December 17, 2005

Essay 2

Here's my second essay.


Essay 2

This essay is centered on the idea of blogging and journalism. Many professional journalists and other researchers have found evidence as to why or why not they think it’s a credible form of journalism. I think that communicating news events, etc. over the blogging medium is very effective, due to the fact that blogging and journalism both have the common goal of trying to keep readers informed. In some instances, such as in historic events where it can’t all be covered in the paper, blogging the extra, up-to-date information can be very informative for the public. I agree with the fact that blogging in some forms can be considered journalism but don't think it's a real threat to traditional newspapers and news organizations. Citizen journalism through blogging has become popular because it brings readers of the blog closer to the event.

The future of journalistic blogging: predictions
In March 2002, J.D. Lasica wrote an article about blogging and journalism, predicting that blogging would take a large role in journalism.. Lasica was quoted in the article titled, "Blogging: the new journalism?" Here he explained, along with other writers, that weblogs provide alternative writers with a creative outlet. Lasica predicted that bloggers would take on roles as "amateur journalists."


The other three writers thought somewhat differently: Paul Andrews thought blogs were gaining popularity due to the decline in big media's credibility and wasn't sure how popular it would end up, Deborah Branscum said the main reasons web blogs were cool: they had creative freedom, instantaneity, interactivity, and lacked marketing constraints. She wasn't willing to say that blogging would replace traditional journalism. Glenn Fleishman believed that blogging wasn't superior or inferior to traditional forms of journalism, but was "fascinated" with the new form of media. These journalists were unable to predict in 2002 what the craze would be for blogging in 2005 or what the blogging role would be for traditional news, even though they all really liked the new medium. Three years ago, blogs were used for some reporting, but mainly to state the blogger's opinion on an issue. So, are blogs more credible today than they were then? Today citizen journalism is taken quite seriously by readers and many people read blogs as a way to get their daily fill of the news.

One of the very first blogs to cover a major news event…
One of the first blogs used to cover a major news event occurred in 1998 with the coverage of Hurricane Bonnie for the Charlotte Observer by Jonathan Dube. Dube and a team of journalists covering the hurricane updated the web every half-hour and decided to post this information to get readers up-to-speed on new developments, which the newspaper couldn't do. They proved that this form of blogging was journalistically sound, by editing the stories, etc., just as they would have for the paper. They made a breakthrough when deciding to use blogs as a journalistic medium instead of newsprint. More information about this can be found at Poynter Online: http://www.poynter.org.

Hot topic among conferences
The article titled "Bloggers vs. Journalists is over" by Jay Rosen was written for a conference on blogging, journalism and credibility. It explained the fear that has been instilled in many news organizations due to their audiences taking over and reporting news on their own. Many organizations are fearful, due to the fact that the competition is not coming from other newspapers, but from people who read the newspapers. Blogging is becoming more popular and is, no doubt, considered journalistic when it's accurate. The fear is that this form of relaying the news will take over the more traditional form of newspapers.

Concluding his article, Rosen spoke of the tsunami disaster and his final thoughts about blogging as journalism: "Because bloggers vs. journalists is over, better and better comparisons can be drawn between the two. Simon Waldman of the Guardian said that the tsunami disaster 'has shown both the greatest strengths of citizens’ journalism, and its greatest weakness.' The great strength is clearly the vividness of first person accounts. And, in this case, the sheer volume of them. Pretty much every story of everyone who experienced the tsunami is moving in someway or other - and thanks to blogs, text messages, camcorders and the overall wonderfulness of the net, there have never been so many stories recorded by so many people made so widely available to whoever who wants to find them, whenever they want to find them."
The entire article can be found at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/ and then clicking on the link titled, "Bloggers vs. Journalists is over."

Blogging: the new journalism???
This article by Jody Raynsford from the Online Journalism News Web site provides an insight into what journalists and others really think of blogging as a form of journalism. Some agreed that it can be considered journalism because alot of blogging is based on fact and fact checking is very possible. They also agreed because it provides insight to some news events and an "additional layer of information" for readers.

