New Media Is Not Always Better Media

Judging by Robyn Good’s article on Technorati about celebrity legal issues, “new media” still has a lot of maturing to do.

There is much buzz about how “new media” is a revolutionary replacement for traditional media. Concepts such as blogs, podcasts, video sharing and hyper-local journalism are supposed to be powerful, because they are more immediate. They give power to everyday citizens who otherwise would not have the employment or connections to have their voices heard. Furthermore, traditional media outlets have numerous reasons to blame themselves for their declining credibility and popularity.

However, as this article on Technorati by Robyn Good perfectly exemplifies, new media has no guarantees that  its products will be held to any professional journalistic standards.

Ms. Good makes statements in her article such as “By all accounts, OJ was guilty” and “A man like this who murders his ex-wife out of pure malice and jealousy does not deserve to live amongst us”.

These comments sound more like outbursts of a teenager on a social network page, which is really where the whole article belongs, or on a personal blog at best. The ease with which people can become writers for sites lowers the quality of journalism, regardless of whether it is new or traditional media.

The point is not even whether O.J. Simpson was guilty of murder or not. The point is that it is not Ms. Good’s decision, but the people’s, and a jury of 12 of Mr. Simpson’s human peers have decided that he was not guilty of murder. The wrongful death lawsuit is a different matter, but for the record, Mr. Simpson has never been convicted of murder.

If the emotional and unprofessional tone of Ms. Good’s style is any indication of her convictions, she would also probably rather want innocent people given the death penalty just because she thinks they are guilty.

Poor article, poor style, poor objectivity. It appears all those degrees and travels Ms. Good lists on her profile have not taught her anything to appreciate the protection American justice system provides to citizens. Since is a personal site, not a claiming to be a profesional new or traditional media outlet, my advice to Ms. Good–since she likes to travel–is to spend some time in a few of the failed states of the world to gain balanced perspectives on justice and the rights of accused people. What Ms. Good has produced with her article is not “celebrity research” or “editorial journalism”. Her style is better suited for “art, fashion, & gourmet cooking”.