Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Look over there, quick, they are worse than we are

July 11th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Blogging, Irish Politics, Social Media

Thinking aloud for a bit.

For years I have endured commentary from those in mainly the print media about the fact that bloggers can’t be trusted, have no editors or legitimacy.  Despite asserting that blogging and mainstream journalism were different things, talking about crowd sourcing and fact checking and pointing to the fact that often blog content is nicked and printed as fact without accreditation, I still have been challenged about the poor standard and poor ethics of blogging like it was the same thing or it really mattered (or that I was responsible!).  I’ve also spent a lot of time learning talking about libel and defamation and that the law applies to all.

Now in the midst of the melt down of News International and possibly other media groups as the so called ‘dark arts’ aka lying, stealing, bribing and cheating are exposed I am forced to endure further debates.  From the Marian Finucane show yesterday and other programmes we are hearing about the need for (or impossibility of) control of the internet – mainstream editors in Ireland including the Evening Herald’s Stephen Rae are pointing to the ‘bad boys’ that can’t be controlled online and that nothing like what has happened in the UK will happen here.

Not all journalists blag and hack, not all bloggers want to be journalists or should be trusted.  They are not the same thing but are rapidly merging as news and opinion is more likely to be read and shared online than anywhere else.  Who produces the news and how it’s produced and churnalism and news aggregators online and the work that goes into building stories and views of events using products like Storyful and the fact print is dying can not be avoided any more.

You can’t believe everything you read no matter where you read it.  The debates which have been held online and elsewhere for some time about the close relationships between police and the media and politicians and the media might suddenly get more mainstream coverage.

Pointing to the corner at others ‘being worse’ than you are is a well known distraction technique which after the uncovering of the methods of some in News International won’t work anymore.   The debate has to grow up and the media education of the public needs to begin.



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