There has recently been a bit of a flap going on within technology reporting circles between bloggers and reporters. At issue is the concern that blogs publish unfounded rumours, whereas newspapers publish only the truth (that old chestnut). At the centre of this curfluffle is this piece in the NY Times.
At heart it is a stupid debate that is founded in the inability (on probably both sides of the argument) to recognise that social media is fundamentally different from institutionalised media. As I have said before – truth within social media is founded in process. It is crystalised in the reception of information. Truth within institutionalised media is vested in the publication of information. Or as Clay Shirky has put it publish then filter versus filter then publish. Jeff Jarvis also hits on the same issue here – although he couches it as product versus process.
It is only when newspapers work out how their world has been changed by social media and what their role is within it, that this debate can become fruitful. Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.