Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Call me, irresponsible

I've been soundly chided by Dan at Gone Mild. It seems we disagree (not the first time) on his stance regarding "citizen journalism."

According to Dan's post:
Bloggers who take themselves seriously and consider themselves “citizen journalists” need a reality check. Unless you’re doing the ground level development of sources and documentation, you are playing at journalism.
It's a good point, and I don't disagree with that statement. What I disagreed upon was that a blogger (or anyone else for that matter) is relieved of all responsibility simply by virtue of not being a "journalist."

The debate stems from a previous post where Dan roasted Kris Kobach for landing a gig at UMKC teaching immigration law. Except, the whole thing might be made up.

It seemed Dan thought it okay to make up this kind of claim and then have an opinion on it. Certainly he has the right to do so. However, I commented that it's irresponsible to post something like this without noting the source or at least suggesting that it might not be true.

I was called out for posting links to news articles and then giving an opinion on them. But in my view, there is a substantial difference between providing a link and then commenting on it and making up a "fact" and then commenting on it.

Again, we all have the right to post pretty much anything on our blogs. But it really doesn't take much effort to be responsible in the low-standards world of blogging. Why not provide a link? It's pretty standard practice. What's the harm in a little attribution?

To be fair to Dan, I trust him and I don't think his post was a complete fabrication. I just wish he would have provided some kind of attribution.

Then again, to Dan's point, this is a blog we're talking about, not The Wall Street Journal.

I'm just surprised that a call for responsibility is such a radical viewpoint.

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  1. Emawkc - funny that you make stuff up in a post about responsibility. I most definitely did not say that anyone is relieved of all responsibility simply by virtue of not being a "journalist". I never said that - you made that up.

    And I never ever said that I think it's okay to make up a claim that Kobach is teaching Immigration Law. I heard that he is, and it makes logical sense he would. I didn't get rock-solid proof of it, but I had more evidence of it than you did of your recent piece about the father running with the son. And your implication that I believe it is okay to make up a fact and then commenting on it is precisely that - you are making up that fact and then commenting on it.

    I agree that it would have been better to have qualified my statement that Kobach is teaching Immigration Law with something along the lines of "I've heard that . . .", but I'm a long way from making the arguments you fabricate.

  2. Or was this post a joke, and I missed the humor?


    That's enough!

    Don't MAKE ME pull this car over!

  4. Dan,

    Maybe a little too much hyperbole used at the beginning of the post. Bad judgement on my part perhaps. But I did note that I believed you and I don't think you completely fabricated the whole thing.

    Just a lousy way of making my point (which I think you ultimately agree with) that a little attribution can go a long way.

    And XO,
    He started it.

  5. Emawkc - we're in complete agreement that attribution is best. And XO, emawkc's being a crybaby.

  6. GOD! It's a pretty sad state of affairs if I'm the only adult in the room.

    Also highly unlikely.

    So there! Nyah!


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