Yeah, sorry. While important events were happening, I did not blog. Reason was, I was trying to figure out what to do about cobwebs. I was also trying to come to terms with some baffling rants.

Sunday, it was not a certain US presidential candidate’s ravings which were awfully entertaining. Nor was it the other candidate.

It was not the emails – yours, mine. Nor THE emails which may, or may not be duplicates the FBI have already ploughed through. Mails the contents of which the FBI is, or is not yet familiar with. Mails which according to a certain FBI person may not, or may have something to do with a certain US presidential candidate.

It was not the news that protests and a petition were started to complain about a certain FBI person’s behaviour. It was not his breaking with certain traditions – again. It was not whoever needed to waffle about mails, the FBI, the financial markets’ reaction to all this, the polls, the predictions, points, chicken’s wishbone – and worse.

It were the media.
Sunday evening, entertaining ranters could be seen on CNN yet again.
But they were not politicians.

It were journalists, complaining about social media and journalistic standards. More precise: they ranted about the bad influence social media have on proper journalistic standards.

You, me, all of us – who dare tweet, facebook, blog, whatsapp, whatsup, and worse – use whatever modern media to react to whatever journalists do or do not report on are to blame. Using social media to comment on a campaign, candidates, catastrophes and worse, is to blame for appallingly low and sliding journalistic standards.

Honestly, I thought I had not got the message right, but it was repeated several times. You know how ranters tend to repeat opinions.

The criticism was directed at all social media users – so by sheer chance it includes US presidential candidates twittering like mad. Or at least to whoever uses modern media and is not overly bothered by journalistic standards.

You staring at the ceiling over this?
Well, I was.

I was sitting on the couch, being blamed for lowering journalistic standards.
I was staring at the ceiling – noticing cobwebs.

Journalistic standards?
Media standards?
What standards?
Which standards are they talking about?

Quality papers’ ones? Nah – hardly any quality left.
Gutter press ones? They have none.
CNN or American reality tv ones? Newsweek’s one? Phone hacking ones? The Murdochs’ ones?

Press folks complaining on television about social media not abiding by journalistic standards: honestly! Who helped and continue to help lower journalistic standards to well below sink-hole level?

It is not us listening, reading, watching the news and then reacting by whatever means we have, including discussion forums offered on media websites. It starts with the press over-reacting, hyping, inflating things beyond recognition, forgetting impartiality, being downright biassed and going as far as hacking people’s phones, laptops, servers, and worse.

Today, I watched CNN and they sought out voters and allowed these voters to explain why they had voted for one or another presidential candidate. CNN journalists hyped this as “bad mouthing the other candidate(s)”. The voters interviewed did not rant, nor use four-letter words. They simply stated opinions.

As for that certain FBI person: the guy was probably just broody. According to certain standard-obeying, proper journalists, he sat on the mails from well before October. Then, against his boss’ advice, he dropped the hot potato – as promised to senators – and delivered a real stinker. According to certain media, this FBI person may now be investigated himself.

Regardless: next time you twitter, blog, facebook, mail, use whatever modern media – bear in mind your grammar, spelling, word choice, emoticons, diacritics and all the rest … so as not to lower journalistic standards. Otherwise, a few people will get very upset.


CNN Politics


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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