“I’m there, you’re not, let me tell you about it.”

An excerpt from a post by Jay Rosen, advising the next generation of journalists:

“Your authority starts with, “I’m there, you’re not, let me tell you about it.” If “anyone” can produce media and share it with the world, what makes the pro journalist special, or worth listening to? Not the press card, not the by-line, not the fact of employment by a major media company. None of that. The most reliable source of authority for a professional journalist will continue to be what James W. Carey called “the idea of a report.” That’s when you can truthfully say to the users, “I’m there, you’re not, let me tell you about it.” Or, “I was at the demonstration, you weren’t, let me tell you how the cops behaved.” Or, altering my formula slightly (but retaining the essence of it…) “I interviewed the workers who were on that oil drilling platform when it exploded, you didn’t, let me tell you what they said.” Or, “I reviewed those documents, you didn’t, let me tell you what I found.” Your authority begins when you do the work. It should be obvious from this that if an amateur or a blogger does the work, the same authority is earned. Seeing people as a public means granting that without rancor.”

I think the full post is a must read for all journalists (or bloggers, for that matter).

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