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Misadventures In Online Journalism

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    Last Updated: October 11, 2009


    An anonymous reader writes “Paul Carr, writing for TechCrunch, has posted his take on some of the flaws inherent to today’s fast-paced news ecosystem, where bloggers often get little or no editorial feedback and interesting headlines are passed around faster than ever. His article was inspired by a recent story on ZDNet that accused Yahoo of sharing the names and emails of 200,000 users with the Iranian government; a report that turned out to be false, yet generated a great deal of outrage before it was disproved. Carr writes, ‘Trusting the common sense of your writers is all well and good — but when it comes to breaking news, where journalistic adrenaline is at its highest and everyone is paranoid about being scooped by a competitor, that common sense can too easily become the first casualty. Journalists get caught up in the moment; we get excited and we post stupid crap from a foreign language student blog and call it news. And then within half a minute — bloggers being what they are — the news gets repeated and repeated until it becomes fact. Fact that can affect share prices or ruin lives. This is the reality of the blogosphere, where Churchill’s remark: that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” is more true, and more potentially damaging, than at any time in history.’”

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