To quote the great Dennis Miller, “Now I don’t want to get off on a rant here…”

However, I think that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing.

I’m of the opinion that in the last decade the quality of journalism in all forms, but especially tech journalism, has been in decline.  This seems to be related to the rise of the web journalist. I’m talking about the new form of instant gratification journalism that has less fact checking, and apparently little to no copy-editing either.

When did traditional media outlets decide that it’s fine to let articles be presented to the wide world without making sure they’re polished and have their facts in place?

Who decided this was a good idea?

Now I’m not going to name individual outlets here.  I will say that it’s ridiculous when a majority of their articles are replete with misspellings, grammar errors, and ‘facts’ that have no sourcing or do not properly credit the source.  The sites I refer to are not simple blogs, but big media sites that are often cited as the source material for other smaller sites.  When did responsible journalism fall out of fashion?

What happens when you call these journalists out on their sloppy reporting?  Often times it’s either met with silence, or with ridicule.  That’s right.  The community of posters, or often times even the article writers will show no respect for your attempt to give them constructive criticism.  The rally cry around these postings is often something like ‘grammar nazi’ or ‘go back to your cave troll’.  When did people become so ridiculous that they equate a critique to the killing of millions of Jewish people?

I know that when I receive a note from someone that is well written, noting a mistake, I’ll almost always thank the person and fix the error.  The only time this doesn’t apply is if it is worded rudely.  Then I’ll take the time to write them back and note that rudeness is not required, and then fix the error.

In fact I’ve had a managing editor at a well known tech site literally curse at me.  He couldn’t handle my critique of their site and how they handle their members. Instead of discussing the situation he decided to fire away.  I have to say that I’m personally tired of this type of behavior. It is irrational and irresponsible.

What do you think?

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