Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Librarianship and journalism - are they connected?

2008jun10. The 35 articles of impeachment introduced by Dennis Kucinich yesterday. Not covered by NYT FOX CBS ABC CBS CNN etc mmm big MSM luv you bet

Anyone who watches The Colbert Report knows that the MSM is both high comedy and high tragedy. The Daily Show is a daily reminder that 'the news' is just directed attention to events construed by a small group of editors. One could say that it has always been this way. Unless news outlets realize that investigative journalism is their critical function, their days of printing money may be over.

I am interested in libraries, blogging, the media, and open government and I think I've thought of one instance where they all intersect. We clearly cannot trust MSM to bring attention to the day's important events and discoveries. That is why it is essential that an archive of the raw material of news - the press releases, the government reports, the committee agendas and minutes, the legislature, the video feeds, the full-text of budgets - should be made available to all for word-of-mouth reporting.

And just like the news media, the library's critical function of being a subsidized source of organized information is also being eroded by the Internet. It used to be that if you wanted to find a newspaper older than a couple of days, you had to go to your public library to get it. We could do worse that provide our citizens with the information that they can't get from the MSM.

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