Not a word has been heard from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since social media editor Kurt Greenbaum penned his explanatory post Wednesday afternoon where he tried to justify getting a man fired for writing the word “pussy” on the newspaper’s blog.
And 151 comments were left on the initial post before the Post-Dispatch shut them down.
The story has generated the same disgust from various sites throughout the internet, including at least two sites in Canada, but it has yet to be addressed by the mainstream media in this country, other than a few paragraph’s from St. Louis’s alternative weekly.
But there is no doubt the mainstream media is watching this closely because this is a perfect example of what happens when Old Media and New Media collide.
Perhaps Rick Sanchez, who is CNN’s self-proclaimed social media guru, will eventually address this issue because it’s right up his alley.
But perhaps he is still recovering from last week’s blunder where he came out in defense of a cop who blatantly violated a citizen’s First Amendment rights.
The bottom line is that Greenbaum, despite the claims he makes on his resume, is completely unqualified to be the newspaper’s social media editor.
In hindsight, he probably should have registered his own domain name. Now somebody has done it for him. And it’s not pretty. Although it is funny (but I am beginning to feel sorry for the guy).
At this point, there is no turning back. There is no way he can continue operating the newspaper’s blog with any sense of credibility. There is very little he can do to regain his readers’ trust and respect.
And the longer the newspaper goes without addressing it, the more credibility it loses.
The issue, of course, has spawned it share of skeptics and conspiracy theorists, including some who believe the whole thing is a hoax .
I don’t believe that’s the case, but if it was, then the St. Louis Post-Dispatch might as well shut down because that would make them deliberate liars instead of self-righteous snitches.
The one thing this incident has proven is that the readers are the ultimate deciders, not the editors. That’s the difference between the New Media and the Old Media.
The Old Media frequently complains that there is very little editorial oversight in the New Media. And in some regards, that is true.
I might not have an editor who reads my copy before I post it, but I have thousands who read my copy after I post it and who do not hesitate to point out inaccuracies.
The New Media is all about interactive communication. It’s about listening to your readers and respecting your readers, even if you don’t agree with your readers.
But the New Media must also retain the values that made the Old Media successful for so long. And that is mainly the journalistic principles of trust and credibility.
Greenbaum failed on all accounts.