Saturday, February 14, 2009

Journalism: Mindset, profession or citizenship?

Some links for a possible class discussion...

Salon's Glenn Greenwald goes after Washington Post columnist David Brooks for being part of an "inside the Beltway" cultural mindset that makes the press less of a critical fourth estate.

"... One of the most predominant attributes of the contemporary Beltway journalist: Because they are integral members of the Washington establishment, rather than watchdogs over it, they are incapable of finding fault with political power and they thus reflexively defend it and want it to remain unchanged."

Greenwald, Bill Moyers and Jay Rosen discussed the same issue last week on Bill Moyers' Journal, now available as transcript, podcast or video stream. Rosen got in the last word, emphasizing the two-way Web:

"It's just as good at enabling us to send messages to them as it is for them to tell us. And I think what people have to do is remember the internet runs two ways, and to use it to tell Washington what to do."

Meanwhile, Dave Winer at started an interesting discussion of participatory journalism, under the heading One more time--open the news industry!

Says Dave, a longtime two-way Web writer:
"I want to be a reporter, but a new kind of reporter. Instead of one of the few, I want to be one of the millions. And I want technology to find a way to do what reporters of the 20th century used to do, to organize all the information from what they used to call 'sources' into reports that people like you and me can read and think about and discuss."

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