Thanks Dave. You bring up a good point regarding sorting through the accurate information and the static voices. I believe this requires a base of Internet users who are media literate in order to determine which information online is accurate, and which isn’t. Unfortunately I believe that media literacy is a big problem amongst Internet users and due to the large amount of online journalists or citizens reporting on news events, often people are acquiring inaccurate information without even knowing. As (Hermida, 2012) outlines in the article Tweets and Truth: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification, online journalism is rapidly expanding and there is a mass amount of people who report on events and news topics that are not actual journalists. This can leave people with an overwhelming amount of information making it difficult to sift out which is accurate and which is not. Personally I use a couple key indicators too verify if information is accurate or not. One thing I look for is if the information is objective of subjective. If a person is providing facts with proof of the facts from reliable sources, regardless of their popularity of who they are I will put stock into their work. In contrast, if someone is blogging about an event merely sharing their opinion I tend to take the story with a grain of salt. Another way I sort through the noise and find accurate information is by examining the journalist’s social profile, or how they carry themselves and express themselves online. For example, if a journalist on twitter is tweeting offensive, or unprofessional things, or behaving in a manner not consistent with well respected journalists I tend to devalue the information significantly. Additionally to their conduct online, I look at their grammar and spelling. Although simple, these can be key indicators about if the user is a reliable journalist or simply a teenager behind a computer stating their opinion. As (Freidman, 2011) taught us, the Internet has provided people with a platform not only to consume, but to create media and take the role of a journalist, regardless of who they are.
Friedman, S. M. (2011). Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima: An analysis of traditional and new media coverage of nuclear accidents and radiation. Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists, 67(5), 55-65.
Hermida, A. (2012). TWEETS AND TRUTH: Journalism as a discipline of collaborative verification. Journalism Practice. 6:5-6, p659-668.