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Jan 17, 2009

More on Bloggers, Journalists and Checking

I have mentioned this interesting post on Jason Wilson's Gatewatching blog about the Windschuttle hoax befor

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I have mentioned this interesting post on Jason Wilson’s Gatewatching blog about the Windschuttle hoax before, but I think it is worth drawing attention to again, because the comments thread has developed into an interesting debate on whether it is valid to make comparisons between bloggers and journalists, and what it is reasonable to expect of bloggers and commenters on blogs before they make factual assertions about people.

I’m still making up my mind what I think about this. Although I (unwittingly) kicked off the whole bloggers v journalists thing in this post I confess I haven’t thought the whole thing through thoroughly. Indeed, the original post, written in the middle of a full-on week in which I was under attack, and after filing a long story for Crikey, is hardly my best. Yet it has attracted the most traffic of anything I have written on this blog! I wonder what this says about “standards” and “journalism”,  (and excuses) in this case my own !

I’ve clarified some factual matters and made some other points in the comments thread on Gatewatching. I may have more to say later,

But for the moment, don’t we need to clarify our terms? Not all blogs are trying to do the same things, as I have pointed out elsewhere. Australia so far has very few news-based blogs. Those that come closest to journalism mainly concentrate on the commentary part of the job.

And not all of those who wear the tag “journalist” behave in the same way either. And what do we mean by “journalism” in any case?

UPDATE: The debate goes on with contributions from Skepticlawyer (Helen Dale), and has spilled over on to Larvatus Prodeo. I have chimed in again on Gatewatching, and am thinking of preparing a longer post, tentative title “What is a Journalist (and are you one)?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: The debate continues at Club Troppo and again at Gatewatching.

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