Monday, December 07, 2009

Amateur Hour - long live the blog

"And so it is with journalism today. Like politics and novels, it is open to anyone, which is why the unfiltered, unregulated, unedited Internet is full of trivia, scandal, prejudice and falsehood, and why a generation thinks The Daily Show (however clever) is the news and advertising flyers are newspapers." Stated Andrew Cohen of the Ottawa Citizen as published in the National Post on December 3, 2009. His story was titled "Amateur Hour, Who is Amanda Lindhout and why do we call her a journalist?"
(Read more: The National Post is now on Facebook. Join our fan community today.)

Andrew's lament about the state of media, both old (mainstream) and new (internet), discusses the kidnapping of journalist Amanda Lindhout in the war torn country of Somalia, mostly it's to question if Amanda is really a "journalist". The petulant argument is one I see often in journalistic websites - you have to pay your dues in mainstream media to be a journalist, everything else is playing.

I do concur with Andrew that local papers are really advertising flyer distribution vehicles (and I wouldn't get it if I had to pay for it) and that the internet is full of many things, both true and untrue. It is up to each of us to weigh the information we find online and in mainstream media.

The blackberry and iphone/itouch have accelerated the movement away from paper and onto the net. My itouch is a computer that allows me to surf the net and run a lot of apps, it is my own personal computer that I now carry with me everywhere. One day, not to far into the future, these small tools will have more power and greater abilities than the laptops and desktop computers in so many homes. We will plug these computers into docking stations, much like the ones for playing your ipod music, for larger screens and keyboards until virtual projections take care of these occasional needs. Once reasonable costs for readily accessible wireless access is available to the majority I don't think that many papers will be able to survive the loss of readers of the paper versions (if they are still around) - long live the blog, trivia and scandal.

PS Jon Stewart of the Daily Show was recently ranked as the 4th most admired journalist in America.

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