'Trust' seems to be a major preoccupation in big media - at least in the U.K.
Last week, I was in London to speak on a citizen media panel, alongside representatives from three of the UK's large media companies. The three delivered a seamlessly choreographed show of hand-wringing and serious nods over the ostensible lack of quality control among citizen media.
My own knee-jerk empathy was on full volume during the panel. But, afterwards, the waves of regret washed over me. Trust? Media? Quality control? Citizen media? Wasn't it the constant barrage of citizen media that forced the issue of WMDs to the forefront? Who bit that story, hook, line and sinker?
Outright lies aside, what about selective data presentation, of which sensationalism is but one flavor? I was reminded of this in Dan Gillmor's elegantly simple post responding to a Washington Post headline.
We know that truth is relative, and may be unique based upon the confluence of history, science, and time. We also know from history that consolidation of power in the hands of a few leads to consolidation of information access, and the inevitably resultant distortions of the truth. In that environment, we the people should be grateful for our citizen information watchdogs - bloggers. Keeping big media honest.