What is IT journalism anyway? (was - RE: [LINK] Open source just
as insecure as Windows)
Wed Nov 13 02:21:20 EST 2002
(Linkers - thread-shifting so that those who wish can delete!!)
James - my meaning was that specialisation is acceptible for other
journalists, so why should IT be different?
[OK, we might get snooty about sports reporting and say "IT is more
difficult", but having seen how big Peter Fitzsimons is, I'd ask for warning
before anyone said it to him in person!]
Let's hope I can get this set down without causing even more insult. I'm
going to make a statement, and invite the individual I use as an example to
correct me if I'm wrong.
Alan Kohler, the business journalist, may or may not have economics in his
formal studies; but he has specialised for some time in what he does. I am
sure that the "too diverse" argument applies to his field as it does to
ours. I doubt if Mr Kohler would claim intricate knowledge of each and every
His specialty is >business reporting<. As such, I would presume he knows the
limits of his business knowledge just as you and I would confess the limits
of our technical knowledge.
I think - happy to be corrected - that the root of the controversy is this:
when a journalist is offered the chance to interview a tourist, is it
sufficient to present a single opinion as news?
I yield the floor.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: James Pearce [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, 13 November 2002 09:43
> To: Link
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Open source just as insecure as Windows
> > > some people on the List seem to think journalists should
> be/always are
> > > experts on every subject they write about and that they
> only write what
> > they
> > > think, not what the subject says. Doesn't work like that guys.
> > Works fine for the sport section (eg Roy Masters).
> > Works fine for the business section (eg Stephen Bartholomeusz).
> > Works fine for investigative (Paul Barry).
> > Works fine for the Canberra press gallery.
> > Specialists do fashion. And Motoring. And cooking. So how
> come IT isn't
> > important enough to require specialisation?
> I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here, Richard. Are you
> saying that specialists do sport and business and
> investigative, or that
> asking questions is sufficient for those areas?
> Anyway, to answer your question, IT is too diverse a field to
> become an
> expert in. For example:
> domain names
> content laws
> standards for everything
> operating systems
> different regions and countries
> viruses, worms, trojans, hackers
> security in general, including vulnerabilities
> computer markets (desktops, laptops, PDAs)
> business laws
> privacy laws
> applications (each of which is almost a specialisation in
> itself, eg .NET,
> Web Services, etc)
> These are just off the top of my head. Some of these can be grouped
> together, some can be seperated into further specialisations,
> and so on. It
> would be nice to become knowledgeable in an area you are
> reporting on, and
> most people tend to write stories about certain topics,
> because they know
> about them. But if a journalist is told to write a story
> about a topic they
> are unfamiliar with, they are going to have to write the
> story based on what
> they hear at the interview. In this case, they have to make
> it clear it is
> someones opinion.
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