So Joseph Rago doesn't think much of Blogs? Well guess what, we bloggers don't think much of his ilk either. Credentialed Journalists indeed! It would be different if these so-called Journalists actually knew something besides Journalism. In fact, I'd settle for Journalists who actually understood their own craft, never mind what the rest of the world has to offer.
Yeah, we've seen lots of hard bitten Journalists lately. We've seen ignoramuses who couldn't detect blatently photoshopped images from their "photo-journalist" bretheren. We've seen people who selectively report what world leaders say. We've seen opinion and theories reported as fact. And they wonder why people hold them in such low regard? Wake Up Mr. Rago.
Meanwhile, there are scandals of world shaking magnitude brewing all around the UN and nobody sees fit to report on it. Remember Oil for Food? What about all the interesting dirt that Claudia Rosette dug up years ago and continues to research? Has anyone seen fit to follow up on it?
We're blasted daily about reports of global warming. What we don't see are the numerous studies indicating that the consequences may not be as rapid or as dire as first thought. For example, the polar bear population study on the cover of Time? That was one study of many. It was the only study showing a decline in polar bear population. Guess which one got reported?
Sensationalism sells. That's what's wrong with the decendants of town criers. Nobody likes to yell "All's Well." It's much more fun to scream "THE EARTH IS BURNING" at the public. By the way, I do not doubt that the earth probably is warming. I merely question the hysteria that surrounds this issue: a hysteria fomented primarily by your colleagues, Mr. Rago.
As for my credentials, well, I feel I'm far more qualified to report about a SCADA system than any wordsmith who calls him/herself a Journalist. Sure enough, my description may not be as concise and my language may be rough around the edges. However I will be far more precise and I will use the correct terms. Shall I get a ghost writer to mediate this stuff, or would you prefer to read about first hand?
Let me ask a similar question: Do we need to be certified graduate with a computer science degree to write good software? Go look on Sourceforge. Yes, there are some folks who could use help writing a decently stable program. But if there weren't some really talented amateurs out there I wouldn't be typing this 'blog on an open source OS and browser.
This is also true about scientists, engineers, lawyers, doctors, and so on. Yeah, there are lots of amateurs out there. Many do not know as much as they should. But they're learning. And so is the public. Among the literate, you'll often find that popularity is not a bad guide for who knows their stuff and who doesn't.
Wait, did I say Popularity? Well, I guess I did. It is the same gauge we use to see how well newspapers and magazines measure up. Mr. Rago, I think you need to consider the message buried deep in those unworthy 'blogs. They just might know what you do not.
You see, I think Marshall McLuhan was wrong: The medium is not the message. It's all about the information, stupid.