ABC News.Com reports former Department of Agriculture employee, Shirley Sherrod, has filed suit against the blogger that posted an “edited video racially tinged remarks last week.”
A wannabe blogger myself, I must say I’m very interested in these recent turn of events. A part of me is thrilled blogging has assumed such an authoritative voice in today’s multifarious culture. At the same time, another part of me is reminded of the quote “heavy of the head that wears the crown”.
Have you thought of it? A great deal of power – yes, power- permeates the written word. With the “power of the pen” comes enormous responsibility to conscientiously assemble facts, present them accurately, cite them flawlessly and even play “devil’s advocate” from time to time.
But responsibility lies not only with the saged blogger, but also with the information-seeking reader.
If you were born after 1963, you know today’s information-delivery “machine” is fueled by sound bytes and information “tidbits”. As a result, some of us lost the ability to think critically about [and around] issues. Further, many have abandoned the pursuit of reading books, but that’s another subject altogether. Anyway, back in the day, ethical guidelines governed reporting practices and the ways information could be conveyed. I’m not talking censorship – just good old fashioned right and wrong based on integrity. Even as recently as twenty years ago, information seemed to be delivered in artistic concision that encouraged the reader to ponder, analyze and mentally probe ideas and concepts.
Nowadays, a network television’s ten second report and/or a two paragraph blog entry can easily be appropriated as truth (or even passed off as news) without the consideration of alternative views and opinions from reliable sources. The onus is two-pronged in my opinion: readers must think for themselves and even-handed fairness must be the cornerstone of every blog entry released to the universe. Oh yes, I also have the responsibility to work on the pesky typos - just talkin about me.
What do you think?
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