What is Transparency?
By Laura Mc Loughlin
Good journalism has always been about sourcing stories but as new media has evolved and internet blogging has risen sharing your information and research with your audience has become popular.
Transparency is about sharing where you got your information and providing your readers with proof and research in order to prove your credibility.
As we know anyone can set up a blog on the internet and so proving your research is essential for online journalism.
With audiences often being very sceptical of what they read on websites transparency in online media is becoming a way for organisations and writers to regain the readers trust.
A study done by the International Centre For Media And Public Agenda has revealed that the most transparent media website is The Guardian. The reason why The Guardian was picked as most transparent was because their website was the most willing to openly correct mistakes that had occurred.
The Guardian was also very open about corporate ownership. On its website it states that they will say whether there are any conflicts of interest in relation to any writers.
Transparency is also about letting the audience have a say and not being afraid to let readers comment freely and The Guardian allow this with a page dedicated to reader’s comments.
It is hoped that this type of openness with readers will spread throughout all realms of media and not just in online journalism.
A blogger and founder of Buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis has said in The Guardian that blogging is an apt metaphor for how newsrooms should operate and that reporters should reveal their processes and prejudices to fulfil the open sources era’s highest ethic-transparency.
There are examples of transparency in Irish media today for example the website the story.ie by Gavin Sheridan.
An example of transparency in Irish media
This website provides government documents such as letters from government members. It provides all the raw data that it finds such as charts and statistics.
Instead of uploading an article with a mention of numbers or figures the story.ie uploads all of the information so the reader can make up their own mind.