Interactivity and Media Ethics

Reacting to the flap over the Washington Post closing the comments of one of its blogs, Jeff Jarvis interviews himself on the topic of media interactivity and gleans some excellent insights. Two choice examples:

Q: Should there be an expectation of civility in interactivity?

A: As much as there is in life.

We see two mistakes in the discussion surrounding the Post blog:

First, too many people judge interactivity by the worst of it, which is rather like refusing to visit New York because you hear there are a few assholes there. This, I think, comes mostly from people who wish they could dismiss interactivity, and the internet and blogs with it. Sorry, but interactivity — and New York — are here to stay.

The second mistake some people make is assuming that the rest of us can̢۪t figure out who the assholes are. With that comes the presumption that we need to be protected from the bozos, that that is media̢۪s (and, in other contexts, government̢۪s) job. People sometimes ask me why I don̢۪t kill stupid comments from various bozos. I reply that I figure most people know they̢۪re bozos and judge them accordingly.

[…]

Q: By the way, do we really need ombudsmen?

A: No.

Everyone in a newspaper should have a direct relationship with the public. They should all be their own ombudsmen.

Good advice, methinks.

FILED UNDER: General, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. LJD says:

    So, what exactly is wrong with avoiding New York because there are a ‘few a-holes’ there?

  2. bryan says:

    First, too many people judge interactivity by the worst of it, which is rather like refusing to visit New York because you hear there are a few assholes there.

    Like people who interview themselves for their blog?