Schafer Gets it - The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground

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Thread Title:
Blog Overkill - The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground.
Thread Description:


Well, im happy at least, half the blogosphincter want his blood for pointing out the patently obvious but it's made my day to see that someone actually sees through all the ridiculous hype and ego preening nonsense about blogs out there.

Dont get me wrong, i do think blogs are important, it's just that they are NOT going to overthrow regular media and they are NOT going to give "power to the people" in the ways that some self aggrandizing, preening peacocks think they will.

I's an amazing read if you've been following the citizen journalism marlarky, the post is based on the recent blogging and journalism credibility conference.

In language only slightly less fervent than Shamberg's, conference participants declared blogs the destroyers of mainstream media. (See this page and this page for a real-time transcription of the conference.) Others prescribed blogs as the medicine the newspaper industry should take to reclaim its lost readers: Publishers should support reader blogs and encourage their reporters to blog in addition to writing stories. Podcasts would undermine the radio network empires. "Open source" journalism, in which readers and bloggers help set the news agenda for newspapers, was promoted as a tonic for what ails the press. Reporters were encouraged to regain the lost trust of readers by blogging drafts of their stories, their notes, and even their taped interviews so other bloggers could dissect and analyze them for fairness.

Winer discounted any chance that the clueless media would adapt to the blogofuture, saying publishers were as blind as the mainframe computer manufacturers of early 1980s who refused to believe PCs would replace their big iron.

I hadn't witnessed such public expressions of high self-esteem since the last time I attended a journalism awards ceremony.

and these bits were particularly amusing...

Winer gets knickers in twist

When the Times' Abramson asked rhetorically if the conference bloggers had any idea how much it cost to maintain a news bureau in Baghdad, the supreme confidence of a couple of bloggers fractured into petty defensiveness.

"That's a silly question!" snapped Winer. "Asking bloggers what this costs is silly. If you want to tell us what it costs, that's fine. ... But there are bloggers in Baghdad! That's your competition; that's what you have to deal with."

and on the difference between bloggers and journalists

The bloggers certainly weren't going to get much lip from me. I saddled up with the new media posse back in 1996, and much of what I do—write, post, link, read, communicate with readers, devote myself to an arcane subject—resembles what most bloggers do, except that I get paid for it, and I tend to write twice or three times a week at 1,000 words rather than several times daily at a paragraph or three. The biggest difference between me and conventional bloggers is that I usually pause between first thought and posting. Inspired by the slow food movement, I like to think of myself as a slow blogger. Sometimes I'm so slow—as this Wednesday dispatch from a Friday-Saturday conference proves—that I resemble a conventional journalist.

Thankyou Jack Schafer...

Comments

When the Times' Abramson aske

When the Times' Abramson asked rhetorically if the conference bloggers had any idea how much it cost to maintain a news bureau in Baghdad, the supreme confidence of a couple of bloggers fractured into petty defensiveness.
"That's a silly question!" snapped Winer. "Asking bloggers what this costs is silly. If you want to tell us what it costs, that's fine. ... But there are bloggers in Baghdad! That's your competition; that's what you have to deal with."

I'd have to agree with Winer.

Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself.
...
Dahr has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country.

Blogger journalism in Iraq . You don't get those stories on CNN. And you can't call Fox News journalism.

No, you dont

get all of those stories on CNN - the overall point is that blogs will not "take over" journalism though, journalism will adapt - blogs have an important part to play in that adaptation of media and journalism but their part is not one of succesor but one of catalyst.

Blogging..

From wikipedia "The main activity of journalism is the reporting of events by stating who, what, when, where, why and how and explaining the significance and impact of the event or trend."

With that definition in mind, blogs won't compete for viewership of the main networks, but they are competing with the big networks in terms of journalism ( say, coverage and quality, truthfulness) becasue there are simply more bloggers than network paid journalists, stories you don't find elsewhere, from places elsewhere.

you only have to compare http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/01/28/iraq.firstvoter/ to http://dahrjamailiraq.com/weblog/archives/dispatches/000186.php

“Then today, the military brings in a dozen Humvees and ground troops to basically seal off a small area near a market,” he continues, “In the middle of them is a CNN camera crew filming troops throwing candy to kids and these guys in orange vests start cleaning the streets around them.”

It's not about viewers, it's about journalism.

My point exactly

Bloggers are not journalists.

...

The one I linked to is.

bloggers

are either wannabe journalists or egotists. Or both.

nothing wrong with either of those things as long as everyone realises that neither qualification means you can write well or are interesting by default.

Some blogs are brilliant and some are crud - end of story.

Bloggers

>>are either wannabe journalists or egotists. Or both.

Or ranty old cranks, like me. Or maybe that is egotistical? Hehe.

Actually I put most blogs under the opinion/editorial and columnist categories not journalism.

Can you lump ...

Granted that the overweening smugness of some "bloggers" is a bit much to take.

But can you correctly lump all bloggers under the title "bloggers"? I don't think so. Where a journalist starts a blog to post journalism rather than random opinion, then it no longer falls under the category -- as you describe it here -- of "bloggers".

Blog software is just a web software tool. It's what is done with it that counts.

Agreed

Quote:
Blog software is just a web software tool. It's what is done with it that counts

I do agree diane, i've been saying the same thing for a long time in fact. I can't cover every aspect of every argument though - im not a journalist heh!

Some bloggers with no journalistic qualifications or experience would to me at least be indistinguishable from the "real thing" - like you say, its just software - the software simply makes it easy to publish on the web, lowers the bar considerably to "have a go joe" can get in on the action aswell.

As a result, many bloggers really seem to think that they just invented all this internet stuff and have yet to take heads out of arses and have a look around the WWW...

Blogging vs journalism

But if a journalist publishes their articles on a blog (or personal web site) they are lacking any context which publication in another media gives them (BBC, Sun, National Enquirer, New Yorker) unless they have their own reputation to give them a context (John Pilger, Robert Fisk, P.J. O'Rourke, Hunter Thompson).

Some - very few - bloggers have their own reputation created outside their blog to give this context to their words. But the process of blogging in general has more in common with fanzine writing or private poetry publishing than with professional journalism and is only important (if then) within those "fan" niches.

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