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More Real Journalists Please

Broken Glass by akeg
Don't get me started on so called technology publications. I think they're mostly bully pulpits to the influential unethically promoting self interests in the guise of "freedom of speech" and tabloids for the insider baseball in the most nebulous industry in the world. I'll reserve my ranting about certain technology writers to a forum where I can be myself and not have to worry about comment moderation. I'll keep my thoughts on certain celebrities who I feel do not deserve the attention they get. I'll hold my tongue on certain fanboys trying hardest to conceal their stripes like a zebra in the middle of an empty savannah. What instead I will write about is the need for real journalism.

To my blogger friends who write a blog and earn a living while doing it, unfortunately you're not real journalists. To my friends working in the newspapers writing news articles and covering the events, you're not real journalists either, sorry. To my friends who appear on TV, that's not real journalism either, sorry.

A journalist is someone who chronicles the state of reality and offers insight into what's going on. A real journalist does not just report on the news, she gives insight and perspective into the situation. Real journalists have their biases but stay objective and impartial in the act of reporting. Bloggers (including me) cannot stay objective when what we write directly influences how much money we take from advertising. This is why some so-called technology publications don't qualify as real journalistic entities because the conflict in interest taints whatever editorial insulation they have when publishing anything.

A journalist mostly concerns herself with understanding an issue at hand -- may that be a current event, a state of affairs, or an opinion -- and then thoroughly backs up her work with relevant information. The real journalist has integrity in everything she does by being transparent and objective without letting her personal bias show especially in circumstances where fair coverage is required. This means fanboys have no business trying to offer their skewed views through rose-colored glasses and then try to pass of their articles as "news".

There's this thing called yellow journalism which involves unethical practices of sensationalism, proliferation of rumors, and grand-standing just to make a buck. It's the first thing journalists learn not to do. Unfortunately this means reporting on rumors just to get more eyeballs to their pages is exactly what yellow journalism is.

I personally think journalism is dead. There's a generation of writers now growing up not learning to properly research their facts and yet a lot more writers not learning how to not show their opinion in news articles. I personally don't count myself as a journalist -- I gave up on that idea a long time ago. But I do miss reading real works of journalistic integrity and balanced, fair, thoughtful reporting.

Because I think it's dead is why I think we need more real journalists. I don't pretend to know how to give real journalists a means of furthering their craft in this world of half-baked reporting on blogs and Twitter snippets and Facebook Wall posts. It seems to me that this craft that I so love (journalism) is being marginalized by this technology I so love equally if not more (the Internet).

Imagine a world where there were no historians and that's a world where there aren't any real journalists. These people who uphold their ethics and maintain their integrity by staying true to their craft and siding on the truth no matter what, are a quickly dying breed. You know that saying that goes "history is what happened according to the winners"? It's going to get worse if we don't have any more real trust-worthy, ethical, and passionate individuals dedicated to keeping a journal of what's happening in the world as we know it today and in the days to come. Instead of history being according to the winners, it's going to be according to the latest fanboy brain fart with not so much a grain of truth in whatever is being passed.

Please join me in encouraging the real journalists in this world -- however few they are -- to keep doing the great work they're doing. Let's encourage the real journalists to keep coming up with great material that we and generations after us can appreciate. Let's please stop reading the smut-laden so-called tech-related journalistic publications that offer no truthful information. If this means paying for newspapers so that your favorite columnist can keep writing, or clicking on ads once in a while while you're reading your favorite journalists' blog, or subscribing to your favorite magazine, then let's do our part. This is the reason why I subscribe to Wired, Ars Technica, Wall Street Journal, and GigaOM and not to some other time-wasting technology publications out there.

This one goes out to the Steven Levy's, the Kara Swishers, the Walt Mossberg's, the Conrado de Quiros, the Manuel Quezon III's, the Om Maliks, and the likes who uphold their craft and keep the art of journalism going.

Thank you in advance.


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