Veracity: The Future of New Journalism

April 15, 2008 Filed under: Journalism

It may be cliche to point out that New Media is going to beat out Old Media in the long-term, but it seems there's a element of this truism which has not been discussed enough: The importance of veracity.

Earlier today, the biggest story on TechMeme and beyond was that Twitter had begun testing, at long last, in-stream ads on its website; at least that's how TechCrunch's oft-debunked Duncan Riley reported things.

But alas, this story, was like so many that Duncan and other amateur reporters commit to their blogs, was fully erroneous, and Silicon Alley Insider, a publication which tends to fact-check (an antique practice I'll get to later) sent out a few emails and debunked the report.

While most of us could see this episode as an unfortunate blemish Riley had inflicted on his employer, Blake Robinson (a great reporter himself) pointed out in the comments of SAI's post that there's a much broader issue in play here... which is the importance of journalistic standards, especially that of using reliable sources and having a standard for truth.

I've had the pleasure of being around bother Silicon Alley Insider and PaidContent reporters as they've tried to break stories, and both times they were waiting on "one more source" -- something you'd expect to hear from a journalist, not a blogger.

But indeed this seems to be the future of journalism: journalism on the web -- with fact-checking, standards, editors, etc; not what we're seeing out of Duncan and so many others, which is just blogging, and consistently produces material even Jason Blair would feel uncomfortable about.

More on this at a later date.

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