A new form of journalism?

In his article James Fallows highlights a quote from Barack Obama, “I’ve been surprised by how the news cycle here in Washington is focused on what happens this minute.” This is very much a focus for modern-day media, with cable networks on round the clock updating viewers on every little news event. I am not entirely familiar with either Gawker or Twitter, I still prefer reading a newspaper over reading an article online.

It is hard to consider Twitter journalism. Yes people can update their “followers” as to the world’s goings on, but in only 140 characters. It could be seen as attempt to condense the news, which could encourage the omission of details. In that case we will never get the full story. Scouring through Twitter you will come across feeds from respectable news sources such as the New York Times. However these are often just snippets of the full story. I am not a Twitter user and I don’t think I will be. I can see why some people would argue a case for it being a form of journalism but I believe it stands simply as a form of social networking.

As inappropriate as some may consider it, people will read a story about Christine O’Donnell and her encounter with a Philadelphia stranger. With stories such as these Gawker is providing a form of journalism. Not necessarily a high standard of journalism, nut one nonetheless. They are providing a service to readers, which is a key component of journalism. There is a market for this kind of journalism. Nick Denton defended his publication of the story, “She lies about who she is; she tells that lie in service of an attempt to impose her private sexual values on her fellow citizens; and she’s running for Senate. We thought information documenting that lie—that O’Donnell does not live a chaste life as she defines the word, and in fact hops into bed, naked and drunk, with men that she’s just met—was of interest to our readers.”

Many consider these outlets as new forms of journalism. Gawker certainly has more journalistic credentials than Twitter. However the most effective and reliable form of journalism will always come from the respected and established outlets.


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