I have a claim: If someone writes in a manner that suggests they are an authority it seems clear that they have a responsibility to investigate and understand their topic to a certain standard.
This claim appears to entail that the level of journalistic responsibility are decided by how the writer is perceived, not how they intend to be perceived. For example, I'm sure Gene Ray of TimeCube considers himself to be an authority on something (not sure what?) but journalistic standards are not required of him because: no sane person would consider him an authority. Similarly, someone who does not consider themselves to be an authority might be seen as such by others and have responsibility because of it.
I'm not sure I'm happy with this. So is there any problem with thinking about journalistic standards in this way? It allows journalistic standards to apply to people regardless of whether they are professional journalists, which might be considered a good thing. On the other hand, it seems to introduce the possibility of acting unethically without intending to: it could be considered unfair to expect these standards of someone who does not understand their responsibility.