I know we can DIY many things such as bags, books and food, but never heard that we can DIY news. When I read the book of Graham Meikle, “Interpreting News”, the phase of “DIY news” first came into my eyes. In the book, the author states there is a DIY spirit including indymedia which allow users to set up their own media networks, and these independent media networks allow them to DIY their own identities and news.
It means everyone can use the indymedia to produce news by themselves. I think this kind of press freedom has some advantages and disadvantages.
People can post the news instantly whenever or wherever, with less control from third party. But it will bring risks to the basic requirements of news such like privacy, account safety, newsworthy and healthy content, as well as truthful information. So if people post news, they have to obey the ethical rules for journalists even they are not journalists.
- Report honestly about accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all necessory facts.
- Do not place unnecessary emphasis on race, ethnicity, nationality, age, sexual orientation, family relationships, religious belief, or physical or intellectual disability.
- Report facts excluding personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit.
- Do not allow advertising or other business use.
- Do your utmost to ensure disclosure of any direct or indirect payment made for interviews, pictures, information or stories.
- Present pictures, sound and videos which are true and accurate.
- Do not plagiarize.
- Respect private grief and personal privacy.
People may argue that they should not obey these standards because they are not the journalists who work at news agencies. But I think the point is the news not journalist. If they want to post and disseminate information as news, they should consider the qualifications of news which are similar to the requirements of journalists.
People should take the responsibilities of what they post, because they may influence or shape the viewers’ opinions on the issues. If the information they post is fake or unethical, the viewers will receive and form wrong and bad attitudes towards the issue or the world.
For example, there was a news said that Lovenstein Institute of Scranton found that President George. W. Bush’s IQ level was at 91 which was the lowest one among presidents of last 50 years. But linkydinky.com a reliable and reputable news source doubted the truth of the finding of Dr. Lovenstein because they found that Dr. Lovenstein lived in a mobile home in Scranton where mismatched the status of being the Dr. Lovenstein.
such fake news warped the fair and right attitudes of people towards President George. W. Bush, some people lost faith to President Bush, and even fighted against the government, which caused bad influenced on President Bush, the government, and even the whole society.
Secondly, the unqualified news will force the public lose faith to news media and other platforms. They may never believe in the news they see on online no matter who post.
As for me, it is hard to believe in the online news. I did believe these news at the first, but after a few days there was another news said the previous one was fake . I didn’t know which one I should believe in, so I preferred to disbelieving any one. And now, I never read news online.
Thirdly, it may hurt people involved in the news by causing bad reputation, mental or physical harm, and property damages.
There was a terrible fake news in china in the mid 2010. A female teacher called Feiyan Kong inHefei No. 42 Middle School in Anhui was reported that she had seduced 900 boy students in last 8 years. But after a few days, the truth came out. there was no Feiyan Kong in the school, and the photo of the teacher in the previous news was a model’s. Even though the truth arose, the previous fake news had already caused a bad reputation for Hefei No. 42 Middle School, because of the bad impressions of the school on the public caused by the fake news.
Finally, the unqualified news may cause social disruption.
So people are encouraged to DIY news, but at the same time, they are suggested to obey the standards of journalists.