Question; What’s good for us, being fed the truth through mass media or the masses of opinions from all over the place or a hybrid of both?
I think probably the best thing for society is to be presented with “the truth” by a bybrid of both mass media and new media.
I come from a traditional journalism background and believe in the value of professional journalists working for traditional newspapers and broadcasters. They are dedicated reporters who often have a depth of experience in the areas of which they write. Most importantly, they are held accountable for what they write by editors, the public and government.
Some may complain the mass media is owned by right and left wing corporations intent on forwarding their political agendas. However, one must realize that the newspapers such as the Sun and the Globe and Mail are members of press councils and can be held accountable for irresponsible journalism. There are also libel laws and other government restrictions that keep newspapers in line.
We should make room for bloggers who provide valuable alternative opinions but there should be tougher laws regulating what they can say. I have seen cases where “independent Gonzo journalists” have spouted whatever comes into their minds without regard to facts and the impact on others. They believe they have a right to say what they want and are banking on the fact that people will not hold them accountable.
However, having bloggers and Facebookers in the mix provides a similar sense of balance as letters to the editor once did in traditional newspapers. This variety of opinion is extremely valuable in a democratic society. It is important to have that different perspective so that people can come to their own informed decisions regarding news reports.
What is needed is a variety of opinions for consideration, but tougher laws on irresponsible bloggers to make them as accountable as traditional journalists.