WUNC-FM here in Chapel Hill is a pretty good public radio station, as they go, but today it dropped the ball on an important and growing story. The program was The State of Things and the subject was the mess going on in Greensboro regarding a leaked report on police chief David Wray.
I'm not going to get into the substance of the Greensboro saga, but rather I'm focused on the interview between WUNC's Frank Stasio and blogger Ed Cone.
To be honest, I was really hoping the interview would help illuminate distinctions between blogs and the mainstream media involved in this story. Instead, listeners got a series of naïve questions about blogger "accountability" that were embarrassing to me as a regular contributor to the station.
Stasio asserted that news professionals inside corporate media organizations have accountability because they can be fired - an assertion that is silly on its face. The mainstream media are filled each day with shady stories based on sketchy or anonymous sources produced by “professionals” who spend far too much time trying to defend the integrity of their craft rather than creating transparency. Transparency allows viewers, readers and listeners to decide for themselves what matters most. Heaven forbid ... can't allow that!
Writers at BlueNC and other blogs have uncovered numerous errors, misrepresentations of fact, biases and worse among North Carolina media. The fact that we’ve had 5000 visitors so far this month reveals a growing hunger for alternatives to what “professionals” are spoon-feeding their audiences.
There was a time when public broadcasting did a good job watching the watchdogs, but that time appears to have passed. Now it’s up to us.