FCW Insider

Blog archive

Print or not to print – that is the real question

The true power of the press, in my opinion, is not whether media outlets slant the news in favor of one opinion or another – consumers are way to crafty for that. The true power comes in the simple decisions that we make every day about what is important and what is not.

There has been a running theme that the day of journalists may be over. The argument is that people have access to so much information, people can set their own agendas. The need for a filter is largely unnecessary – everybody can determine what's on their own, personalized front page. And that is true to a certain degree – you can decide if you want FCW or the Washington Post or AP to top your customized news sites. Furthermore, you can decide what categories within different organizations are important to you. (Shockingly enough, not everybody would select government IT news.)

But my sense is that there still needs to be a filter. People still want somebody they can trust to tell them what is important… somebody who spends their time focusing on these issues who can make a determination that this issue is important… and this one isn't.

I'm a big fan of sites that round-up news. I have posted from Slate.com's Today's Papers, which reviews what is on the front pages of the five big papers: the NYT, WP, WSJ, USAToday, and LAT. It is one of the first things that I read each morning. (They also have a similar round-up for magazines, which they don't make as accessible but which is equally enjoyable.) We have tried to do that to a degree with our FCW.com Download Week in Review each week, which can be found on page three of the magazine or on FCW.com Download's Week in Review. There, we lead with the buzz of the week – what was the headliner in the past week – and then summarize what happened last week in government technology. We need to do a better job of highlighting that – I have started including it in the Monday e-mail newsletters, for example – and we will find a better place for it on the Web site so it isn't buried.

I started out this post wanting to write about a specific case where there were questions about what we should print – people who just thought we made the wrong decision. It is a story about radio frequency ID tags that raised some concerns... but given the length of this, let me save that for part two of this post… coming soon.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Sep 23, 2005 at 12:14 PM


  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.