Claire Kubinec and Derek DiFronzo, staff writers with the Huntington Herald, published by Hometown Publications of Shelton, Connecticut, have cobbled together a poorly written attack on blogging that does little to justify their titles as journalists.
On the positive side however, the report successfully outs a number of blog haters, including an elected representative and others who feel threatened by the medium.
Leading the list is State Rep. Richard Belden “I am concerned that people can write whatever they want to, whether factual or not, and others will believe the printed word,” he said.
Just like old media, but with millions of blogs its much harder to control the message.
It gets better, Rep. Belden is scared of democracy: “One special interest can go to all its members with a sample letter to legislators and get multiple form e-mails from all over, whether constituents or not”.
Stop the press! People may use blogs to lobby politicians for change, and elected representatives may receive correspondence from outside their constituencies. The sky must be falling in: its the end of the world as we know it!
Not content to let the loopy Rep. Belden babble with a return to 19th century media, DiFronzo and Kubinec refer to Jay Riddle, an ex-blogger who attended the Democratic National Convention in Boston. He apparently stopped blogging but still occasionally reads blogs. What he adds to the article is unknown.
James Simon, director of the Journalism Program in the English Department of Fairfield University is next on the list, who attempts to hide his dislike of blogs by describing blogs as “healthy”, and then goes on to warn that “blog readers should remember that what they are reading is only the opinion of one person and not a representation of the general public.”
It continues: Simon is quoted saying there is a tendency to generalize in blogs. “I think there’s a belief that if one person feels this way, more people must feel that way,” he said. “That’s the danger of blogs….blogs should never serve as a substitute for traditional news, where a reporter follows journalistic principles and presents an objective view on all issues.”
We ask: an objective view on all issues? on what planet?
DiFronzo and Kubinec then way in with a false representation of the exit-poll stats from the US Presidential Election:
“On the flip side, campaign workers found what they thought was a great way to report exit polls. Standing outside voting locations, bloggers would ask people whom they voted for and call in their estimated outcomes. These figures would then get blogged as information to the public. The problem was that some people falsely reported information. This led to an inaccurate early assessment of how the vote was going. ”
That’s right, according to DiFronzo and Kubinec bloggers not only conducted their own exit polls, they allege that people falsely reported information.
As most will know or remember, the truth is that the exit-polling done by old-media was leaked and published on blogs. The methodology of the exit-polling was flawed, however bloggers accurately reported the poll results.
There is good and bad media in the United States and indeed through out the world. This would have to be one of the worst pieces of sloppy, poorly written, inaccurate trash on the blogosphere written yet.