September 24, 2003

Bee the Blog: The Backwash

The tide has come in and gone out a few times on the Sacramento Bee blog brouhaha [ Read: Bee the Blog: Crabs in a Bucket ]. Here's what has washed up on shore:

Mark Glaser of the Online Journalism Review explores whether blogs and newspapers mix. He writes:

"Newspapers represent all that is old and moldy about journalism: printed on dead trees, distributed by underpaid teens, and read by an aging audience. Weblogs represent all that is edgy and hip about journalism: written in a personal voice, encompassing divergent modes of thought, and distributed on a global platform. But is the commingling of newspapers and blogs like chocolate and peanut butter, or chocolate and pine tar?"

Other newspaper bloggers - Spokane, Providence, Dallas - offer this advice: Be focused, think of readers, explore the boundaries and link out. (Ryan Pitts, of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, posted the transcript of Glaser's interview with him.)

Jeff Jarvis points to a Tim Rutten column on the matter that ends with this comment from Orville Schell, dean of the UC-Berkeley Journalism school:

"An edited blog is a contradiction in terms. It's a characteristic of the Internet in general that forms like the blog emerge with great exuberance and edgy promise and then the overseers move in. That's a pity. We need frontiers of plain-speaking, even it's politically incorrect. I understand why the Bee did what it did, but it leads to a restraint on free-thinking, which is lamentable."

As I said yesterday, I don't mind editing. If you write like I do, you welcome it. So Schell and I part ways on that point.

I do, however, worry about "free-thinking." Newspapers need more of it, not less.

 Online Journalism Review Weblogs Are Pushing the Newsroom Envelope on Writers' Spontaneity
 Tim Rutten Edited blog at the Bee is creating a big buzz

Posted by Tim Porter at September 24, 2003 07:52 AM

Just discovered your site.
Excellent work. I especially appreciate your manifesto.
And I think we're on to something here in Spokane...
Anyway, I've bookmarked your site.
Ken Sands

Posted by: Ken Sands on September 24, 2003 11:50 PM

Thoughtful analogies...pine tar(smile)

Czech out Antipodean story
Wired community: Future Is Still Full of Surprises

The idea of the ‘information society’ has taken hold in sociological and political analysis. Information technology, it is argued, is forming new virtual and actual networks that make up communities, both local and global. Computer networks are capable of transcending national boundaries, as information and communications is shared globally; they are also capable of redefining them, as they mark out new locations and regions, a new sense of place. Stubbornly, however, the problem of the digital divide has remained...
· Access [Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology(WordDocument)]

This is good too...
· We Media: How audiences are shaping the future of news and information [New Directions for News(NDN)]

Posted by: Jozef on September 25, 2003 12:50 PM

Tim - Here's a perfect example of what I was talking about Sat. Here a close adviser to the President (Grover Norquist) says an incredibly stupid and hateful thing on the radio about the Estate Tax being like the Holocaust, and with the exception of one opinion piece in the WaPo there isn't any pick up of this story by the political press...

The WaPo opinion piece is here

It would seem to me that having close advisers of our president espouse these sentiments WOULD actually qualify as real political news... Right now it seems relegagted to the blogsphere

Posted by: mark langner on January 12, 2004 09:29 AM
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