Web 2.0+ is grand in many ways. I applaud citizen journalists that diligently report what is occurring in their neighborhood. It is wonderful to read stories that may have been ignored by mainstream media a few years ago. However, sometimes I wonder if all the stories are based in fact because some state opinion and hearsay. Opinion and hearsay, also known as slander, is akin to bullying. The only exception are opinion columns or video blogs. This blog is based upon my opinion, however I choose not to spread rumors.
The damage to people and institutions can be horrific because of a false rumor. Slanderous statements purporting that a politician isn’t a citizen or is a different faith than where the elected official attends services, such hokum. My silly sibling likes to send me emails that spread hatred against a specific faith. The information isn’t based in fact, just opinion or an extrapolation of one radical’s words, which is hooey. One extremist, like the idiot who wanted to burn holy books in Florida, doesn’t represent the majority of the faith, just a few fools.
I miss investigative journalists who were keen on integrity. Not too long ago the mainstream media sponsored curious people to seek out corruption and expose it to the public, like Watergate. With the decrease in funding, these investigations have ground to a halt. Greedy evil people will do their deeds unchecked because it is unlikely that a citizen journalist will have the resources to expose the corruption. A few nonprofit journalistic organizations have started but their funding is limited.
I also miss human-interest stories. Local news has become a police blotter; they mostly report crime, which is depressing and doesn’t represent what is really occurring in the community. I hate it when the “local” news eats up time with irrelevant stories that aren’t even local. Since they don’t have time to check facts, they will repeat the slanderous stories and cause harm.
Too many crime, murder and blood shows (Law & Order, CSI franchises, cops & criminals, etc) are on tv. Why don’t the media companies dedicate an hour every week to feel-good stories about real people who help their community? One hour without blood. Instead, we are lucky if they have one feel-good story on the news each week. I can’t afford cable so I watch PBS or read a book. No DVD player and my computer is dial-up so I can’t watch anything there.
Journalists, where are you???