Wednesday, May 25, 2011

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Amanda Reece

It's obvious that everyone will have their own opinion about journalism and the internet. Personally, I believe that the internet is helping journalism rather than hurting it. Although there are cases you can most definitely find where internet journalism has been seen as harmful or has damaged the reputation, I still find that the good outweighs the bad. In an article by The Atlantic a handful of media insiders discussed how they felt that the Internet is hurting journalism. The article discussed views from both standpoints, those who believe the Internet is helping and those who don't, primarily while discussing the coverage of Obama.

The Internet is a powerful thing and being able to report about a situation as it happens or is happening requires a great amount of responsibility and conviction. I feel it is necessary for me to be cheesy and quote a line from Spiderman saying "with great power comes great responsibility." I would say this to all online journalists who are reporting there stories online. The stories reported online hold a lot of power because if trusted can make or break a situation. For people who truly call themselves journalists reporting their stories online takes a lot of responsibility. They are responsible for creating interesting and moving stories as they happen. They have the advantage of being able to share information from the scene of a breaking story as it unfolds in front of them. Advantageous or not they are still faced with the responsibility of reporting a story that is as free of errors and assumptions as possible. The Knight Digital Media Center is an online company that has been founded on the base of helping make journalists more friendly to online journalism. They teach and help train journalists about how to transition from regular print media to the Internet. For those who, like me, believe that the Internet is helpful to journalism know that not every website or blog is trustworthy. When I am researching projects or trying to find information on a subject my first place to research is not normally Wikipedia. Gaining the trust of the public is a difficult thing and can be shattered in an instant with one false story. Good journalists will strive for accuracy whether it is on the internet or in print.

The Internet has also created an open forum for all times of journalism. As most of us have discussed in at least one, if not 10, of our journalism classes, citizen journalism is a growing trend. While a lot of journalists feel citizen journalism is a threat, it can also be viewed as a positive thing. Technically, as all of us sit here writing our blogs we are considered citizen journalists. Though I doubt this blog will become of any significance or be used as an outside source, I am still publishing information on the Internet. Online journalism represents a freedom of speech for people all over the world. Before the Internet it was much harder to communicate the news and to send messages to people in different countries. Now, we can hear of a breaking story somewhere in the world within seconds of it occurring. For this reason, I believe that the Internet has most definitely helped the journalistic field. It has given journalism a depth and expansion of knowledge that is seemingly endless. Accountability is the essential role in journalism regardless of its distribution form. The good reporters will always strive for a complete story to display to the public.

I'll leave everyone with a video of a discussion with Vincent Brossel, of Reporters Without Borders:

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