Blog Archive

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The nature of discource and argument Part3

On Ignorance. 

In the previous post of this series. I mentioned the appeal to ignorance.   I would like to expand on the following text from it,

-----Ignorance  (which is a lack of knowledge or information on a subject) and it's admission are important for truth seekers.  This appeal, dismisses ignorance as a credible state or uses it as a wedge.  The basic form is as follows;  "You can't prove bigfoot doesn't exist therefore bigfoot exists."   This is often an attempt to flip the burden of proof onto someone requesting evidence.-----

My reply to the appeal to ignorance goes something like this: Just because I admit that I don't know something does not mean that I accept that you do know, or that the subject is unknowable.  These are three distinct states of being the first two being completely independent of each other, and both being dependent on the last.  But I really want to talk about ignorance in a more general sense.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ethics of blogging and reporting the news.

A conversation from October about blogging vs journalism.

My interest in this discussion began with a facebook post by a friend and journalist. (see it and the resulting discussion below, last names have been changed and facebookery removed to protect peoples identity, which should be the default)

Jordan Said:

I don't believe in citizen journalism because journalism -- like any
profession worthy of the name -- has standards and ethics, and if you
don't sign on to those, I can no more trust you than I can a doctor who
refused the Hippocratic oath or a lawyer who failed the bar exam.

I do not believe in ``citizen journalism.'' Yes, I know that's heresy. Yes, I know the old model has changed: the monologue is now a dialogue. Yes, I know ordinary people with cellphone cameras now ``report'' newsworthy events and bloggers are indispensable to the national dialogue.
October 7 at 12:42am 
  • 7 people like this.
    • Keri Said: 
       I absolutely agree with you, Jordan.
      October 7 at 1:26am · 
    • Mike Said:  
      A "cold" is putting it mildly.
      October 7 at 1:48am · 
    • Randy Said:
      I think Mr. Pitts has exagerated his claim. Is a volunteer firefighter no less a firefighter because he is not paid? Would we call this person a "citizen firefighter." Is an EMT not less an EMT because he or she is not paid? Do we call this person a "citizen EMT."

      The fact of the matter is, many cities and towns right here in our area, and across the nation, are not covered in the manner that best serves that particular community.

      Just like in many other aspects of the community, it is ultimately up to the "citizens" of that community to step up to the plate and fill whatever that void happens to be.

      And while that community might suffer from that lack of a "professional" journalist, I believe that a "citizen" journalist is better then darkness.
      October 7 at 9:53am ·
    • Cindy Said:
      ‎@Randy, I believe volunteer firefighters and EMTs do receive extensive training and are committed to their work, unlike a "citizen journalist."
      October 7 at 11:34am ·
    • Randy Said:
       I would not lump all "citizen journalists" together.
      October 7 at 11:35am ·
    • Mike Said:
      One of the things about "citizen journalism" is that you never know what hidden agendas they may have
      October 7 at 11:37am
    • Randy Said:
      Hah! As opposed to "professional" journalists?
      October 7 at 11:39am ·
    • Randy Said:
      The ny post has no agenda whatsoever!! Lol
      October 7 at 11:40am · 
    • Mike Said:
      Yes, as opposed to professional journalists. Of course, the problem is that some people now think of people like Limbaugh and Olbermann as journalists. They're not.
      October 7 at 11:40am · 

    • Philip Aitken
      I think the author's point is clouded by disparaging those of us who are not professionals but wish to share our thoughts with others. It is however a good one. One of accountability. If Jayson Blair had been a blogger it would have been up to the community in general to warn others off of him. Where the Times had the responsibility to discipline him, because he was a professional journalist. Imagining that pay leads to professionalism, or doing something in your free time means not upholding standards of intellectual integrity is both elitist and false. So I guess I agree with the specifics of the article but disagree with the tone and broader implications.
      October 7 at 12:22pm ·
    • Randy Said:
      Nicely said
      October 7 at 12:39pm · 
    • Mike Said:
      I think sharing thoughts is great. However, the concept of going to blogs for "news reports" is a bad one.
      October 7 at 1:35pm · 

    • Philip Aitken The idea that a given writer will be more objective about a subject because they are paid to write about it, seems more than a little naive. The actual problem with blogs and "citizen reporters" is that there are no editorial oversights to separate out the dross. That being said, journalism as a commercial venture necessarily plays to the idea of being consumed rather than a search for objectivity.
      October 7 at 1:43pm · 
    • Jordan Said:  
      I think Phil's right. I have no beef with a proliferation of voices, but it worries me that most of them come with no editorial oversight. If I screw something up, I'm accountable to my bosses. Or, if I do something wildly unethical, I'll probably get canned or banished to some corner of newsroom purgatory. If some blogger does it, people get conned.
      October 7 at 8:54pm · 
    • Mike Said: bingo
      October 7 at 8:55pm ·
    • James Said:
      I avoid the majority of reader reports and blogs because, as Philip pointed out, the quality control is greatly lacking. Even the articles that get picked up by legitimate news sources are often: wildly inaccurate, barely intelligible, or terribly slanted. I think this type of 'reporting' has its entertainment value, but that doesn't make it journalism.
       October 7 at 11:14pm ·
    • Randy Said:
      What bout blogs hosted by major news outlets?
      October 7 at 11:33pm · 

      I was at the time just really starting to read science journalists and to follow them on twitter and through my blog reader, in that realm there seems to be much discussion of this idea.  And scientists taking a more active role as direct to public reporters of their work.  The idea of Press release journalism and false balance.  etc.

      Also these from later.