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Newspapers Promoting Irresponsibility?

Jgs_newspaperstacked Talk with enough folks and you come to an understanding that people in this culture are becoming less and less responsible.  We hear/see/read in the news on a daily basis that, "Somebody else is responsible" for whatever the latest fiasco is.

That's why it is deeply troubling when journalists give way to allowing anonymity with news/opinion Blogs.  There is no responsibility.

Recently the Des Moines Register (a Gannett newspaper) attempted to explain to me why they allow and even encourage the practice of allowing individuals to remain anonymous when they post opinions to news stories or newspaper journalist Blogs.

Carolyn_washburn_from_gannett I received the following note from Carolyn Washburn, Editor of the Des Moines Register when I asked, "Why do you allow anonymity?"

"In terms of service we provide "digital natives" who have grown up on-line and have different expectations than folks most familiar with print newspaper standards.  Many Web users expect a very open discussion on-line and expect anonymity."

She continued:  "We want to allow every opportunity for people to debate and discuss the most important issues of our time.  We want people who have unpopular or politically incorrect opinions to be able to say them..."

Man_what "Digital Natives"?  I suspect that is a politically correct way to say, "Young People".  OK...all well and good but shouldn't we be expected to be RESPONSIBLE for our opinions?  And, as a reader/consumer/advertiser...don't you expect the message to be accountable?

Masked_man Just how much creditability do you give to an opinion on, "... the most important issues of our time" when it is offered by "WackoWomanFromWaukee" or "BlasterFromBeaverdale"?

This failed logic does two things:

  • Promotes irresponsible behavior and irrational rants;
  • Teaches "Digital Natives" that they can duck the credibility factor.

It also continues to boost the myth among some business owners that all Blogs are worthless and without merit.  Bad...

Shadowcn_9083 So, what say you?  Are you promoting responsibility...or have you decided, like Gannett, to allow the shadow of irresponsibility take over the discussion?

Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where you can always make contact with us by clicking here.