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08 May 2004

Back to Iraq 3.0: Various updates and some hard truth

Christopher, who unlike most of us bloggers is a "real" journalist, writes about the standards of proof that journalists need to be using in anti-war reporting - e.g., coalition atrocities. (By the way, I didn't mean to slight him or journalists by putting the quotes on "real" but rather to imply that in a way, we should all be real journalists, or in other words, being an amateur is an excuse for some things but not for just anything.) And this goes to the heart of what Christopher is saying. Blogging is this new media phenomenon which has a good and a bad side to it. And part of the bad side is that it contributes to the fact that the web is rife with rumour and it's hard to know what to believe. And especially when you add a dirty big war into the mix and some "real" journalists are so clouded with ideology and outrage that they think the rules don't apply to them. All this makes me weary and sad, as opposed to the outrages themselves which make me weary, ashamed, angry and feeling helpless. Because my natural instinct is to identify with and apologise for the idealistic anti-war crusader who is compelled to get out his message "by any means necessary". But, possibly because I once harboured a desire to be a journalist and even completed two and a half years of a journalism degree before switching to something else, in my heart I know that Christopher is right, and that neither the war nor blogging is an excuse to let the standards slip.

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