One of the most popular forms of blogging is citizen journalism, where people can get the most up-to-date "news" about the Iraq war and other events. Here is an excerpt about citizen journalism from the article: "Readers are flocking to online news sites by the millions for the latest news about the war in Iraq," JD Lasica, senior editor of the Online Journalism Review, told dotJournalism. "But the story doesn't end there." They are also streaming to weblogs for skeptical analysis, critical commentary, alternative perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media, [such as] the views of foreigners, and the occasional first-person account. A handful of reporters in the Gulf region are maintaining weblogs to provide fuller, more personal and colorful reporting of what they are witnessing first-hand."

Many argue that those involved with the media should jump on the bandwagon of blogging, due to its newness and becoming evermore popular. "If the news media chooses to ignore it, it'll continue to lose a chance to connect with readers on an intimate daily basis. And they'll become a bit less relevant with each passing day," said Lasica.

However, many others think that blogging is just blogging and cannot be considered journalism. They argued that it lacks the real hard news and mixes in too much of the writer's personality and personal views to be considered factual. The article can be found at: http://www.journalism.co.uk/features/story604.html.

Bloggers and BIG media
This article, "Some bloggers meet the bosses from big media," by Jay Rosen tells his account of a meeting held with three parties represented - bloggers, the big media and people involved in helping the transition between media in print and media on the web. It offered a wide-range of perspectives on whether or not big media should be threatened by blogging or other forms of online media. The main concern of big media is the cost to them to fully staff a newsroom. All of the parties present at the meeting agreed that "the news business will eventually migrate to a new platform on the Net," but that this won't happen anytime soon. It was also agreed upon that big media doesn't know how to innovate and that they constantly lag behind the rest of the media and that a definite change initiative was needed. But, big media doesn't think that blogs are necessarily credible due to the lack of standards, editing, etc. of traditional news.

I understand where big media is coming from when they say that blogs lack credibility due to lack of standards. The most common debates in the newsroom revolve around ethical discussions, policies, editing, accuracy, etc. More of Jay Rosen's blog can be found at: http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink.

Another article I found titled, "How blogging changed journalism-almost," was written by Chris Mooney an opinion writer. The subhead of his story explains exactly what his article was about: Chris Mooney examines how Weblogs have altered the balance of power in media and created ripples through society.

Blogs have definitely affected society and how they view the news. Bloggers often blog a topic until it is being talked about enough for the newsprint media to pick it up and write a story about it. Mooney provided an example of this in the "downfall of Senate Majority leader Trent Lott." I have an outlook much like his when it comes to people criticizing blogs. In his article he stated, "In general, I have little patience for those in the ‘old media’ who denounce blogging as a betrayal of journalistic values of objectivity and a strong editorial process. But I also grow uncomfortable when blogging gets compared, as an innovation, to something on the order of the printing press. (Thankfully, both of these extreme perspectives seem to be growing less prevalent than they once were.)"

People need to have fun with blogging and look at it as a new experience and something that isn't all bad or all good...much like other technology today. Mooney puts it nicely in the end of his article when he calls blogging complementary to the news. It can't be considered traditional on its own, but it does let bloggers provide their personal accounts and their opinion on a particular happening or story.


Citizen Journalism
Seeing as the blogging world is quite large it wasn't hard for me to find blogs that offer citizen journalist perspectives on the current situation in Iraq.

I've tried many times to access the Raed in the Middle weblog, but it's no longer working. The first time I tried to access it in September after I had put the link on my blog, I read an entry about how the author was no longer able to keep a running blog because of some of the comments that people had put up. I'm not sure if his blog was censored or if he chose for some reason to quit writing. I think it might have been the former and not so much the latter.

This blog was contributed to by three Iraqi citizens offered insight on the Iraqis’ struggle and their perspective on current events happening in the United States, such as Hurricane Katrina. The main author of the Web site is an architect from Jordan. I also found a weblog that has daily updates on the Iraq war and has links to stories and Web sites containing current events in the United States and around the world.

I also came upon a less “traditional? form of citizen journalism when frequenting Jay Rosen’s blog. Guest writer Lisa Williams wrote this particular entry. It is on the topic of Citizen journalism in Watertown, MA, or as the blog is referred to in her entry, H2otown.

