If blogging is going to rival professional journalism (and the NUJ puts another nail in the coffin of its own credibility when it stages international boycotts), then we need to engage in fisking.

Free Dictionary and Dictionary.Com are too slow and forget the OED – for a definition of fisking, see Wikipedia (which references Jargon File):

[blogosphere; very common] A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment.”

This fact-checking has at least two aspects, the activity and the consumption of the product of the activity. We can’t all check all facts but we can check some, and we can read reports of more. That’s what discussion boards are for, and that’s a very large part of the promise of Web 2.0.


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