Let’s put this to bed once and for all, shall we?
There’s no such thing as “internet journalism” – there is journalism, and then there is everything else.
There is some very good journalism out there in newspapers, magazines and on the internet, and an awful lot of very bad journalism too.
Whether it appears doesn’t matter – journalism is journalism, end of story.
Not in Ireland, apparently. An article in this morning’s Irish Times (don’t worry, I won’t be paying for the link) does the usual half-cocked job of attacking everything on the Internet, all at once.
Contrary to the preferences of millions around the globe – many of them journalists – Twitter is dismissed out of hand as simply a tool to showcase gossip and bad grammar.
The writer attempts to portray the Internet and social media as lawless badlands of bullying and libel, despite the fact that the law of the land applies as equally to online publication as it does everywhere else.
Then there is the Daily Mail-lite argument that people behave ignorantly online, as if somehow it is the Internet, rather than people themselves, that is responsible for such behaviour.
Then there is the lovely irony of the central argument: “so-called internet journalism is at a level equivalent to the Stone Age.”
The Internet has revolutionised how news is conveyed and how we consume it, but the basic tenets of journalism have not been changed one iota.
To pretend otherwise is to obscure “the story of why” (to borrow the cute phrase from the Irish Times) traditional media – in particular Irish newspapers – are struggling to adapt to changes in the industry.