The Eater blog has a column written my New York superstar-chef Mario Batali where he rants against the way bloggers engage in shoddy journalism. It’s interesting to see how public figures are reacting the blog-mob:
Many of the anonymous authors who vent on blogs rant their snarky vituperatives from behind the smoky curtain of the web. This allows them a peculiar and nasty vocabulary that seems to be taken as truth by virtue of the fact that it has been printed somewhere. Unfortunately, this also allows untruths, lies and malicious and personally driven dreck to be quoted as fact. Even a savvy blog like the one you are reading now has strangely superseded truly responsible journalism. It is much more immediate and can skip a lot of the ponderous setup necessary in a news article. It cuts right to the heart of a matter, often disputing it as though real research has taken place.
My broader point is that the casual and serious reader alike cannot possibly hold the anonymous blogosphere accountable. I think, in fact, many of the readers know this and enjoy the fun. But the blog is now a new partner, and this bit of shoddy journalism will be picked up and promulgated by the rest of the gray zone and march its merry way toward the center of the road. Eventually these blog posts become factual information lost in the sauce. But, in the end, I do not hate the blogger. I just expect, and want, more from many of them.
It does remind us of Piers’ recent post that suggested that if PR people and their clients expect greater fact checking then they have to be available when bloggers blog (i.e. 24 hours a day and through IM/chat preferably) and also they should work at the speed of bloggers – i.e. minutes not hours.