Why Social Media Should Not Replace Real Journalism

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the story of “Jenny Dry Erase” a woman who quit her job for various reasons that most people seemed to applaud her for (at least most of our friends on Facebook).  And if you’re like many of our friends, you thought the piece was real… or almost real.

Well, it wasn’t. See here for Tech Crunch’s follow-up.

Jenny was a hoax… like the Taco Bell buying the Liberty Bell.  The company involved fooled a lot of us with “Jenny Dry Erase”.

“Jenny Dry Erase” is a prime example of why we should never allow real journalistic-based media to go away.  Media outlets that check sources, follow-up on leads and vet ideas for newsworthy-ness prior to even considering them for publication are incredibly important.  Sites such as Wikipedia are great for looking things up, but whose to say that 10 minutes before you looked up “public relations”, someone from here didn’t go on there and make a post about BBPR or all of the great work we’ve done (some of which can be seen here).

What’s real anyway?  Many people agree that you should support “official” charities rather than say, give money to a homeless guy on the street.

But how do we know this guys family really wasn’t killed by ninjas?  Ok, they probably weren’t.  But how do you know guys with more believeable signage are really homeless veterans or are going to spend the money you give them on food instead of booze, etc.?  You don’t.  But at the same time, we’ve seen in the news that not all charities are what they appear either… but since they seem more official, some people are more comfortable supporting them.

Now we’re not saying that everything media outlets publish is factual or without slant.  Far from it.  There are things to consider, such as personal agendas (CNN is very different than Fox News and Transworld SURF is different from Surfer, etc.), advertisers and the influence of PR people (ahem).  BUT, before you begin citing what’s on the message boards or Joe Blog.com as fact, keep in mind that you may really know where this information is coming from or if the person behind the writing has a personal reason for creating the content.  What’s their track record for reporting the facts, embellishment and/or glorification of sensationalistic stories?

BTW – this is NOT a slag on bloggers.  We work with online media… bloggers and others… regularly.  And most of them are great.  We just wanted to draw attention to this recent example of how something posted on the Internet was assumed to be true… because it was posted on the Internet and looked “nice.”

If you believe this without question, we have a $20,000 retainer for you...

If you believe this JPG, we have a $20,000 a month retainer contract just waiting for you to sign…

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~ by doubleb on August 12, 2010.

One Response to “Why Social Media Should Not Replace Real Journalism”

  1. You know that girl? 😉 Good post Bill.

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