Media Today

Questions: Are bloggers journalists?

Some are and some aren’t. I mean blogging is . . . is really simply just . . . Writing on a computer screen is . . . is . . . is . . . is . . . is just a mode of transmission. It’s like saying, “Are all people who write on paper journalists?” No. It depends how they write, how they do their research, and then . . . and then what they write, and what perspective they take on what they’re doing. I think that journalism is not necessarily easy to define; but I think . . . and it’s certainly . . . I don’t think it has to be defined by objectivity. There are journalists who are not objective; but I do think it involves . . . it . . . it . . . It involves some element, I think . . . It has grown to evolve . . . It wasn’t always historically the case, but it is in our time in recent . . . in recent times grown to involve some notion of independence; some idea that your opinions are independently arrived at, and not controlled by . . . by larger interests, whether those be a political party, or . . . or a corporation that is in a crude . . . that could be crudely paying you, or just that you could see yourself so aligned with that you couldn’t be thinking for yourself. I think that’s very . . . that’s one important element. The other element is some degree of research so that you . . . that you’re not simply writing whatever comes off the top of your head, but you’re either talking to people or your reading things. You’re doing . . . you’re doing . . . in some way trying to assimilate information, and transmit that information, process that information from outside. So I think those are two things that can help to think about what it would mean for people to be journalists in this Internet age.

Recorded on: 9/12/07






Writing should be judged by its quality, not its venue.

Why a great education means engaging with controversy

Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
  • During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
  • If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
  • Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
Keep reading Show less

Are these 100 people killing the planet?

Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Jordan Engel, reused via Decolonial Media License 0.1
Strange Maps
  • Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
  • This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
  • The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
Keep reading Show less

SpaceX catches Falcon Heavy nosecone with net-outfitted boat

It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
  • A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
  • A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
Keep reading Show less