Williams spoke of her blog H2otown throughout the entry and her voice as a citizen journalist in the town. She relays the news of Watertown for people in the town that the local weekly newspaper can't do in a timely matter or doesn't cover at all. She provides readers with the pieces rather than the whole and "lets them piece it together."

She redefined citizen journalism for me. I thought citizen journalism was mainly “traditional? examples of troops in Iraq reporting what they see over there. But she is a great citizen journalist providing the news to people in her town for the right reasons - not because she's paid - but because they have the right to be informed.

Embedded journalism in a blog
I also found a great link to a blog written by an embedded journalist. I read for a while about all of the trials he went through to get back to Iraq and how expensive it is to actually go through with it.

The stories Michael Yon shares on his blog are captivating. His blog is titled Michael Yon: Online Magazine. His two most recent entries I read were about the men injured during the war, many who received Silver Stars, died, or fought while wounded. The post talked about their experiences and celebrations. The latest of the two was about a celebration held to honor troops - the Deuce Four - all of whom were injured in one way or another during combat. The entry outlines the night showing pictures of the soldiers with their wives, honoring the deceased and of actor Bruce Willis. The atmosphere at the event seemed amazing, just from Yon's descriptions. Everyone seemed happy to be home and grateful to be alive. The first of the two entries was about a man who was injured in a blast that ripped through his Stryker vehicle. The man was injured, along with many others. The entry went on to talk about the abundance of soldiers who fight in the war that are not U.S. natives. In my mind this is something to be very proud of. I can't imagine a United States Native joining an army in another country. I'm sure it happens, but not as frequently as them joining their home country's troops.

In Conclusion
Many other blogs and articles about blogging as journalism can easily be found by searching the Internet. One Web site in particular was cyberjournalist.net, which provides a comprehensive list of different blogging sites - what's new, what's been around the longest and other fun blog listings.

It’s interesting to see the leap blogging has taken in the journalism world just in the past seven years when one of the first major news events was posted through a blog. Although the first-hand accounts being communicated at such a fast pace through blogs is quite beneficial and helps to pull readers in, I still don’t think it poses a severe threat to traditional journalism or should be a primary concern at this point. This is mainly due to many news organizations and other professionals finding information on blogs lacking in credibility. Newsprint is always being threatened by new forms of media, for example, Pod casting, but the traditional format of the news will hopefully be around for many years to come.


Posted by otto0088 at 1:12 PM

December 8, 2005

"Citizen Journalism is Discovered"

This entry was written by guest writer Lisa Williams and posted on Jay Rosen's blog. It is on the topic of Citizen journalism being discovered in Watertown, MA or as it refers her blog in the entry, H2otown. As an aside, I know I'm using a lot of information from his blog, but there's so many articles that pertain directly to my topic of journalism and blogging and I've thouroughly enjoyed researching here.

Williams spoke of her blog H2otown throughout the entry and her voice as a citizen journalist in the town. She relays the news of Watertown for people in the twon that the local weekly newspaper can't do in a timely matter or doesn't cover at all. She provides readers with the pieces rather than the whole and "lets them piece it together."

She redefined citizen journalism for me. I thought citizen journalism was like in the traditional examples of troops in Iraq reporting what they see over there. But she is a great citizen journalist providing the news to people in her town for the right reasons - not because she's paid - but because they have a right to be informed.

Her story can be accessed through Jay Rosen's blog.

Posted by otto0088 at 1:25 PM

How blogging changed journalism-almost

"How blogging changed journalism-almost" is an article written by Chris Mooney an opinion writer. The subhead of his story explains exactly what his article was about: Chris Mooney examines how Weblogs have altered the balance of power in media and created ripples through society.

Blogs have definitely affected society and how they view the news. Bloggers often blog a topic until it is being talked about enough for the newsprint media to pick it up and write a story about it. Mooney provided an example of this in the "downfall of Senate Majority leader Trent Lott."

I have an outlook much like his when it comes to people criticizing blogs. In his article he stated, "In general, I have little patience for those in the "old media" who denounce blogging as a betrayal of journalistic values of objectivity and a strong editorial process. But I also grow uncomfortable when blogging gets compared, as an innovation, to something on the order of the printing press. (Thankfully, both of these extreme perspectives seem to be growing less prevalent than they once were.)"

