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Friday, August 11, 2006

Blogs and the news

People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.
A J Liebling

News reporting on the key issues and many lesser issues is intepretation. Indeed the Daily Mail is all interpretation, even the programme schedule, and that cannot always be credited with any level of reason or trust.

Blogs have offered something new. People can get different perspectives on the "news." Indeed, we can pick up voices as different as a Chinese student or the head of a multi-national. The insights that can lighten dark corners of our knowledge are truly magnificent.

Yet, in this technological revolution the ideals can be spoiled quickly. Blogs are just as prone to slander, misrepresentation and skewered views as any other means of communication.

There is one issue that the BBC has been commentating on recently that gives bloggers a reprieve. Reuters has been sold doctored news images, where the skills of the photo journalist has been more to do with Photoshop than with photographic ability. This was picked up by a number of bloggers and has led to Reuters dismissing the photographer.

What it does prove though is that bloggers can become the guardians of making the news as transparent and trustworthy as it can possibly be. What level we can really set for ourselves is another matter.

I will leave you with another quote which will hopefully be less true as blogs and the media continue to open up to contributers.

I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas Jefferson


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