Adopt-a-Journalist

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The Dowbrigade has decided to finally weigh in on an idea that has been
circulating around the Blogosphere for several weeks now – Adopt-a-Journalist.

The concept was popularized by Jay
Rosen
, and then interestingly commented
on by Al
Giordano
and Halley
Suitt
, among others. The basic idea is
that to counteract the relative anonymity and lack of accountability
on the part of Major Media writers and reporters, Bloggers should choose
a single reporter and monitor, repost and comment on all of that individual’s
journalistic output.

Come on! That’s the most invasive, repugnant and counterproductive idea
we have heard in the ‘Sphere since paid subscriptions! Who appointed
us to be the Thought Police? And Who is Going to Monitor the Monitors?
What a misguided, uncivil and rude waste of time!

Never content to be a nattering nabob of negativity, the Dowbrigade
does have a couple of suggestions for keeping track of the Major Media,
and enabling the thinking public to weave their useful but limited reporting
into our pastiche of emerging understanding.

First, all news reporting should be clearly identified with a particular
reporter, editor or news desk. Major papers like the New York Times do
identify the individual authors of their feature articles, but many less
prominent stories on the inner pages run anonymously. In addition almost
all of the stories coming out of the news wires, AP, UPI and Reuters,
which are of course picked up and published by hundreds of local papers
around the world, are completely anonymous.

Then, and most importantly, every single professional reporter should
have his or her own RSS feed. When we read an interesting or thought-provoking
article, we should be able to instantly (by clicking on their name) subscribe
to that writer’s feed, and to review his or her aggregated writings,
in order to get a clear idea of their views, political orientation, history
of positions on the issues, etc.

This would allow those of us who value diversity of opinion and resist
taking the network pap at face value the opportunity to see where these
opinions are coming from and weave their occasionally important voices
into a better rounded collection of professional, personal and identifiably
biased punditry from across the political spectrum.

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