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Defending journalism

Wrote on Wed. 16, June 2010

The world of news and journalism is complaining for years. Bloggers taking jobs of journalists, lack of professionalism…

Today I found two great articles on this issues. One from Douglas Rushkoff titled There’s More to Being a Journalist Than Hitting the ‘Publish’ Button, and another one from Dan Gillmor: Let’s subsidize open broadband, not journalists.

Rushkoff, as well as, Gillmor get to the same point: the fact that a kind of amateurism has made its place in the news world. But as Gillmor points out, it has to be said that such alleged journalism would have to improve a lot to be able to become mediocre.
I’m talking about some characters, specially in afternoon TV programs, appeared just directly from realities and whom put themselves the “Journalist” sign while they analyze the color of last celebrity’s knickers (if she, or he or should I say ‘it’, was wearing any).
That, not the Internet, are the real professional intrusions.
Internet has broken so many gates and its gatekeepers, giving lots of people the opportunity to become an author. But this does not mean that just anyone will become an author. And yet less that anybody will become an author of quality. And I do not have to go far to find an example. I myself, thanks to technology was able to try making electronic music without having to spend thousands on expensive synths and equipment. The final results were really disappointing, so I quitted.

But almost all the professional journalist world keeps being stubborn on blaming the messenger, while with the other hand are feeding the troll who settled into their house and just emptied the fridge.
It is the same world which, here in Spain, should follow some translation links to the articles mentioned above. The same world which has not recycled itself more than take a couple of courses on “Word Perfect”, paid by their publisher.
With just changing tools, from the Remington to the PC, one can not hope money will keep materializing on its lap. Absolutely all professional sectors need recycling. Even that one related with the oldest profession in the world… and anyone can look for the kind-of documentary made by a investigative journalist on the world of porn and how it has to renew to adapt this modern times.

Local news world does not make news any more. As Rushkoff points, changing the Remington for the PC has not brought any value, it has subtracted it. And proof of it is the abusive use of copy and paste. One simply has to look for any actual news and compare it in every newspaper. Identical. Even the same typos.

A professional newsperson is someone who is not only trained to pursue a story and deconstruct propaganda, but someone who has been paid to spend the time and energy required to do so effectively.

How many still of them? Just a bunch. How many journalists were necessary to unmount the not so false conspiracy of Telcos? I think none.
The vast majority just copies and pastes, and later they put on their prophet-of-doom hats and dresses, preaching the journalistic Final Judgement. And, sadly, if they keep on intruding the professional wirld of gloomy fortune tellers, it WILL be the end.
Without any will to intrude anything, news’ world should finish predicting its own ending and start applying reality to themselves.

As in 1792 in the US, now it is necessary to promote a free distribution channel, free from interference. It is needed that telcos begin to put aside their laziness. And that they do that without blackmail to users, without pretending to double-cash for the use of complete obsolete networks, not to say their pretending of control the content of that networks.

Gillmor complains about the situation of local networks in the US? If he saw what we have here in Spain, he would die of instant massive brain-spill.

But the designing of those future networks which will permit journalists keep on earning a living for their job, bloggers keep on publishing their not-so-amateur content, and citizens accessing into such an amazing quantity of information as it never was seen before, it is not the job of journalists, nor bloggers and neither of citizens.
It is some thing called Telecommunications Market Commision (some sort of spanish FCC). Its most notorial activities in the late years had been to systematically cripple some initiatives to create local networks to access the Internet, because they weren’t from any big telco but from citizen organizations and local entities.
With friends as such…

Gillmor points, at the end of his article, that governmental entities are not solely not doing their job, but screwing all they touch. It seems that tere is not many differences between what happens in one and another side of the Ocean.

But going back to reality, some of us will keep on defending things while the entire country is paying attention to an event which is getting more and more news titles these days. And it is not the labor reform being approved today by decree, it is the soccer match of the selectionisima.
Bread and circus.

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