I interviewed Jay Rosen today on IM about his spinewatch project, which encourages journalists, bloggers, and citizens in general to point out moments when the political press on the campaign trail shows evidence of needing to grow one, or of having grown one.
“But the rules and assumptions underlying the fact checking regime are vulnerable to challenge from any campaign that a) doesn’t care if it’s called out, b) is willing to deny in a flat, affectless way realities as plain as the nose on Jay Carney’s shellshocked face, and c) has incorporated attacks on the news media into the heart of its appeal to voters.
In response to this extraordinary challenge to one of the most legitimate “checking” functions they have, journalists need a stronger spine; they have to call out the strategic use of deception and the amazing retreat from empiricism that we have seen from the McCain camp. And if Obama starts doing the same thing, they need a stiff spine for that too.”
Read the whole thing, which includes details on how and why Jay is encouraging the use of Twitter, Publish2, and other tools to monitor the status of the backbone of the press.