Sunday, May 30, 2010

Experienced reporting: priceless

Newsweek is up for sale. Why? Because people aren’t willing to pay for news anymore. And why should they? The Internet makes information accessible, instant, and free. You can subscribe to blogs, sign up for free newsletters, follow CNN and The New York Times via Twitter, and listen to complimentary podcasts. All of these resources present news at no cost. Therefore, many people are not willing to hand over a few bucks for news.

If people do not want to pay for information, what will happen to real news coverage? Will we rely on citizen journalism? My answer: While citizen journalism presents news, it can never replace experienced journalists. Real reporting takes skill− the kind that can only comes with education and practice. Aside from influencers on blogs, much of what is published from citizen journalism does not provide a real reporter’s accuracy and analysis of a story. Anyone can participate in citizen journalism. As result of that freedom and opportunity, citizen journalism often can be filled with false facts and bias.

So, why should society spend money for information that not only finds them, but can be accessed free of charge? A simple answer is because it is worth it. Staff of all news publications spend hours editing, designing, and promoting the publication to offer you current, well-written news with objectivity. They deserve your support for all their sweat and tears. When you give them that, you get exactly what you pay for.

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