Credibility

Published On November 11, 2012 | By MoniqueE2E | Digital Journalism

 

Credibility is Your Number One Credential

By: Monique Gaudin

Paul Bradshaw of the Online Journalism Blog wrote on November 7, 2012 the day after the presidential election; “With campaigning camps communicating directly to the electorate, mere access to information has become ever more devalued. In this election it wasn’t that access which won out, but ultimately the analysis, understanding, and data literacy.”

In this era of social media and citizen journalism traditional reporting is increasingly being augmented by the public voice.  Gaining access to news events, whether in person or virtually is attainable, but as Marilyn Miller, producer, director, and editor, for Vegas PBS advises; “Credibility is a huge factor when it comes to producing, whether it be public television or commercial news, if you don’t have any kind of credibility, you really don’t have a shot at staying in the business.”

Marilyn Miller, Vegas PBS producer, director, & editor, shares some suggestions for bloggers. Photo: Monique Gaudin

In talking to Ms. Miller about press requirements for bloggers, in attending Vegas PBS town hall meetings and political debates, she shared; “For independent bloggers, we do look for certain things, such as making sure they are credentialed. Looking up their website, how do they post. Their credibility on where they stand.”  She further clarifies; “The credibility is there for two reasons. Number one, and first of all, is safety. Is that person who they say they are, and if they’re there for another reason, let’s say, to disrupt the actual event.  Our first priority is to make sure that the security is there. The second reason why, is that we want to make sure that they report the event as accurate as possible. We feel that if the viewers do not get an accurate view of what went on at the actual event, then we can’t allow them into the event at all.”

Tyler Mahoney of the Huffington Post editorialized this past week on the “news outlets” heavy reliance on the “power of citizen journalism” to report during Hurricane Sandy.  He stated: “During Hurricane Sandy, citizen journalism provided dangerous misinformation and fueled damaging rumors because it wasn’t appropriately checked and researched. Journalists are entrusted with providing accurate, accountable information to the public. Reporting can make and break reputations, affect global markets, influence public policy, and decide elections. With so much power concentrated in the fourth estate, it’s important that journalists follow rigid standards.”

According to Pew Research Center for People and the Press’ 2011 release of: Views of the News Media: 1985-2011, “While the press’s overall reputation in many areas has declined, majorities continue to say that news organizations care about how good a job they do (62%) and are highly professional (57%).”  A year later, this past September, in Pew’s release of: Trends in News Consumption: 1991-2012: “Nearly one-in-five Americans (17%) say they got news on a mobile device yesterday, with the vast majority of these people (78%) getting news on their cell phone.”  And, “perhaps the most dramatic change in the news environment has been the rise of social networking sites. The percentage of Americans saying they saw news or news headlines on a social networking site yesterday has doubled – from 9% to 19% – since 2010.”

Whether a blogger, or digital citizen driving collective participation, in reporting information or gaining access to public events, credibility is still your best credential.  “As a producer”, Ms. Miller shares, “when we do our research we actually look on some of these websites that some of the bloggers might have, the information we need to know is, if that person just a rumor gossip, or if they’re hard-core factual people, actually telling a story. How accurate that person is.”

Ms. Marilyn Miller is a 15-year, veteran with Vegas PBS. Starting as a volunteer, she is currently a producer, director and editor, most recently of the American Graduate and 7 political debates hosted by Vegas PBS.  She has also worked in commercial news.  Watch the video to see excerpts from the interview, covering media clearance, and confidential sources.

 

References:
The Public Broadcast System (PBS) “s a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations — noncommercial, educational licensees that operate more than 350 PBS member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.”

http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/in-changing-news-landscape-even-television-is-vulnerable/

http://www.people-press.org/2011/09/22/press-widely-criticized-but-trusted-more-than-other-institutions/

http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2012/11/07/the-us-election-was-a-wake-up-call-for-data-illiterate-journalists/

http://spark.qualcomm.com/blog/election-disruption-digital-citizens-and-mass-media

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tyler-mahoney/hurricane-sandy-citizen-journalism_b_2082596.html

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