Industry, Technology and Politics
Ivor Gaber Three Cheers for Subjectivity
: The Continuing Collapse of the Seven Pillars of Journalistic Wisdom It is a truism to state that new technology has changed journalism pro- foundly. But many traditional journalists maintain that despite all the tech- nological developments – and in particular the rise of Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere – the practice of journalism remains essentially unchanged. Perhaps more importantly they argue that there is a fundamental ethical divide between journalists and bloggers and posters (a ‘poster’ being some- one who adds a comment to an existing blogpost or who posts comments or news on Twitter, Facebook or other social media). This paper challenges this view and argues, using the UK’s political blogosphere as an example, that the line between posters, bloggers, blogging journalists, campaigning journalists, commentators and ‘journalists’ (pure and simple) has become ever more blurred. This blurring does not just relate to the expression of opinion and the transmission of rumour and gossip, but also reaches into the dissemination of news – indeed in some cases bloggers and posters now do news better than journalists. This blurring also throws into doubt traditional journalistic conventions of objectivity, truth and so forth; and, this author suggests, requires the creation of a new ethical creed to guide journalists and bloggers alike. One of the fundamental underpinnings of the Anglo-American model of journalism is the notion of objectivity – described by Michael Schudson (2003: 82) as ‘a kind of industrial discipline’ for journalists. But it is the argu- ment of this article that objectivity is based on...
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