People need to have fun with blogging and look at it as a new experience and something that isn't all bad or all good...much like other technology today.
Mooney puts it nicely in the end of his article when he calls blogging complementary to the news. It can't be considered traditional on its own, but it does let bloggers provide their personal accounts and their opinion on a particular happening or story.

He also briefly spoke of the popularity of blogging incresing after 9/11. His article can be found at: http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/comm/20030202edmoon02p1.asp.

Posted by otto0088 at 1:03 PM

My new blog

I've started a new blog for my final class project. It's about blogging and journalism - mostly about censorship and the different cases in which people have been fired, expelled, etc. I interviewed a local reporter who has two personal blogs to see her viewpoints on the issue, which will soon be added. It can be found at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/otto0088/nonfictionorfiction/

Come see for yourself!

Posted by otto0088 at 10:32 AM

December 7, 2005

Some Bloggers Meet the Bosses From Big Media

This article, "Some bloggers meet the bosses from big media," by Jay Rosen tells his account of a meeting held with three parties represented - bloggers, the big media and people involved in helping the transition between media in print and media on the web.

It offered a wide-range of perspectives on whether or not big media should be threatened by blogging or other forms of online media.

The main concern of big media is the cost to them to fully staff a newsroom.
All of the parties present at the meeting agreed that "the news business will eventually migrate to a new platform on the Net," but that this won't happen anytime soon. It was also agreed upon that big media doesn't know how to innovate and that they constantly lag behind the rest of the media and that a definite change initiative was needed.
But, big media doesn't think that blogs are necessarily credible due to the lack of standards, editing, etc. of traditional news.

I understand where big media is coming from when they say that blogs lack credibility due to lack of standards. The most common debates in the newsroom revolve around ethical discussions, policies, editing, accuracy, etc.

More of Jay Rosen's blog can be found at: http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/

Posted by otto0088 at 2:31 PM

December 4, 2005

Cyberjournalist List

This web site was cyberjournalist.net and provides a comprehensive list of different blogging sites - what's new, what's been around the longest, etc.

I found an interesting link to information about one of the first blogs used to cover a major news event. It happened in 1998 with the coverage of Hurricane Bonnie for the Charlotte Observer by Jonathan Dube.

Dube and a team of journalists covering the hurricane update the web every half-hour and decided to post this information to get readers up-to-speed on new developments, which the newspaper couldn't do.

They proved that this form of blogging was journalistically sound, by editing the stories, etc., just as they would have for the paper. They made a breakthrough when deciding to use blogs as a journalistic medium instead of newsprint.

More information about this can be found at Poynter Online: http://www.poynter.org

Posted by otto0088 at 2:13 PM · Essay 2

Blogging as a form of Journalism

This article was written by J.D. Lasica about blogging and journalism. Lasica was quoted in the first article "Blogging: the new journalism?". Here he explains, along with other writers, that weblogs provide alternative writers with a creative outlet. It was posted in March of 2002, predicting that blogging would take a large role in journalism. Lasica predicted that bloggers would take on roles as "amateur journalists."

Here's what the other three writers thought:
Paul Andrews - thought blogs were gaining popularity due to the decline in big media's credibility and wasn't sure how popular it would end up
Deborah Branscum - reasons web blogs are cool: creative freedom, instantaneity, interactivity, lack of marketing constraints; wasn't willing to say that blogging would replace traditional journalism
Glenn Fleishman - believed that blogging wasn't superior or inferior to traditional forms of journalism, but was "fascinated" with the new form of media

These journalists were unable to predict in 2002 what the craze would be for blogging in 2005, even though they all really liked the new medium. This poses some questions about whether or not the credibility of blogging has increased from then to now. Then blogs were used for some reporting, but mainly to state the blogger's opinion on an issue. Today citizen journalism is taken quite seriously by readers and many do read blogs as a way to get their daily fill of the news.
The address for the site is: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/workplace/1017958873.php

Posted by otto0088 at 1:22 PM · Essay 2

Blogging, Journalism and Credibility

The article titled "Bloggers vs. Journalists is over" by Jay Rosen was written for a conference on blogging, journalism and credibility.
It explains the fear that has been instilled in many news organizations due to their audiences taking over and reporting news on their own. Many organizations are fearful, due to the fact that the competition is not coming from other newspapers, but from people who read the newspapers. Blogging is becoming more popular and is, no doubt, considered journalistic when it's accurate, etc.

