What it will take for social media to become journalism

One of the things that really irk traditional journalists bout social media is the protection from libel and slander that many in the blogosphere enjoy.  Since bloggers and posters can maintain anonymity, and because US law protects social media sites against libel posted by individual posters, people can say pretty much what they like.

But a story today in the SF Chron shows that protection may be showing a few cracks.  A Foster City dentist is suing both Yelp, an online reviewing site, and a poster that gave a negative review that the dentist says in untrue in large part and libelous.

That's good news to me.  As I said, up to now, bloggers and commenters did not have to be responsible in their postings except according the the limits of their own consciences.  Journalists, on the other hand, can be dragged into court unless they can prove their content.  But once our law system starts holding the blogosphere responsible for what is reported, we will have a renaissance of journalism on the web.