The Unbridled Pragmatist
smart enough to know how dumb we are

Credibility in Media

Defining credibility in media has always been difficult, since the explosion of blog’s that definition has gotten even harder.  A journalist’s credibility has long been associated with their press pass; the invitation to cover events validating that individual’s reliability to provide factual news information.  As bloggers are slowly embraced by news makers, though not necessarily respected by mainstream media, credibility of the journalist has changed.


The changing landscape of journalistic credibility is illustrated throughout the political landscape.  For decades television provided brief sound bites of politicians while the newspapers would offer more in depth coverage of policy and lawmaking.  Today blogs are constantly updating, often reporting nothing more than mere conjecture, with campaigns and legislative staffs assigning employees to monitor the blogosphere.  In the sports world there are countless sites devoted only to conjecture, be it potential trades a franchise should make or the cyber meeting point to fire a coach or general manager.


The blurred line between credentialed reporter and blogger has skewed the public perception of reliable information.  Gone is the antiquated notion that factual information can only come from a major network or newspaper; stories are often broken online by obtaining photos or scoops from people present at functions or rallies.  Many credentialed reporters are even confirming stories or leads taken from the blogs. 


Reliable information needs to be properly sourced and attributed regardless of the vehicle presenting.  In an age of Wikipedia, information needs more substantiating than merely reading something online, there has to be factual confirmation of news prior to reporting no matter what.  The old saying “you can’t believe everything you read” holds just as true in 2008 as it did in 1908, though the mediums have certainly changed.


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