Masquerading News To Be Better Unmasked? A Controversial Move
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In another bold move, the world's most popular internet media site, Yahoo News begins featuring the work of self-published bloggers side by side with the work of professional journalists today leveling distinctions between the two.
An expanded search feature will include news stories and related blogs with user-contributed photos and related links on a second-level news site for users wanting more details. The news page will now be split between 6,500 professional sources and links to hundreds of thousands of blogs available from its syndication service.
Robert Thompson, a media studies professor at Syracuse University, defined professional journalism as reporting which adheres to standards of accuracy and writing subjected to an editorial process, and all done with an eye to journalistic ethics, although he said journalism often falls short of these goals.
Jeff Jarvis, author of the blog Buzzmachine (http://www.buzzmachine.com), a former TV critic for TV Guide and People magazines, mocked the notion that journalists live by a shared set of professional standards, or that they are better trained or more trustworthy than the anyone-can-join blog movement. "What made the voice of the people somehow less important than the paid professional journalist?" he asked. "You don't need to have a degree, you don't need to have a paycheck, you don't need to have a byline," Jarvis said. "If you inform the public, you are committing an act of journalism," he declared.