August 30, 2004

Movin' On ...

My wife and I moved over the weekend. Marriage, email and cat survived intact, but an already bum left knee didn't, so I'm hobbling amid a forest of boxes before I leave tonight to spend a few days at a newspaper in Washington that is part of the Tomorrow's Workforce project, meaning my light blogging likely will get even lighter.

Here are a few things that escaped my attention the last couple of days:

 Critical Mass: Jeff Jarvis, after taking measure of Jack Shafer's screech at Jay Rosen and Rosen's reply on Romenesko, offers this populist response: "We don't need a single one-size-critiques-all press critic anymore because we have thousands of press critics: Everybody can be a press critic today. That yields both better criticism and better press."

 Don't Ask, Don't Learn: J.D. Lasica points to a telling exchange between an Upstate New York newspaper reporter and Mike Masnick, publisher of Tech Dirt, over the nature of a wiki that, while neither proving nor disproving the self-correcting wiki concept, reveals the obdurance of many mainstream journalists in the face of things they don't understand.

 Wiki Endorsement: Coincidentally, the same RSS feed that brought me the wiki-bashing item above also carried Bob Stepno's unrelated reference to this Poynter Institute column by Columbia University professor Sree Sreenivasan about his growing positive impression of wikis. He writes:

I was always wary of trusting Wikipedia, a giant, free, collaborative encyclopedia that's getting lots of attention. But, slowly, I found myself impressed by some of the entries I came across."

Unlike the close-minded Syracuse reporter mentioned above, Sreenivasan, a longtime advocate of the Internet as a journalistic tool, used his open mind to evaluate the emerging technology before forming an opinion.

 Cards on the Table: The Daytona Beach News-Journal tells its readers that, as part of its commitment to credibility it will begin "randomly fact-checking articles that appear in all sections of the newspaper. News-Journal Managing Editor/Operations Bruce Kuehn will mail a simple four-question form to all people quoted in a randomly selected article each week, asking them if the article was accurate and fair." Good idea. Magazines fact-check articles before they are printed, some quite rigorously. It forces writers to justify every fact-based assertion or verify every quote in the story. (Thanks to The Media Drop.)

Posted by Tim Porter at August 30, 2004 06:21 AM