October 23, 2006

Seib 6: Matt Drudge, Fisk-er Extrordinaire

For those who are familiar with EL236: Writing for the Internet, you are also familiar with the term fisking, and Karissa Kilgore's entry about it. Karissa quotes on her entry, "fisking: n. [blogosphere; very common] A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment. See also MiSTing, anti-idiotarianism found via David M." To me, it seems like good ol' Drudge is a fisker. As quoted in Seib, "Unconstrained by the practices of journalism, he presents entertaining, if sometimes nasty and not always accurate, stories. He writes about people while only occasionally seeking comment from them." So while he doesn't pick on people's writing, tearing it apart, he often tears them apart.

Moving on to the actual topic, Ethics, i think that it has been a journalist's job and a long-standing expectation of journalists to provide the truth. Yes, sometimes they provide stories that may be hurtful to certain readers or celebrities, companies, whatever, but those stories are verified and true. Thus, they are news. Which is also part of a journalist's job: to report the news. Whatever sort it may be. Speed should not bypass these ethics. Although this is difficult for me to swallow, seeing as how Drudge often gets the first views and thus the first opinions, i still think a journalist should hold accuracy over speed. This is one of the main points of their job. It is a bit disappointing that the public believes Drudge, especially when he may be disagreed with by a journalist's publication. If Drudge is continually proven wrong and has the unreliable reputation, why do people believe him? I can't answer that. But i can say that i hope when a reader encounters the truth, via a researched, verfied journalistic article, they at least question their belief in Drudge's relating story.

Posted by Lori Rupert at October 23, 2006 12:08 AM

Thanks for the sweet mention and links to me, Lori :) And Drudge? Def. a fisker. He's an antagonist of many sorts, though...

Posted by: Karissa at October 23, 2006 09:15 AM

Drudge may sometimes jump the gun in his reports, but it's worthy to note that he rarely writes the stories on his website. The majority of his content is pulled from newspaper websites across the world (Breitbart, The Sun, AP, etc). His website itself is more of a portal than an actual newspaper...

The scoops he actually writes, however, are always pretty big. While they can sometimes be based on hearsay and assumption, he seems to have more hits rather than misses.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at October 23, 2006 04:05 PM

Anytime Karissa. Yes, i do believe he is an antagonist too....he steals stories...i know that would antagonize me! And Mike, Thanks for the insight. Describing Drudge's website as a portal is a great way to look at it.

Posted by: Lori at October 24, 2006 10:38 PM
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