The fear is that this form of relaying the news will take over the more traditional forms - newspapers.

Rosen outlined his main points for the lecture discussion as these: 1.) Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one, and blogging means practically anyone can own one. That is the Number One reason why weblogs matter. It is the broadest and deepest of all factors making this conference urgent. 2.) Instead of starting with "do blogs have credibility?" or "should blogging obey journalism ethics?" we should begin in a broader territory, which is trust. Trust as it is generated in different settings, online and off, in both blogging and in journalism— or in life. 3.) Look around: blogging partakes of a resurgent spirit of amateurism now showing in many fields earlier colonized by professionals. Why would journalism be immune? 4.) If news as lecture could yield to news as conversation, as some have recommended, it might transform the credibility puzzle because it would feed good information to journalists about the trusters and what they do and do not put their trust in. 5.) Among bloggers there is the type "stand alone journalist," and this is why among journalists there now stands the type: blogger.

I agree with the fact that blogging in some forms can be considered journalism and don't think it's a real threat to traditional newspapers and news organizations. I also think that citizen journalism is popular because it brings the reader of the blog closer to the event.
In conclusion, Rosen spoke of the tsunami disaster and his final thoughts about blogging as journalism:

"Because bloggers vs. journalists is over, better and better comparisons can be drawn between the two. Simon Waldman of the Guardian said that the tsunami disaster 'has shown both the greatest strengths of citizens’ journalism, and its greatest weakness.'
The great strength is clearly the vividness of first person accounts. And, in this case, the sheer volume of them. Pretty much every story of everyone who experienced the tsunami is moving in someway or other - and thanks to blogs, text messages, camcorders and the overall wonderfulness of the net, there have never been so many stories recorded by so many people made so widely available to whoever who wants to find them, whenever they want to find them."

The entire article can be found at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/webcred/ and then clicking on the linke titled, "bloggers vs. Journalists is over."

Posted by otto0088 at 12:58 PM · Essay 2

Blogging: the new journalism?

This article by Jody Raynsford from the Online Journalism News Web site provides an insight into what journalists and others really think of blogging as a form of journalism. Some agreed that it can be considered journalism because alot of blogging is based on fact and fact checking is very possible. They also agreed because it provides insight to some news events and an "additional layer of information" for readers.

One of the most popular forms of blogging is citizen journalism, where people can get the most up-to-date "news" about the Iraq war and other events. Here is an excerpt about citizen journalism from the article:

"Readers are flocking to online news sites by the millions for the latest news about the war in Iraq," JD Lasica, senior editor of the Online Journalism Review, told dotJournalism. "But the story doesn't end there.
"They are also streaming to weblogs for sceptical analysis, critical commentary, alternative perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media, [such as] the views of foreigners, and the occasional first-person account. A handful of reporters in the Gulf region are maintaining weblogs to provide fuller, more personal and colourful reporting of what they are witnessing first-hand."

Many argue that those involved with the media should jump on the bandwagon of blogging, due to its newness and becoming evermore popular.

"If the news media chooses to ignore it, it'll continue to lose a chance to connect with readers on an intimate daily basis. And they'll become a bit less relevant with each passing day," said Lasica.

However, many others think that blogging is just blogging and cannot be considered journalism. They argued that it lacks the real hard news and mixes in too much of the writer's personality and personal views to be considered factual.

The article can be found at: http://www.journalism.co.uk/features/story604.html

Posted by otto0088 at 12:10 PM · Essay 2

November 27, 2005

Turkey Break

Thanksgiving break went by way too fast. I do think I succeeded my goal of gaining at least 10 pounds and doing nothing in the form of exercise in those short four days. Man does that feel good.

To think that this semester is almost done and I only have a load of shit to do. I've only just realized that we only have a few weeks left...it's nice to know and not so nice to know.

Pretty soon I'll be concentrating hard on my last project for New Media Writing - a week at The Statesman - that means taking pictures each day for a week. That will be my favorite part of the project.

Anyways...hopefully everyone had a great time over break - I sure know I did!

Posted by otto0088 at 4:29 PM