When we moved this blog to WordPress, there were several very good reasons for doing so. Many were back-end reasons that don’t really affect you, the reader/commenter/contributor. However, we also felt the need for a fresh start because the original blog had become overwhelmed with wild, undocumented, bullying and sometimes hateful comments from “Anonymous.”
Anonymous needed a rest.
Plus, we are serious about taking this blog up a notch or two from grousing and complaining to real fact delivering. This says it all: “In this era of ‘community journalism’ and ‘citizen reporters’, in which any blogger with an opinion and a URL can post their version of the truth, there’s something to be said for maintaining a higher standard.” DeKalb School Watch intends to maintain a higher standard.
Toward that end:
- Please choose a pseudonym that is more individual and original than “Anonymous.”
- Please stick with the same pseudonym and use it each time you comment. Or, feel free to use your real name. Believe it or not, your real name is powerful and carries more punch.
- Please document all claims, including a link, if possible. For example, if you say, “I heard” in a comment, please tell “where you heard” and/or “from whom you heard.” Or, if you reference an article or a study, please be specific: title of article or study and publication place/date (a Google search should provide you with the necessary information to include).
- Please make sure you know what you are talking about. Several times lately we have had to correct gross inaccuracies.
Why is this important? Why are we being so picky?
According to Investigative Shortfall, an article by Mary Walton published in the September 2010 American Journalism Review, “Many news outlets are doing far less accountability reporting than in the past, bad news indeed for the public.”
“What happens, Walton asked Tom Dubocq, former investigative reporter for the Palm Beach Post, when people like him vanish from the newsrooms ofAmerica?
“ ‘The bad guys get away with stuff,’ replied Dubocq.
“Kicked out, bought out or barely hanging on, investigative reporters are a vanishing species in the forests of dead tree media and missing in action on Action News. I-Teams are shrinking or, more often, disappearing altogether. Assigned to cover multiple beats, multitasking backpacking reporters no longer have time to sniff out hidden stories, much less write them.”
“ ‘Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty,’ Andrew Jackson declared in his 1837 Farewell Address. But what if the people don’t know what’s going on? ‘All citizens have a right to petition the government for redress of grievances,’ former Newsday Editor Anthony J. Marro, a onetime investigative reporter and a champion of accountability journalism, told a gathering of the Vermont ACLU last year, ‘but, as simplistic as it sounds, without a strong press they often don’t know what the grievances are.’ ”
Read more at Investigative Shortfall.
Are bloggers journalists? According to Electronic Frontier Foundation, “what makes a journalist a journalist is whether news is being gathered for dissemination to the public, not the method or medium.” DeKalb School Watch blog, like paid journalists, protects the public’s right to know. Many bloggers, like DeKalb School Watch, are picking up the slack left by the disappearance of investigative journalists who are vanishing from news media payrolls.
However, the bloggers who maintain this blog have “real” jobs – and this blog is not one of them. This is unpaid and we do not have time to double-check all claims and “statements of fact.” If we catch a mistake before it is published, we do not publish it. Too often, however, the untrue “statement of fact” is already out there. All we can do is apologize for the error, remove it from the blog – and try not to publish from that contributor again.
That said, if by chance the information in a post or comment is incorrect, please politely state your correction (with corroborating documentation) in the comments or e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have found that bloggers are their own best editors and misinformation is quickly corrected by our alert readers.
Please help us maintain an investigative, factual blog that will hold DeKalb County school officials accountable while getting rid of and bringing to justice those who are corrupt.
“Millstones of Justice turn exceedingly slow, but grind exceedingly fine.” ~John Bannister Gibson (1780-1853), American jurist, Pennsylvania Supreme Court