The Times has two good stories today that were both helped by the work of bloggers. I don’t say that at blog triumphalism or as a war cry of bloggers replacing journalists. Quite the contrary, I say that because these are the sorts of examples of networked journalism at work that I hope we’ll be seeing more and more.
Michael Barbaro, Tom Zeller, and Saul Hansell wrote a wonderful Page One story tracking a nice little old lady in Georgia by her supposedly anonymous searches revealed by AOL. The bloggers pounced on the AOL story immediately and showed the way; these guys then did a great job of picking up the story, finding a perfect case and putting it in context by interviewing privacy experts.
And today, Kit Seelye wrote about the faked Reuters photos, a story that happened only because of the bloggers’ sleuthing. It took MSM a few days to pick up the story, but they have and gave credit where credit is due.
It’s not about them v. us, as Nick Lemann would have it. It’s about them and us. The more we work together, the more informed society will be. It is a good thing for journalism that there are now more people than ever doing journalism and these are just two small illustrations of that.
: SPEAKING OF PHOTO PHOIBLES: YNET News says the AP now has a problem:
A woman has made two appearances in photographs used by the Associated Press and Reuters, allegedly wailing over the destruction of her Beirut home. US bloggers have however noticed that photographs were taken two weeks apart from each other, according to times stamps on the images, and that the photographs were taken in different locations.
“Either this woman is the unluckiest multiple home owner in Beirut, or something isn’t quite right,” noted the author of the Drinking From Home.