Originally Posted by TheVulture
The problem with your argument is that there is no standard for credentialing, it is simply a matter of belonging to an organization with the means to publish and distribute material.
The counter argument is the non-traditional journalism is more credible for the fact that it is not controlled by those who simply have the means to control it. The editorial control is instead exerted via crowd-sourcing which results in a more truthful content since it is uncontrolled, not directed from the top down, with all the interests that corporate leadership is interested in protecting. Instead, those who have the most convincing argument are the ones who direct the nature of the discourse of information.
This argument is the same one offered by the author of self-published books that offer the "real story" of the secret world government, among others who line their hats with foil.
Yours is a distorted, inaccurate view of how journalists work. I'm not going to defend bad journalism, and there are plenty of examples of bad journalism in sports, maybe because it is, as David Letterman put it long ago, journalism's toy department. But reporters do what they do, getting paid whether people read their stories or not, because they want to tell the truth. Getting paid by how many people read your story would be a HUGE conflict of interest.
Obviously, there are people who prefer to believe the fallacies that you use in your argument. And many don't understand the difference between opinion columns and reporting fact. I will try to put my point as simply as I can.
You don't know me. You don't know who I am. If I offer a fact in this forum that I insist is true because I know it is true or because I heard it somewhere, but I won't tell you specifically, you have no reason to believe me. If I read in a newspaper a reporting of fact that has only the reporter/newspaper backing it up to be true, the only reason I have to believe that fact is my trust in the reporter/newspaper. I can consider the training that the reporter received to know when an anonymous source is supplying accurate information and that the newspaper, which couldn't exist without the public trust, has an obligation to report it accurately. But I am inclined to be skeptical because I know that information from anonymous sources is usually, overwhelmingly usually not 100 percent accurate if it cannot be backed up by sources that are identifiable.
If I read an internet blog reporting a fact, I have no reason to trust that fact if there is no source specifically identified unless I know and implicitly trust the specific blogger. Internet bloggers who benefit financially from the views to their sites have more incentive to sensationalize stories than newspapers do because people will click on the sensational, even if they don't believe it to be true because people will share links to such things. Often there is a financial incentive for bloggers to distort the truth or outright make things up that does not exist in newspapers because if they lose credibility there is no great financial sacrifice in shutting down and resurfacing under a different identity.
There is a lot of bad traditional journalism out there. There is more worse Internet journalism.
If you want credibility, back up your fact with a specific source. That applies to newspapers. That applies doubly to Internet sources that have nothing to lose by not reporting the truth.