Wednesday, September 8, 2010

who defines what's news?

You do.

A recent dust-up between the New York Times and it's partnery, the, and online news non-rofit in the San Francisco Bay area that supplies local news stories to the NYT twice a week. The issue at hand? A column written by the editor of the Bay Citizen appeared to straddle the line between news, gray lady style, and editorial. All of which points to the ways in which digital journalism is changing the definition of the news as we know it.

Here's the cheat sheet for you. First, a column about the brouhaha from the Bay Citizen from the guy who wrote the column in question. Second, the NYT column about said column, written by the public editor. And finally, the Times' own Readers Guide to help readers distinguish fact from, um, opinion.

All of which calls for a little more sophistication o the part of the reader, if not the reporter. So here's the question: as we move away from the old school definition of he said/she said journalistic objectivity, as we appreciate the validity of point of view journalism (even though these changes require more work on the part of the reader) what does this mean in terms of an informed citizenry? Thumbs up? Down? No clue?

It's complicated. But whatever you think, it's kind of exciting, our here on the sidelines, watching it all evolve. bk

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