Instant impact

Because the good that comes of serious journalism is often very hard to document, and the shallow/self-promotional/leering aspects of many mass media outlets are so obvious, journalists are, as Jack Shafer notes over at Reuters, easy targets for demonization ala Gingrich.  But this Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists column by Dawn Stover not only got the attention of the Energy Department; Energy is making improvements to its new website  based on Stover’s criticisms, just days after they hit the InterWebs. Not every good journalistic deed can show such clear results, so it’s important–at a time when visionless Tribune-esque beancounters and cheerleading Webtastic click-chasers rule much of the media landscape–to note the stories that do have impact. Journalism is different than marketing and SEO; it has intrinsic value to the culture. But no one’s going to acknowledge, protect or reward that value if journalists don’t point it out now and again.

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