Wired has a story on the journalism curriculum at NYU, where the profs are asking some questions:
For as far back as anyone can remember, New York University has used introductory courses to drill students on the basics: "ledes," "nut grafs," the "inverted pyramid" and the "five Ws" - who, what, where, when, why (and No. 6: how). But at a time when the vast majority of our students who enter the job market will never work for a newspaper, does it make sense to stick with tradition?
Why would the basics change just because of a move to the web? Do the pixels make things that much different? Here's the reason for the question:
Could it be beneficial to jettison "objectivity" and "balance" in favor of transparent bias, much like bloggers (and online columnists) do? Would it be wise to encourage our students to exchange fact-based narrative for edgy commentary and digital trash talk? And if we were to banish the inverted pyramid to the scrapheap of history, what could we replace it with?
Yep, that's all we bloggers are - a bunch of trash talking opportunists. Has this guy ever heard of the editorial page? Most blogging is a combination of editorial comment and "letters to the editor". Do newspapers that offer an editorial opinion jettison objectivity elsewhere (well, that's another argument. The point is, there's no requirement that they do so).
There's plenty of room on the net for objective reporting and for opinion dispersal. The only thing that's really changed is the ability to hide/ignore errors of fact. Before the rise of blogs, fact checkers had to send a letter to the paper and hope it would get published. Now they can link to the story and have Google push their commentary up. Wired gets this right at the end of the article:
But when all is said and done, I still expect that each student will know how to craft a hard news lede on a tight deadline. Because whether we're talking today or 10 years ago, it's not the medium, it's the reporter.