Another post on anonymity and media (by Redlogix) at The Standard that seems somewhat illogical – Media Medicine.
One stark contradiction is that while journalists and media pundits love hurling the ‘cowardly anonymous blogger’ line at us; while they themselves zealously guard the anonymity of their own sources whenever it suits them.
And their papers routinely publish thundering right-wing editorial pieces without names attached. They cannot have it both ways; they cannot belittle and discredit bloggers for not using ‘real names’, while they themselves uncritically resort to the same. It’s a remarkable blind-spot.
This is a common defence of online anonymity – “if they do it we should be able to too”. But Redlogix ignores majors differences.
Newspapers are businesses that have to stay financially viable, which means maintaining readership and income. To do this they have to maintain a reputation.
Journalists are employees, and have to maintain standards to keep their careers.
Newspapers are heavily edited. They don’t realtime abusive rants and attacks, even in their online comments.
In contrast blogs are usually part time hobbies. Blog authors and commenters can come and go as they please using as many blogs and identities as they wish. They can hit and run. They can assassinate a character and disappear unnoticed into their day to day lives.
It’s a remarkable blind-spot
Redlogix has one of those him (or her) self.
They go on to suggest…
There is no reason why political journalists should not be required to reveal and name ALL of their sources. If you want to quote a politician, someone elected to Parliament to serve New Zealand, then you have to name them. No more ‘off-the-record’ or nameless ‘senior sources’.
…and more. Good grief, bloggers don’t reveal their own identities, many don’t even reveal what relevant groups, parties or organisations they associate with yet, journalists should reveal absolutely everything?
That’s a huge double standard.
The Press Gallery are accorded by convention special privileges, protections and access us ordinary bloggers don’t have, yet increasingly it’s obvious that as a whole we’re doing the better job.
Wow, really? I have far more respect for information and opinion delivered by Colin James, Fran O’Sullivan, Vernon Small or Felix Marwick than I do of Redlogix, Eddie or Zetetic (they can be interesting and informative but…). Apart from anonymity it’s impossible to be sure what you are dealing with – my guess is that Redlogix is a one person pseudonym but the last two are highly debatable. Actually more than that, multiple people, one slush pseudonym is not only allowed at The Standard, it is a core part of it’s operation.
Authors and commenters have been rightly been far more noticed lately, but especially with the attitude and practices comonat The Standard it is a long way from competing for credibility with the traditional media and journalists.