Electronic mob called threat

Editors Weblog reports
that Chris Cramer, Reuters’ global editor of multimedia for news, says
“the editorial integrity of journalism is “threatened” by traditional
and citizen journalists using the Internet to “distort” information
…  Cramer emphasized that news organizations must work to separate
themselves from the nascent ‘electronic mob rule’ of online journalists
who seek to strengthen their own messages.”

In his defence of journalism Cramer does not let hacks off the hook:

there is plenty of lousy journalism out there today which may be why
the public are so distrusting of the traditional media. There is too
much journalism with cant and rant and a-not-so-cleverly disguised,
camouflaged, axe to grind point of view… News which says it is
trusted and fair and balanced and which is patently anything but.”

The full text of Cramer’s speech, to Nottingham Trent University, is here.

Here’s a worthy — imo — excerpt that speaks to journalists and to electronic mobbers:

don’t believe that you should distort the message to get the outcome
you need or seek to persuade other people of the strength of your
argument by adjusting the facts to suit the argument.

don’t believe the internet should be used to disseminate rumour and
gossip to somehow make your point. I certainly abhor the frequent trend
to whip up fervour and anger by means of innacuracy and the deliberate
focus on the untruth.

think this is what our friend Marshall McLuhan meant so many years ago
when he talked about the medium being the message. That the so-called
global village – courtesy of available technology – is not always a
force for good.