Sunday, August 26, 2007

Citizen Journalism: The Latest Dispatch from the Front

The logo for News Groper says, "News Analysis by Newsmakers;" but, as Caroline McCarthy pointed out on the latest post on The Social, her CNET blog, "the title of every News Groper page contains the terms 'Fake parody blogs, Political humor, Celebrity Satire, Funny Commentary.'" However, as McCarthy pointed out, this did not prevent MSNBC reporter Alex Johnson from taking one of the items, a satirical fabrication of Al Sharpton commenting on the Michael Vick dog fighting case, for the real thing. The timing could not be better, since Scott Gant was on Book TV last night talking about his book, We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age. What I had not realized was that Gant is a lawyer with no direct experience in journalism. This may be one reason why, in the course of the hour he spent talking about his book, the word "editor" was never used. It strikes me that the really bad news about this item is that MSNBC seems to be embracing the "citizen journalism" standard of editing (which is to say none at all). At the very least, it would not surprise me if more editing goes into turning out good parodies over at News Groper than goes into preparing material for broadcast or "Web release" over at MSNBC.

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