Dave Winer gets this dead on:
I practice this myself. There are some things I'm expert at. And some experiences I have that are newsworthy even though I'm not an expert. When I went to the DNC in 2004, I wasn't an expert at the political process, but I brought a digital camera, a MP3 recorder, and my laptop, so I took pictures, did podcasts, and blogged. Put enough normal people in a room covering an event, and you've got coverage. And in my recent experience with MacBooks, a few reporters offered to do phone interviews, which I declined. I said I had written it all up on the blog, all of it is on the record, for attribution, and having a pretty good idea how the interview process works, and the results it produces, the only rational thing for me to do these days is to decline the interview. I predict that more and more people will do that, unless the pros get their act together.
When we went on vacation last summer, I had someone from a local paper do a "man in the street" interview with my wife and I about the security regime at the airport (this was right after the whole "no liquids" thing). We spoke to the woman for 30 seconds, and she was taking notes. When I got back, I saw the item in a local paper - she invented quotes.
That's just shoddy. Digital recorders are cheap, and it would have been very easy for this reporter to get what we actually said down - but that would have been too hard, apparently. The pros in media aren't as professional as they think they are - and the level of respect they get (see: any survey on public attitudes about reporters) reflects that reality. They keep not getting that, and it's going to cause increasing pain for them over time.
Update: Dave added more here. Also good stuff.
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