Why I think untrained journalists are a bad idea.

If you read as much tech media as I do, you’d pull your hair out in frustration.

The vast majority of those writing for any number of Mac news sites simply shouldn’t be “reporting”. They don’t know how.

Just because you can type doesn’t mean you can write. Just because some web site publisher has asked you to report on a story, doesn’t mean you have the chops to do so.

The vast majority of (untrained) journalists do not have the proper filters, contacts, or background to handle these kinds of stories. They don’t know when to call into question potentially bad information. They don’t have people to call to verify, confirm, or simply gut-check the information. And, they don’t have the knowledge…to ask the right questions about this kind of situation and then provide valuable perspective that can help the public understand the larger implications.

Without this kind of perspective, tech sites (are) likely to propagate many of the rumors and false information…spreading like wildfire across the web. Acting as a megaphone for that stuff negatively impacts their readers and the public at large.

I stole and slightly rewrote the above paragraph from Jason Hiner’s story “Why tech media had no business covering the Boston Marathon bombing” but I think it also fits in with so much of what we read in the tech media in general and certainly the Mac media specifically.

I’ve always said that journalism is too important to leave it to the untrained masses.

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