Posts from December 21, 2003

The public life

The public life
: Chris Pirillo blogs his divorce. That’s the problem of living publicly; the bad comes with the good.

Serious business

Serious business
: The threat level is orange and Dean tells bloggers to stop snarking about it and grow up.

J-school prof gets it bigtime!

J-school prof gets it bigtime!
: Hats off to James Glen Stovall, a j-prof at the University of Alabama, whose new textbook on Web Journalism seems to get it, really get it. Hypergene Medialog [via CyberWriter] pulls a few notable quotes. This one sums up weblogs and their value and significance to big-time journalism as well as anything I’ve seen yet:

… on some topics, weblogs are a source of up-to-date information that no media organization attempts to match. In addition, weblogs have an inherent respect for their audiences and take advantage of their wide-ranging knowledge and expertise. While contributions may not come from trained journalists and may not be vetted through a traditional editing process, weblogs offer the possibility of presenting a much wider range of points of view about information than would be possible in the traditional media.

That’s precisely the point I’ve been trying to make to the NY Times on Zeyad and the Bahgdad anti-terrorism demonstrations: Weblogs are a new source of information and viewpoints we could never before afford to gather. That’s valuable. Period.

Stovall on web journalism:

This new relationship will have profound effects on the way journalists gather information and make decisions. Readers are likely to become sources of information and lead journalists to new inquiries and stories. They could provide valuable perspective to journalists who are new to a story or not part of the community they cover (two of the major criticism of journalists today), offering points of view that journalists would not normally hear in talking with

Spawn

Spawn
: A frequent commenter hereabouts starts his own blog.

It won’t fly

It won’t fly
: Daniel Drezner shows why a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage won’t get off the ground. Thank goodness, a constitutional amendment is extremely difficult to enact. Threatening one is usually the last, desperate act of a hopeless movement.

: Update: Chris Geidner fisks the NY Times story that says a poll finds “strong support” for a gay marriage ban. [via Atrios]

Many updates from the Iraqi blogosphere

Many updates from the Iraqi blogosphere
: Zeyad introduces another new Iraqi blogger, Firas. Today’s post says:

Disorder is the suitable soil to plant terrorism, that

Merry Christmas… Moblogging from my church…

church1.jpg

Merry Christmas… Moblogging from my church…

Okrent’s narrative

Okrent’s narrative
: Dan Okrent writes his first real (post-introductory) column for The Times — and sets his style as a public editor: He’s not setting rules; he’s not judging from on high; he’s not theorizing about journalism; he’s not scolding or defending.

He’s telling a story. He takes on the issue of a reporter with a slight but still possible conflict of interest writing a story nonetheless (read the column for the details). He reports. He opines. He narrates.

It’s journalism on journalism.

: Oh, yes, and I forgot one other important angle: He’s educating.

One more thing…
: By the way, on the Times post below — regarding coverage of the anti-terrorism demonstrations in Iraq — I’ve distilled it in my mind down to one issue:

It’s about sources.

Weblogs and citizens’ media are a new source of news for news organizations.

To ignore them is to be ignorant.

That simple.

Like any other source, you need to attribute and issue caveats and check on them. But they are a source.

If The Times bureau had used Iraqi weblogs as a source, they would have (1) known when the demonstrations were to occur, (2) known from the authentic voices of Iraqis that these mattered and this this was news, and (3) would have gained material — including photos — if they had fallen short at covering the event itself.

Weblogs and citizens’ media are a valuble source of news, information, viewpoint, and diversitiy for the news business. That’s the real issue.

: UPDATE: Henry Copeland says Dan would be better off blogging than sending out scores of email replies.

: And Glenn Reynolds says both he and I are easier on Okrent and The Times that our commenters and emailers.

I actually think that Dan has gotten pretty good reviews in the blogosphere. (Sorry, Jay Rosen, I’m not going to give you links.) That will, of course, change, as soon as he or The Times pisses off assorted bloggers. But let’s still give him points for responding to the issues you’ve raised directly with him.

I’d sure hate to have his mailbag.