Monday, February 12, 2007

Extremes of the state of journalism.

[ image courtesy of Steve Rhodes / Flickr ]

Maria Bartiromo of CNBC has come under fire recently for some questionable "mixing with sources" that might call into question her objectivity. She was flown on Citicorp's jets to China. Another lavish Citicorp event included a stay at a spa resort to pick the Robb Report's 2006 car of the year. Such socialization is not necessarily a crime, but it raises eyebrows when journalistic integrity is the topic at hand.

Former CBS news anchor / icon Walter Cronkite has gone on record stating that "Pressures by media companies to generate ever-greater profits are threatening the very freedom the nation was built upon."

On the other end of the spectrum you have the newly-relaunched NowPublic venture. A description, in their words:

...a participatory news network which mobilizes an army of reporters to cover the events that define our world. In twelve short months, the company has become one of the fastest growing news organizations with over 31,000 reporters in 130 countries.

The Associated Press announced on Friday that they would be tapping NowPublic. From the AP press release:

The Associated Press and NowPublic.com announced Friday that they have agreed to an innovative initiative designed to bring citizen content into AP newsgathering, and to explore ways to involve NowPublic’s on-the-ground network of news contributors in AP's breaking news coverage.

Instead of reporters schmoozing with mega-company CEOs, some of them will now be the person just down the street.

An interesting and inevitable twist.
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