The importance of verification and citizen journalism

Verification is one of the main differences between traditional and new media. Journalists must be held accountable that their information is correct, checked and accurate. Entertainment, however, concentrates its efforts on what is diverting and distracting.

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Objectivity is another main factor that separates traditional and new media. This does not, however, imply that the journalists themselves have to be objective. The Journalism of Verification article implies that objectivity simply refers to a scientific method of checking facts. Journalists need to have more than good intentions to survive.

The internet has hit the verification process hard. The importance of checking facts has weakened and the internet puts journalists at the risk of becoming passive receivers of information instead of an important deliverer of information.
There are principles that allow journalists to keep themselves accountable.

  1. Don’t add anything that wasn’t said or verified
  2. Don’t try to fool the audience or your source
  3. Be honest and transparent, especially if you make a mistake
  4. Do your work
  5. Always make sure you doubt your own skills. Stay humble.

Blogging is not objective, which is the main attraction people have to them. People look to blogs for their apparent biases and because authors allow their own personal feelings to show through about an issue.
The relationship between bloggers and journalists has changed to a much more symbiotic one. Blogs used mainstream media and traditional media to verify their own opinions. Mainstream media also uses social media and blogs to communicate with the readers. With this communication, journalists can figure out what information is important to the public and what they would want from the rest of the stories.
Gatewatching is a huge asset that blogs have. This means that bloggers and social media are controllers of what is released to the people by the mainstream media. They can add stories that weren’t deemed newsworthy and can be more investigative and informative for readers. There are three ways in which gatekeeping is effective.

  1. Input: controls where the news is gathered
  2. Output: controls where the news is published
  3. Response: controls/directs reader conversation

Bloggers and journalists help each other by deciding on what stories are relevant for people to know and providing the verified information to back these stories.

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