Reporting news without the responsibility of reporting news | Tewspaper (note the warning label)



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I stumbled across a reference to Tewspapers in this article from CMS Wire about why newspapers are failing and journalists are being put out of work. I chuckled when the page loaded and immediately presented me with this warning label that no one takes any responsibility for anything I read here.

I can buy a connection between the kind of content that is behind Tewspaper and the fact of newspapers failing, since one of their problems is that they don’t have any exclusively anymore at all on most news. But I shake my head at the thinking that this replaces journalists. That’s true only if society fundamentally changes what it expects of someone it considers a journalist.

At the end of the day, even the most Net-savvy, plugged in, tuned-up, three-cat-keyboard-wearing member of the Now generation has some innate expectation of what heshe considers a real journalist to be. After all, this is not some made-up profession. This is a job that society created, like doctors and teachers, to fill a societal need. And almost always this expectation of what a journalist is has at least something to do with informing us about things we can at least trust to be worthy of our time to consider, and that the journalist accepts responsibility for wasting our time if it turns out whatever it is was not worthy.

Calling something a news vehicle at the same time it refuses to accept responsibility for its content seems to me to be a fundamental contradiction in terms. To be fair, Tewspaper does not make such a claim. It’s simply an interesting use of aggregation technology. No, the claim is something the media observers in the citing article put forward. But at least I’d call them journalists (perhaps just not terrible insightful) since they do put their names and reputations in front of what they reported.