Joho the Blog » Bloggers and journalists at it again

Bloggers and journalists at it again

I spoent the morning at the Museum of TV & Radio which put together a symposium of about 25 people (all white, 3 women) about how bloggers and mainstream media can work together. The bloggers were the usual suspects who write about the issue of blogging, journalism and the media. The MSM folks were high-level execs at the usual suspect TV and print mainstream news organizations.

I typed up a bunch of notes at the time, but instead here’s a brief overview.

The MSM were not univocal in their reaction to the Web and blogs. That’s appropriate and it’s progress. There are still some who think they “get” blogs because they’re using blogs as stringers. But others are genuinely uncertain about the future of mainstream news, which is (imo) also appropriate. They’re facing the possiblity of genuine discontinuity.

There’s a lot of experimentation on all sides here. Appropriate.

No one knows what the business model(s) will be. Appropriate.

The bloggers didn’t have to spend half the morning explaining that most bloggers aren’t journalists, that bloggers are in conversation, etc. Progress.

There were still elements of hostility and misunderstanding, especially around the question of accuracy. But there is definitely progress…

PS: I was surprised at the extent of the MSM’s concern about Yahoo’s moves as it starts to position itself as a media company. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. [Tags: ]

18 Responses to “Bloggers and journalists at it again”

  1. Media, for the sake of perspectival accuracy, is best divided between the Mainstream Core/Periphery Media, and the Peripheral Core/Periphery media, and finally, the truly Periphery Media.

    Simply, the Mainstream Core refers to sources of information ensuing from the main news sites. The M Periphery refers to Opposing views such as that coming from the ‘left’.

    The Periphery Media refers to those who are generally not news sources but those reflecting the views of either the Mainstream core or periphery. The truly periphery are those that challenge both. We can view these as ‘heretical’, ‘alternative’, or ‘grunge’, and whose views are generally not considered or rejected by both the Mainstream c/p and Peripheral c/p.

  2. David,
    I like the way you noted “25 people (all white, 3 women)”. Appropriate and progress.
    Sven Cahling
    Sweden

  3. I will confess readily to being a usual suspect. But I’d argue that Debbie Galant, Tim Porter, Terry Heaton, Susan Crawford (in a media crowd), and Steve Baker are not. They may soon be, for they are doing things that matter, but they’re not yet.

  4. Very true, Jeff. I was being lazy. Debbie, Tim, Terry and Susan SHOULD be usual suspects :)

  5. To: Stephen Baker/David Weinberger

    It is interesting that neither one of you published any links to any of those MSM folks. And it is doubly interesting that you, Steve, did not add your two cents at the meeting.

    The answer for MSM is very, very simple. MSM needs to recognize the we now have the ability for two-way conversation. This means that each and every entity that deals with the public will need to establish a mechanism to handle public responses. The days of big black holes (letter to the editor) are over.

    The logical answer is a managed, measured off-line forum. Here’s the sequence:

    My off-line index (RSS?) for the current issue of Business Week indicates that Stephen Baker has written an article on Blogging, which I retrieve along with any previous comments. After reading the article, I want to respond to something Steve said, so I check the comments and see that someone else had the same thought, and Steve responded to that comment. I now have some choices available. I can start a new thread, I can add to the existing thread, or I can relax because the thought has been expressed.

    Managed means that someone is reading the postings and responding. Obviously, Steve can’t devote the time to respond to everyone, and that isn’t necessary, cause others will. Someone should be reading all postings for obvious reasons, but that person should flag postings for Steve’s attention.

    Measured means tabulating response time, purpose, attitude, number of posts, etc.

    The point is that MSM can drain off the motivation behind the blogging that can cause them any serious trouble. The rest they can ignore. Obviously, they might get scooped once in a while, but I would be willing to bet that most potential journalists would be happy to forward a story to the MSM — if the response was proper.

    It’s kind of like this post — I’ve sent the idea to Steve several times via direct e-mail — but he doesn’t seem to want to follow through.

    Doug Skoglund – skoglund@pdmsb.com

  6. A throwaway comment listing the demographics isn’t a get out of accountability free card. Jeff Jarvis was the one responsible for inviting bloggers, as he himself writes on his weblog. But Jeff Jarvis only invites people he feels are ‘appropriate’ — which I guess means east coast, white, and male, and preferably those who buy into the Buzzmachine.

    Why the hell don’t you push on this David? I’m sick to death of you guys enforcing the status quo and then acting as if you nothing you all do has anything to do with it.

    I give up. You all don’t want anything other than the echo chamber you say you want to defeat. You don’t want to kick out the old media for something new; you just want to replace it with yourselves.

    None of you work for real change, stupid protestations of “Recovery 2.0″ aside.

    You want change? You all meet me in St. Louis and I’ll take you on a road trip and I’ll show you the country and the people you say you want to help.

    You want change? Then next time you’re in St. Louis, why don’t you talk with the people who live here, instead of each other. And if you can’t stomach me–doesn’t break my heart–I could have put in contact with a dozen terrific St. Louis weblogges. Including some who write weblogging tools and support a thriving community.

    But you all don’t ‘do’ anything but east coast, west coast, and Europe. We’re just too ‘red’, too hick for your tastes. No, we don’t have money or prestige to give you.

    If this were currency, you’d be two dollar bills.

    Luckily for you, people like me aren’t with the program and eventually we’ll just fade away. So then there won’t be anyone to challenge your little Web 2.0 get-togethers and your Big Media confrontations. And you can feel like kings.

  7. “But Jeff Jarvis only invites people he feels are ‘appropriate’ — which I guess means east coast, white, and male, and preferably those who buy into the Buzzmachine.”

    I wasn’t invited! And I’m just down the road from New York :) East Coaster Philadelphian that I am :) Fact is I do this as a love and not a career so… I guess that precludes me ehh?

    As long as folks continue to think along the lines of “us vs. them”, instead of “we and us” – to sell something – or protect something – the tension between the so called MSM and bloggers will persist. Which is a damn shame. There are real opportunities.

    Truth of the matter is there has been real progress by folks in the trenches – you see it here and there – barriers *are* coming down.

    Glad to hear there was some opening of minds at the meeting. I hope some bridges were built.

  8. I also oneself something would want to find out on this theme. Very attentively I will read every post.

  9. I think a huge part of this is going to be focussed around marketing our beliefs.

  10. I also oneself something would want to find out on this theme.

  11. make love not war

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  13. really war not so good!

  14. A throwaway comment listing the demographics isn’t a get out of accountability free card. Jeff Jarvis was the one responsible for inviting bloggers, as he himself writes on his weblog. But Jeff Jarvis only invites people he feels are ‘appropriate’ — which I guess means east coast, white, and male, and preferably those who buy into the Buzzmachine.

  15. I also oneself something would want to find out on this theme.

  16. Truth of the matter is there has been real progress by folks in the trenches.

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