By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Steve Jobs is alive and well

And CNN has a mess on its hands, thanks to one of its citizen journalists.

Insta-reaction: Citizen journalism can be a nutritious part of any media diet. But when a major news organization like CNN stamps its brand on it, then the public has a right to expect that CNN’s standards for accuracy will apply.

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  1. zadig

    And CNN has a mess on its hands, thanks to one of its citizen journalists.I have to disagree, Dan. CNN pulled the story when it was found to be bogus. The SEC will investigate and, if necessary, prosecute the original poster. Cleanup and consequences happen, just as on the rest of the Web. The fact that it was CNN is not relevant. I’d say it all went down as it should have.

  2. Aaron Read

    All true, but I do feel the need to point out that Apple’s mania for secrecy and the “Cult of Steve” played directly into this. Would anyone have cared if the story was about the CEO of Best Buy having a heart attack?When your entire business viability (as determined by stock price) rests solely on the shoulders of one man…the health of that one man suddenly becomes a very important business factor. And, quite frankly, I’d say it starts becoming public knowledge, medical privacy be damned.If Jobs wants medical privacy, he doesn’t have to the Second Coming of Computing.

  3. Steve

    Isn’t this the second Steve Jobs false health scare story in less than a year?Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on Uma Thurman. Or something like that.

  4. io saturnalia!

    The entire stock market is fueled by psychology, certainly much more so than the commodities market, which is based on actual things or, more accurately, the future availability of actual things. With that in mind, the near death of any prominent CEO would affect the trading price of that company, Apple, Best Buy etc.The larger fact is that citizen-journalists aren’t journalists at all: they’re pains in the ass with cell-phone cameras.Example: Any rookie editor would have spiked a story from a reporter who told him “my source wishes to remain anonymous, but he is quite reliable. Well, any rookie editor outside The New York Times, anyway.Another example: My inside source tells me that Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown are members of an al-Qaida sleeper cell. Though my source wishes to remain anonymous, he is actually quite reliable. Image from cell-phone camera to follow.Wow … now I’m a citizen-journalist!

  5. Ron Newman

    This doesn’t have much to do with the “Cult of Apple”. Bill Gates having a supposed heart attack would be equally big news.

  6. mike_b1

    Recalls George Clooney’s response to sites that track celebrity sightings: Send them so much misinformation that it renders them unreliable.

  7. Leslie

    In the time I had to skim the various stories – I’m seeing that the Apple denial(s?) are pretty generally worded, “It is not true.” But the blogger said he was rushed to hospital after the heart attack. Could he have, in fact, been taken to the ER, but NOT for a heart attack? Why didn’t Apple say, “Steve Job did not have a heart attack nor was he taken to the ER.” ?

  8. Mark

    I hate the term “citizen journalism”. If you care about the true profession of journalism – citizen journalism is a mockery.The word journalism shouldn’t be within a country mile of some of the stuff these Web sites allow.

  9. CaliforniaKat

    I have to agree with Mark and Io. The words “citizen journalism” makes me cringe. People think that just because they can hack a few sentences together and film themselves or something on a cell phone or hand held is a bit like narrative tourism. It has nothing to do with ethics and standards that true journalists are bound to uphold. The whole concept of iReport is fine, but to call these people ‘reporters’ is an insult to people who are consummate professionals and true reporters. To me it’s just a fancier version of YouTube…or blogging go bad. Blog is another word I’ve grown to hate, but that’s another subject for another day.

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