Truth Is Just Perception

Yes, The Web Is (Also) Good For Journalism

A matter of quality control.

A few days ago, David Leonhardt, the New York Times‘ Washington bureau chief, participated in an Ask Me Anything session with the users of social network Reddit.

David Leonhardt – (CC) The Aspen Institute

As GIGAom recounts, he was asked if he considered that the development of the Internet – and social media in particular – and the transition from paper to digital journalism were good news for journalism.

His answer was very clear: “I think the Web has created a more responsible press, with higher standards. Think how much easier it is for readers to point out flaws (or perceived flaws!) in a story today than in the past. You don’t have to rely on our Letters to the Editor page or our Corrections process. You can write your own blog post or get the attention of a media critic (including our public editor, a job that didn’t exist until a decade ago). Such criticism isn’t always enjoyable — and we don’t always agree with it — but there is little question that it makes us better at our jobs.

Leonhardt’s answer reminded me of a remark by Jodi Kantor, another highly experienced journalist from the New York Times who once explained that knowing that bloggers will go over every word she writes has made her better at her job.

Some may find it ironic that the web, the quantitative media by excellence, is also one that allows other media to improve the quality of their content. Yet this is the case.

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