Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Online Dewey Response

John Dewey’s views on the public have some direct correlations to the world of online journalism. Dewey believed that the government and other higher authorities were unable to provide the public with information unless it was distorted to be in their own ideals. When speaking on the relation of online journalism to Dewey’s philosophy, his belief that a democracy is not only the property of politics but, also “a wide range of social relationships” that has the capability to transmit information through another source other than the classic hierarchical ladder can relate directly to online journalism. Online Journalism gives its readers a chance to involve themselves and express their opinions in what they are reading or watching rather than simply taking a back seat and acquiring the information from those in the profession, much like a spectator. This is completely different from the past, when acquiring news was only available through news anchors or other authorities in the journalistic world. Furthermore, individuals weren’t able to allow their voices to be heard, whether their points agreed or conflicted with the original ideas. This according to Dewey, doesn’t adhere to true democratic participation but, instead focuses on more traditional liberal ideals. Dewey also seems to believe that democracy reigns on individuality, and that everyone should be able to have their own voice and be able to speak their own opinions rather than taking information (that may be misguided) from the government. Democracy is supposed to be individual freedom, and Dewey expresses this idea throughout his philosophy.
Online Journalism takes another step forward in creating this individual freedom by producing an avenue for us to be able to express our ideas in a public forum. With online journalism, through written blogs, video logs and even talk radio, society is given a chance to reconstruct the notion of how information is meant to be relayed and consumed.
Further through his philosophy, Dewey introduces his idea of inquiry. That is, an idea that focuses on the goal of problem solving through “reflective intelligence.” Individuals should have the democratic right to check the content they are being given before taking it as fact. Through the internet, this is possible because individuals have the ability to come to a confirmation of information through the process of communal checking. Basically, once someone posts a story, it’s up to the readers to make sure the author is adhering to distinct facts. This also relates to online journalism because not only is the public able to express their own opinions through the internet, but, in addition they are able to inquire and obtain confirmation on facts themselves, through the help of the vast information available on the internet. Through online journalism, facts can be checked by many different sources and corrections can be made to the mistakes and although there will always be some conflicted view points on certain subjects, the vast majority of those who know the facts can come to a consensus about truth and fallacy which means, that facts can in essence, be instantly corrected.

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