Public Eye stares back

Vaughn Ververs, the new blogger at CBS, replied to some points I raised on objectivity, opinions, personal biases, and independence in my interview with him, and then quoted many of you, dear commenters, with responses in turn. Good on him.

The emphasis here is not to express our personal views. If that makes this less a “blog” than some would expect, then so be it. It is worth remembering that this conversation was started based on what Jeff Jarvis and his readers considered important, not necessarily what we considered important. It is exactly this sort of dialogue we will seek to facilitate.

As a group purporting to provide a level of transparency at CBS News, our biases (such as they are) are a legitimate topic of discussion. To that end, the biographies posted here, especially the long version of my own [link here], are intended to demonstrate what some of those biases might be. As with most things, anyone is free to make assumptions based on the information available but we urge caution in doing so. You know what happens when you assume …

The blog gets a bit wordy, as that snippet does at the end. (Imagine me saying that: a case of the pot calling the kettle metal, eh?).

He also addressed my snark about being accompanied by a handler:

Jarvis, and some readers, also made much of the fact that I showed up for our talk accompanied by a “flak” from the CBS News PR office. I confess that the arrangement was slightly awkward for me as well in the sense that it hurt efforts to demonstrate independence from the news division.

A reporter asked me to critique Public Eye but I said it’s just too soon. What blog finds its voice and raison d’etre in a day and a half? I’ll give it more time.

But I will complain that they don’t have an RSS feed, though other stuff at CBS does. Friendly, neighborly tip: Better get one before Winer comes calling!

  • The MSM lets its reporters turn in stories that accuse automakers of making cars practically designed to explode, pesticide makers of poisoning babies and polluting the environment, and breast implant makers of making products designded to explode inside womens’ bodies — all accusations now generally disproved. But let one of them start blogging and they need a handler. ‘Fear of the new’ strikes again.

  • Wow, no RSS feed. Day 1.5 or no, that like tripping on your shoelaces when walking into your first day of class.

    If these guys had done their homework at all they would recognize the importance of such a feature. I won’t critique the blog just yet in terms of content (for the same reasons you noted Jeff), but the RSS feed should be fixed ASAP.

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