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Journalism definitely needs to change, it is in danger of becoming PR as budgets are so squeezed that journalists don't have the time to source great stories.

Members of the public potentially have the capability of forcing journalists to become more resourceful but essentially, members of the public won't go to the ends of the earth for a story when there isn't much in it for them.

@Rob - I'm smiling to myself because I've been writing about PR here and have even had that role, yet I never saw myself as a PR person. More like a communications strategist, utilizing PR and marketing as ways to connect with customers. So you find me in agreement with your sense of needing to integrate around the customer. Tech is a bad industry for puffery, I agree :)

@Michael - recently I had dinner with a long time online connection and learned he has a degree in journalism, even though he never worked as a reporter, strictly speaking. Shel could have a similar situation going. I should have verified with him, then again, I am hardly one myself, even though I play one on this blog occasionally. While I would love to agree with you that media fills that role, I am seeing less and less evidence that is the case. In fact, just recently, I saw them throw BP under the bus so they could stay consistent with liking what Obama's administration is doing... not exactly grounds for hope in aggressive objectivity, is it?

As much as I respect Shel Israel, I have to ask since when has he become a "freelance journalist"?

Shel blogs, he writes and he evangelizes on the use of social media ... all very eloquently, I might add. He also has a had a long and distinguished career in public relations and marketing. But, as far as I am aware, his writing and blogging has grown out of his PR and marketing background, not out of a career as a journalist, either freelance or otherwise.

The blurring of these distinctions is relevant to the concept of 'braided journalism' and poses what perhaps should be a more important question to ask when considering the accountability of business and government, which unfortunately seem with each passing day to be held accountable less and less by a gutted news media and non-existent regulators ... "Is journalism in danger of becoming PR?"

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