Writing at Gawker, John Cook argues that the decision to give a George Polk award to the unidentified (wo)man who caught Neda Agha-Soltan's death on video raises some big questions about what it means to practice "journalism":
[W]hen you start handing out awards that were created to "honor special achievement in journalism" with an emphasis on "investigative and enterprise work that is original, requires digging and resourcefulness and brings results" to works that consist of finding yourself next to a horrible thing and pulling your camera phone out of your pocket—well, what's the point of calling anything journalism anymore?
Gawker's Hamilton Nolan raises an interesting point: if financial journalists tend to get inside info from the disgruntled rather than the sycophantic--and if recession-induced layoffs target the former than the latter--it could make covering Wall Street way more difficult.
But couldn't the impact of the recession on sources and the journalists who use them could extend even further?
In its sharp deconstruction of today's Maureen Dowd column--which attempts to make the case for Caroline Kennedy as U.S. senator--Gawker rightly notes that Dowd seems to have a double standard regarding the thin resumes of Kennedy and one Sarah Palin.
Undiscussed, though, is the bogus argument Dowd uses to close out her piece.