In this digital era that we live in, anyone can produce news and news can be almost anything. The question is who do we trust to give us this news and should we trust it?
The rise of citizen journalists has demonstrated that the audience want to be a part of the news process but their credibility at times can be questionable, which is why Axel Bruns argues that journalists act as gatekeepers that safeguard the quality of news whilst adhering to a code of journalistic values and ethics. These values include producing news that is honest, accurate and objective. News consumers will always go to traditional news websites for reliable and objective information.
However, times are changing and blogs and journalism are now dependent or rather benefit from each other. J. D. Lasica’s ‘Transparency begets trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere’ (Online Journalism Review, 2004) discusses how the ‘transparency of blogging has contributed to news organizations becoming a bit more accessible and interactive’ which echoes the issues analysed in WordPress blogger Andrewhorgansblog’s ‘Analysis of Rosen’s People Formerly known as the audience’ which was mentioned in my previous post.
Lasica argues that blogs will not supersede traditional news media but admits that they will compliment them in significant ways. This is obvious when we look at the huge numbers of netizens who are turning to blogs for information and opinions on certain topics, for instance with food reviews it is now much more convenient to read food blogs online than it is to physically go to the newsagents to buy a newspaper which only has a select number of restaurant reviews that may not even interest the reader. Yet in saying that we are more likely to trust the words and judgements of a professional over an amateur’s but increasingly we are turning to citizen journalists as an alternative source of information.