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How Big is Big: Size or Performance

The upper echelons at c|net have attempted to forge a role as legitimate purveyors of news. In the inescapably ironic world of media, where employees of TimeWarner, (the publication that saw fit to make O.J. Simpson blacker), criticize the Matt Drudges of the Internet for ruining the profession of journalism online, c|net has attempted to eschew adopting a system of rating Internet content, suggesting exclusions from responsibility and enforcement be applied to only legitimate news entities. Yet, their coverage of Internet issues, such as the Communications Decency Act (CDA), much like Ziff-Davis', has consistently been factually inaccurate and superficially shallow. Deserving of as much credibility and legitimacy as would be given to the coroner that declared Sleeping Beauty dead. Despite pro-bono education from the likes of ApolloMedia, explaining to the journalists that the Communications Decency Act was not struck down, just key provisions of it, their coverage constantly refers to the legislation as dead. The same dead legislation that we are currently fighting in federal court. The same dead legislation that just relieved America Online from any accountability as an Internet Service Provider in the Matt Drudge libel case.

So while sexually suggestive, esoteric Turner/Murdoch wannabe fights between c|net and Ziff-Davis might be fun for those in the very intimate know, the rest of the Internet views what looks like a Saatchi & Saatchi ripoff of an old Altoids ad, and wonders what relevance or use size has, when the issue is really about quality. Careless reporting hardly qualifies an individual or entity to assume authority or superiority under the guise of the vaguely defined term - legitimate - especially when the very coverage by the entity concerned demonstrates an asinine understanding of key legislation that impacts the legal and technological landscape of the industry they're supposedly representing, covering and informing. If nothing else, seeking "to establish ratings for news sites and to make sure that only real news organizations claim this privilege" in this context does the entire notion of online journalistic credibility a big disservice. Privilege demands responsibility and accountability.


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