News Industry Needs More ‘Responsible Reporting’

Daisy thumps up a storm when mad or impatient, and she shows little willingness to wait for Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers. Give us some peace, bunny, the book published today. The new title lists for $7.99 and is available from AmazonGoogle Play, and Smashwords.


Overwhelmed by the Google “free economy” and post-PC devices and social services, news organizations often fail their responsibility to deliver accurate, timely reports. Responsible Reporting identifies problems with the online news news industry; sets realistic principles for news gathering and writing well; and proposes sensible practices for what writer’s Shel Israel and Robert Scoble call the Age of Context.


1. News in Context

I. In Just Eight Years

II. The Aggregator’s Dilemma

III. ’Desperate Panhandlers’

IV. The Leech That Feeds

V. The Great Google God

VI. The Two Masters

Responsible-Reporting-Cover2. The New Journalisms

I. Contextual Journalism

II. Process Journalism

III. Conversational Journalism

IV. Advocacy Journalism

V. Mob Journalism

3. What You Must Do

I. Audience Matters

II. Brand Whom

III. Sacred Trust

IV. The Prime Directive

V. Who Benefits

VI. Objects of Conflict

VII. Being Original

VIII. Numbers Nine

IX. Film Noir

Excerpt 1

“Forensic coroners autopsying the traditional news media typically identify Craigslist, and services like it, for the death. Google is the killer, not free online classifieds. Murder weapon: Shift from audience as measure of advertising’s value during the print publication heyday to pageviews and related traffic/click measures online.
“Yes, circulation matters for magazine and newspaper advertising, but the metric favors audience, too. Strangely, all these newfangled online measurement tools, from Google and others, are supposed to be a demographic goldmine for advertisers. So why are clicks and pageviews so much the measure? Because Google’s search monopoly and advertising dominance demand it”.

Excerpt 2

“Objectivity in journalism is a myth. It’s a fiction, a grand illusion, like the Wizard of Oz. But behind the curtain, obscured by smoke and lights, there is nothing but a little man with an agenda.
“Bias is unavoidable. It’s everywhere, and every journalist seeking balance when writing stories fools himself or herself when denying this. There’s no such thing as objective reporting. Bias is built into the fabric of culture. Your vantage point, whether visual, cultural, biological, logistical, or whatever other “ical” applied, shapes how and what you write about”.

Excerpt 3

“Mob journalism is news generated by the crowd. The mob gets ahold of something one of its members deems interesting and widely spreads it. There is a different quality to mob journalism—a unified sense of rightness about what’s shared…
“Mob journalism is a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands. The crowd’s voice—amplified across Facebook, Twitter, and similar sharing tools—can be useful for investigative and other types of reporting when wielded by discerning, responsible news gatherers. Mishandled, rapid-fire online reaction is too easily an assault rifle blasting apart anything but the mob’s viewpoint”.

Responsible Reporting is available for review. Email joe at bunnybows dot com for a free copy.

Click here for the backstory about writing the book.

Photo Credit: Anne Wilcox