∞ Journalism is about trust and respect

All this talk in the past couple of days about how journalists should retweet got me thinking about my chosen profession. For me, it comes down to trust and respect.

I believe that for me to be successful, my readers have to trust that what I write and post is honest. If I gain their trust, they will come back. If I’m constantly proven wrong, they won’t.

It seems pretty simple, but it’s really not. Some journalists don’t make their views known to their readers, often toning down their stories so nobody gets offended.

Some media companies don’t want journalists to publicly endorse one product over another for fear it will upset an advertiser.

I look at things like this just the opposite. I want to be honest with the people that read my stories or tweets. If I don’t like something, I’m going to say I don’t like it. If I really like a product, I’ll say that too.

People come here for my opinion — if I withhold my opinion from them, what is it that I’m really offering? Stale words on a web page.

Sometimes I’ll post a link to something just because it’s funny, or very interesting. It could be about design, guitars, video or Apple. As long as it catches my eye, it has a chance to get posted.

Having respect for a writer doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything they write. There are plenty of people that disagree with my opinions, but they continue to read the site. That’s respect.

That’s the way it should be. I can’t be afraid to post what I feel is right and readers will have their say on Twitter or in the forums.

As Melanie Coulson said this morning, “we are professionals” and we can think for ourselves.

In the end it’s the readers that must decide if a journalist is worth investing their time in. If you don’t like what a writer has to say, or you have no trust or respect for them, it’s time to stop reading and find someone that you do like to read.

I don’t see retweeting by journalists as a problem, but rather an added bonus. If people want to know my opinion, I’m going to give it to them — good or bad.