This week we were given the assignment to write about citizen media. Being as I am now a blogger myself I am very torn about the idea of citizen media. I am a skeptic at heart and feel that journalists have a ethical responsibility to inform the public in a unbiased and accurate fashion. It seems that in today’s media world journalists now have to share the stage with bloggers. Bloggers don’t always have the same ethical obligation as journalists. In some cases they just use their platform to spout off their opinion without taking the time to determine if they are accurate or not.
By no means am I saying all bloggers are like this (talk about the pot calling the kettle black). This is exactly why I am so torn. As a public speaking teacher I tell my students to make sure they are using reputable, accurate, unbiased sources for their speeches. The problem is we are entering an age in which it is getting harder and harder to tell who is accurate and unbiassed, let alone reputable. I also tell my students that if they are not sure if the information is correct then look other places to find the same data. If you can’t find it anywhere else then it probably isn’t completely accurate.
Of course my students are looking for things like is chocolate all bad, or how to make a green roof. It is possible that in the future of the media we will have bloggers reporting on information that no one else will report on. It is also possible that the line between journalist and blogger will be blurred even more than they already are. As bloggers don’t have the same ethical responsibility, they also don’t have to fight with the idea of being a business. They don’t have to worry about advertisers pulling their funding, or an editor pulling a piece that might upset the shareholders. It is possible that they day may come where bloggers are accepted into the journalistic fold and may become even more reputable than some journalists. All I know is that I will continue to take my own advise and check all my facts.