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May 03, 2006


Daphne Haour-Hidalgo

Citizens and professional journalists 'can' work together to create a better informed public. While one is an informal form of media coverage and the other the opposite, both will present views in their own way.

It's like asking how television and radio can work together to present the news. Both have their own ways of presentation -- one is visual, the other auditory.

I believe the We Media Global forum theme is "Trust" -- and the question of the day is: Who do we trust more, the blogger or the mainstream media? Like comparing television and radio, opinions here can only be subjective.

Here is the comment I made on BBC regarding the We Media forum:

I believe there are two main factors that affect the notion of trust in and between the mainstream media and the blog:

The first factor is the major difference between the mainstream media and the blog. Where the media is answerable to an editor (who in turn is answerable to the dictates of a government or a corporation via sponsorship), the blogger is not constrained in his writing to please anyone.

The second is, that while professional journalists have the vocabulary and syntax which make their writing sound good on paper (and the background to make objective analysis of information), many bloggers do not have this kind of education. There are some very shrewd writings by bloggers out there, but some are emotional (mostly anger directed at government or corporate worngdoings), expressed in words unbecoming of journalism.

The notion of trust is somehow prejudiced by these two factors. How can you trust the media when the "truth" is transformed? How can you regard a blogger's opinion as thoughtful and incisive, when it is coached in an unsuitable manner?

If these two issues are resolved, then there could be more trust in both forms of news writing. One cannot be better over the other.


I would phrase that differently. Perhaps to something like this: how can citizens and professional journalists work together to make well-informed public discourse fashionable?

When I do that, I more easily see possibities emerging in the near future which make individual awareness of social issues a kind of currency. However, professional journalists may not be happy with such a system. They and the companies who run the ads that pay their salary would also be a part of such a system.


great point. I linked to you in my we media redux:

GV founder Rebecca expressed her annoyance with the stale "journalists vs. bloggers" debate and points out that, "the question we really ought to be focusing on is: how can citizens and professional journalists work together to create a better and more well-informed public discourse?" Couldn't agree more.

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