EDITORIAL: Increased communication is a double-edged sword

Increased opportunities to comment on stories doesn’t change to tenets of journalism

Journalism is not a participatory sport.

Despite the myriad ways technology has allowed us to connect more closely and frequently with our audiences, there are still boundaries.

We love hearing from you, we do. We often engage our readers in debate via social media to gauge the public’s temperature on a given subject, because without you, we’re just a bunch of words on a page.

But, citizen journalism is getting out of hand.

We put our names and faces on the line every time we hit ‘send’ and watch a story go live. We watch and brace for the scrutiny, with technology making it possible to reach more eyes and ears than ever before. We breathe deeply as the e-mails, social media comments and envelopes full of edited newspaper clippings arrive, telling us all the ways in which we fail at our jobs.

Here’s the thing – we’re human. But we are humans who trained to do this job and we’re doing it to the best of our abilities, given the unique pressures a 24-hour news cycle has posed to an industry that is working hard and continues to move forward.

Our ability to update a story on the web, as new information becomes available, does not equate to allowing random requests to rewrite our stories to suit another’s taste. Also, the ability to connect with us directly is not a licence to slam our names or our work. Those outside our industry may not be aware of factors that sometimes hinder our storytelling.

It’s become far too easy to scream ‘Fake News!’ when one doesn’t understand or agree with what they are reading or watching.

We’re not immune to critique – we welcome the constructive kind. We just humbly point out that we’re not showing up to point out “errors” in others’ work, so please leave the journalism to us, because we’re still pouring our blood, sweat and tears into it.

Just Posted

Meet Your Candidates: Learn more about the Esquimalt council candidates

We asked candidates what changes they would make in the municipality

BC SPCA sees successful weekend from adoption sales

On Saturday animal shelters across the province reduced their adoption fees

Afternoon collision launches vehicle through downtown Victoria business

Two female drivers and staff of CEV Victoria uninjured, but visibly shaken

West Shore RCMP tape off Langford law office sent suspicious substance last month

No confirmation as to why police were back at Hemminger Law Group Monday afternoon

Two drivers crash through Victoria homes in two weeks

VicPD say alcohol is believed to a factor in both incidents

Campers near Saanich municipal hall await response from transportation ministry

MOTI expected to decide Monday when campers need to leave

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read