe. I think that blogs should be left for opinions and well written essays or reflections. Don't leave the news to the blogs. I think tradition has worked for a really long time, and it should really stay that way. Stick to "The Onion;" it works.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at November 28, 2005 06:23 PM

Jason, I have to say that I don't believe that this point made by Gilmore really proves anything about the quality of printed journalism in comparison to online journalism. It simply proves there are more tools available that will enable journalism in general to be more deceptive, whether it is printed or online.

Now, a yearbook is completely different from a newspaper, but as the main photographer and an editor of my high school yearbook my senior year I have seen the amazing things amateur students can do to manipulate photographs. The things that can be done are incredible. But, the thing is that it is just as easy to manipulate a picture and print it, as it is to manipulate a picture and post it online.

I am not disagreeing about the skepticism of online journalism, because I think that it is a lot easier to manipulate something and put it online and get away with it, that it is to do so in print. There just isn't anyone out there whose job it is to monitor and edit what is posted online as there are people to monitor what is printed. So, in that respect, I agree. I just don't think that the quote you used proves your claim that "print journalism is more reliable."

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 29, 2005 03:20 PM

I was being a bit facetious Lorin. I know that he is not making a point that print journalism is better. That would basically refute Gillmor's entire arguement. What I am saying is that sometimes exposing your weakness too much can make a reader still believe everything that they originally believed in. This quote, not only does it not change my mind, it makes me feel stronger about the reliability of print journalism. Exposing weaknesses can make an author seem honest, but at the same time, it can also makes a reader even more skeptical than they originally were.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at December 1, 2005 09:15 AM
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