I’m going to say a name you probably haven’t heard much, and if you have, you’re a bigger news geek than I am. It is David Hazinski, a former NBC correspondent, and in a recent piece he muses over the dangers of “citizen journalism”. There seems to be some cheese mixed in with the whine (made from very sour grapes of course), but I’m gonna help you out David. Since you’re so busy being all professional and can’t come right out and say what you mean, I’ll do it for ya.
And fuck you too!
Okay, big shocker, the blogger is going to get up in arms over the guy who condemns bloggers, but Hazinski is now teaching this shit in college, he should know better. He should know that the firestorm of journalistic blogging has arisen largely out of the failings of the “professional” media. While they may not agree, for instance, both lefties and righties have valid gripes with the mainstream media in their failures to cover the news as it should be covered (often times both sides claiming the media has a bias in the other direction).
My personal opinion on that specific topic is simply that too much of the corporatized media is so deathly afraid to offend anyone or anything that might affect shareholders’ bottom lines that what they sell as news is whitewashed, over balanced, limp, and impotent.
But that’s just me.
Something else Hazinski should know, and this speaks directly to his claim that we internet journalists are prone to letting bad stories get too much coverage. For one, it’s not that easy. You don’t get to sit down at your ‘puter one day, start a blog, and then start passing off bad info and watch it turn into a journalistic firestorm within a newscycle. It takes time, effort, and integrity to build up to the kind of prominence that even gets you in the door of affecting news cycles as a blogger. And I think an alum of the MSM should be a little careful who he’s waving fingers at (*cough*Dan Rather and the typewriter*cough*Swift Boat Veterans For Truth*cough*).
Finally, and this is the big one. We do this because it’s our voice, and it’s our first amendment granted right to use that voice. Finally the internet is allowing every day citizens to take part in the national debate on all facets at all levels, and we’re just getting going. You bemoan the politicians you have to choose from? The internet’s already fixing it. Politicians can’t get away with half of what they used to based upon the rapid fire fact checking and information dissemination provided by the ‘net. You rue the state of MSM coverage? While CNN may be content to spend an entire newscycle on whatever Lindsay Lohan may have thrown up on the sidewalk, we’re right here, doing research, checking the wires, bringing the information that actually makes a difference in people’s lives.
We’re exercising our free speech, we’re breaking out of the mold of mass media fed automatons, and as a result, I think we are becoming a stronger and better informed electorate for it.
So, in conclusion, Mr. Hazinski, please don’t take your head out of your ass again, it’s rather annoying.
Update: I’ve read a lot of comments and I wonder if Mr. Hazinski is aware of the verbal beatdown he is receiving from the citizen journalists he provoked. I’m kinda curious if he even expected a different reaction. I’m just saying.
Whether he’s read a lot or any of the comments, I’ve read a few, and they’re pretty good. Memeo’s got a good round up.
But I wanted to just pop by because I’ve read lots of great come backs to Hazinski’s little foot in mouth display, but for some reason, this commenter’s contribution over at the Opinionator really sticks with me:
Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one
Now we all own one.
-Posted by adam
Couldn’t have said it better myself.