Dan Rather’s Blogging “Gray Area”
CNET sat down with former CBS news anchor Dan Rather at the recent SXSW conference and got his opinion on everything from blogs to net neutrality. Considering Rather pretty much lost his job at CBS due to bloggers questioning a report on President Bush’s National Guard service record, you’d think Rather would hate bloggers. Interestingly, Rather believes there is room for bloggers as serious journalists.
Q: Did you see blogging as a serious journalistic endeavor before the CBS dustup over President Bush’s military record?
Rather: Some parts of it I did. As I’ve said many times, I think it’s very easy to generalize about blogging, which is a big sphere, and growing bigger every day. But there were parts of it I considered to be serious. Anybody who blogs, who does real reporting, which is to say, make telephone calls, go interview people, go talk to people, in a spirit of independence…and (tries) to do journalism with integrity, I would consider a journalist.
Rather then explains a second category of blogger that fits into a “gray area”.
Of course there are an increasing number of bloggers now who by any definition are reporters, or journalists. There are some others who in my opinion would fit into a gray area. They may do good reporting, but they mix in their own opinion, their own point of view, without clearly signifying the difference. Now that’s not a kind of journalism that I practice. It’s not one that I’m going to damn either.
And that, my dear readers, is the area that I love to live in. I think there’s plenty of traditional news media online – simple unbiased reporting of the news – why would you choose Marketing Pilgrim for that type of coverage? Instead, we provide a mix of general news reporting, but with our own secret blend of herbs and spices. Of course, I want to provide you with the news, but I also want to encourage you to think about the news, discuss it with me, argue with me, laugh with me (or at me) and come away with a different way of thinking about the news you read on Reuters or in the WSJ.