Sunday, August 12, 2007

Young reporter's lesson: Advice for Bloggers too!

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As those bloggers who fall under the category "citizen journalists" continue to provide content (some are learning the job of reporting 'hands-on'), I've found an excellent article in the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper out of Central New York that provides some sound advice (excerpt follows)
Keep meticulous notes. Only work with professionals who will back you up. And accept the reality that some public officials (sources), rather than admit that they're wrong, will try to blame the messenger.
The entire article is here. I got into a rather heavy conversation with a group of students I encountered in the subway last evening. All of them are bloggers. One fellow said something I can't stop thinking about. "The blog is the personification of you. Think of it as your digital skin. It is your representative to other people all over the world. It is also DEFINES YOU in the cyberbrain of machines like Google, Alexa, Technorati. Your mark will live on in digital space as long as the servers that contain your data are not wiped clean." We went off on a pulse-bomb (Dark Angel-style) tangent after that.

Somewhat related and certainly applicable to the new Citizen Journalist, Dan Gillmor blogs about Chauncey Bailey and Don Bolles: "The crumbling of traditional media’s business model may well be unstoppable. And there’s no question that we’re seeing superb kinds of new journalism emerge from the turmoil. But we will lose something in this period of evolutionary messiness. And we must find a way to replace it. The alternative is to give new freedoms to the malignant forces of power and corruption that a free press is, in part, designed to hold to account." Dan also posts the must-read Updating Journalism Education for This Century. "Newspapers are slow to adapt to the collision of technology and media, but journalism schools may be even slower."

Citizen Media Watch's Lotta Holmström has also been reading Mr. Gillmor's material:
Dan Gillmor has put together a ten point report of the state of citizen media today.While both a general audience and traditional media now pays attention to citizen media, there have been backlashes and we are still struggling with the business models and trust issues, Gillmor writes. Many start-ups have failed, yet there are a few examples of successful sites. Gillmor mentions Scoop and NowPublic as good examples. And he’s optimistic about the future of journalism, encouraging people to experiment more.


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