Roger L. Simon

Look Down, Mr. Dvorkin

In his otherwise decent apologia pro vita NPR regarding blogs, NPR’s ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin asks:

Third, while the bloggers will make life uncomfortable for the media, ultimately, it is a sign of a healthy democratic give-and take. A question for the bloggers is, “what are your standards? How can the rest of us know that your sources are reliable?”

Making the rich and powerful squirm is a short-lived measure of journalistic success — both for the mainstream media and presumably, for the blogs.

Bloggers must be as accountable to the public as they demand the rest of us must be. That means there should be some consequence for spreading false or partial information. Any thoughts on what those consequences might be would be a useful discussion.

Well, Mr. Dvorkin, at the bottom of this post you will see a comments section. It is open, far more open than anything at NPR. If I make an error, I usually know about it in minutes – as do my readers. I have to correct it or I seem like an idiot or worse (a liar). My reputation, which is also available to you by clicking “about,” is badly besmirched. So there you go. Your question is answered. Your turn.

UPDATE: Steve Verdon offers more food-for-thought for Mr. Dvorkin.

MORE: I call your attention to the thoughts of Frederick in the comments.