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May 09, 2011

PRSA: Bloggers Play a Vital Role in Future of Journalism — Christian Science Monitor Letter to the Editor

PRSA had a letter to the editor of the The Christian Science Monitor published in the May 9, 2011, weekly edition in response to an April 18 op-ed by former Monitor editor John Hughes on the future of news organizations and media. 


Letters to the Editor: Death of News is Overhyped
Published: May 9, 2011

In his April 18 commentary "Despite media yammer, there's hope for real news," John Hughes offers a reasoned and optimistic outlook for the state of international journalism, rebutting the endemic skepticism and hysteria over the death of traditional media. While our lives now revolve around rapid-fire, digital-media consumption, whether via Twitter, blogs, or apps on our smart phones, we still crave thoughtful journalism that requires us to consider the broader world and how we fit into it.
It's a fallacy, however, that amateur bloggers and citizen journalists produce content that is of "unknown reliability and motivation, and subpar skills," as Mr. Hughes claims. One only has to look at how citizen journalists tweeting pictures of the devastation from the Japanese earthquake, for example, influenced the mainstream media's coverage and provided some of the earliest reports and images from the area.
The death of traditional media has been overhyped; what deserves greater attention is how the media must make better use of new and old forms of reporting to enrich our understanding of an ever-changing global society.
Rosanna M. Fiske
Chair and CEO
Public Relations Society of America
New York

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