Wednesday, June 9, 2010


churnalism = churn + journalism

An apt portmanteau for the result of the Internet's 24-hour news cycle. There are people out there who are gainfully employed in churning out "journalism" based on press releases and Twitter memes, often without any fact-checking or corroboration.

The fate of news agencies in the Web 2.0 age is in flux. Some believe that paid journalists will soon be a thing of the past, since everyone and their mother can (and does) post "news" as soon as it happens, and that news is then proliferated across the Web.

I can only hope that this is will not be the case. We need honest-to-blog investigative journalists to get the real story and check the facts, or we will quickly be led astray. Twitter and its ilk does have its place in disseminating information -- though it sometimes is misinformation -- but it cannot replace true journalism.

As Mashable CEO and founder Pete Cashmore recently put it: "I first learned Michael Jackson died on Twitter, but I also learned Justin Bieber died on Twitter."

Find out more about churnalism from Word Spy.