Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Enterprising Bloggers Needed To Expose Corruption

So many Americans criticize the mainstream media for not exposing corruption in government. That’s true in too many cases but in the last ten years it’s not due entirely to their sympatric relationship with the Leftist politicians.

The real reason is enterprising news reporting takes money and resources. There is a depression in the news business these days that make reporting anything difficult. Newsrooms have had their manpower slashed by half over the last decade and things are only getting worse.

This creates great opportunities for bloggers to do what the TV news and print organizations can no longer do. It costs little or nothing for you to cover a story in your back yard. News organizations must spend a bundle just for reporters commuting to their stories.

Finding and publishing public records maintained in government records and databases is always safe as long as you credit the agency keeping the records as the source. You have no liability for erroneous or falsified public records as long as you did not create them.

Learn how to use those great and inexpensive Flip HD cameras. Editing video is easier than ever. If you have a Mac computer, any Apple Store will give you free lessons on editing video.

Carry your little camera at all times and when in doubt get the video. The next step is uploading it to a host such as YouTube. Once the video is uploaded, grab the embedded code and insert that into your blog.

It’s not enough just to point and shoot the camera. You must interview people that are either witnesses or involved in the story you are covering. Never forget to ask the people you talk to if they know anyone with inside information about your story.

You must be careful not to personally endorse the statements of witnesses you publish or you may be held responsible if they mislead you. Rather than saying someone is corrupt, your story can play it safe with, “Public records (or former employee) raise conflict of interest questions about photo radar enforcement contracts.”

Every television newsroom in the nation has gone the way of the Video Journalist or Backpacker Journalist. Reporters with producers and film crews are becoming endangered species. Today they send out one reporter with camera to do it all. I say it can be done and done well if the VJ is committed to bring in the story.

Bloggers are only limited by free time, geography or the inability to share their story.

Here is a great article about how ABC News must rely on enterprising VJ’s.

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