Saturday, September 26, 2009
This is me last night, getting in some reading in the Wolf Pack media room while I waited for the football game to end so I could shoot the post-game press conference for the RGJ. As I waited, I read about the Internet rendering newspapers obsolete. I thought it was a little ironic, but at the same time I thought about the press pass in my pocket. Soon, I will have to write a paper on how I think the Internet will ultimately effect journalism, and I think my theory is this (though it will obviously be fleshed out a little more): There is room for both professional journalists and "amateur" or "citizen" journalists to work together. Yes, a blogger sitting from home could easily write about the post-game press conference and generate a lot of hits and comments, but not just anyone can attend the press conference. Unless you are credentialed media, you have to wait for the press to report on the conference to write about it. Perhaps when we live stream on the Internet, or when TV broadcasts something live, we provide a shortcut to the "amateur journalist" - but in many cases they still look to us for the initial information. Last week, we read an example in a different book about the Trent Lott/Strom Thurmond debacle in 2002, which led to his resignation as senate majority leader, in which traditional media largely ignored his racist statement until became a huge deal in the blogosphere. The thing is, the first blogger to take it and run with it read the quote in an ABC story. Because all those bloggers weren't at Thurmond's birthday party to hear the quote in the first place. Yes, there are some instances where everyday citizens can report on things just as well or better - taking photos of breaking news before media arrives, for instance - but I think there is room for both, a way to work together, to complement each other. Obviously, I don't have all the answers. But that is what I'm in school to try to figure out.