September 30, 2004

Carry My Notebook, Please

In another big media, small perspective moment, Nick Coleman, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, does the blogger bash thing, asking: "Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists?" And answering: "No." And concluding: "Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter's notebook."

I emailed Nick some "facts" to help the journalist in him see things another way. Here's my email:

Hi Nick ...

When I started in reporting, about the same time as you, I think, I was told to never assume, don't turn a few facts into a sweepign generalization and don't be afraid to ask a stupid question. Journalism and the "news media" have change much since then, but those three things pretty much still hold up. You should keep them in mind the next time you write something as encompassing as "Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists? No." and "Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter's notebook."

Many of us did carry one and some of us still do. For your follow-up column, you might want to talk to one of these folks about why they blog AND write for traditional media.

 Kevin Roderick, LA Observed: Former Los Angeles Times reporter and senior projects editor.
 Tom Brown, Seattle Times reporter and editor: Daily blog on the Iraq war.
 Dan Weintraub, Sacramento Bee political reporter and columnist: California Insider.
 Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune columnist, a daily blog.
 Jeff Jarvis, former reporter San Francisco Examiner: Buzzmachine.
 Ed Kemmick, columnist for the Billings Gazette: City Lights.
 Chuck Darrow, features writer, South Jersey Courier-Post: Phillies blog.
 James Lileks, Minneapolis Strib, columnist: The Bleat.
 Dallas Morning News, editorial page staff: Opinion blog.
 Dan Gillmor, tech columnist, San Jose Mercury News: Ejournal.
 NBC News, political reporters: First Read.
 ABC News, political reporters: The Note.
 Amy Cannata, transportation reporter, Spokane Spokesman-Review: Getting There.
 Al Mascitti, columnist, Delaware News Journal: First Statements.
 Joshua Micah Marshal, Talking Points Memo; from his bio: His articles on politics, culture and foreign affairs have also appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Post, The New York Times, Salon, Slate, and other publications.
 Chris Cobler, editor, Greeley Tribune: Virtual Greality.
 Geitner Simmons, editorial writer, Omaha World-Herald: Regions of My Mind.
 Nicole Stockdale, copy editor, Dallas Morning News: A Capital Idea.
 Todd Bishop, reporter, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Microsoft blog.
 James Taranto, Wall Street Journal: Best of the Web.
 Dan Froomkin, Washington Post, Nieman Fellows watchdog project: White House Briefing.
 Joanne Jacobs, former San Jose Mercury News education writer and columnist: Education blog.
 Mark M. Hancock, photographer, Dallas Morning News: Photojournalism.
 And, of course, me, former AME at the San Francisco Examiner: First Draft.

Hope this helps, Nick.


Tim Porter

James Lileks, another columnist at the Star-Tribune, responded to Coleman on his own blog.

(Thanks to for many of the pointers.)

Posted by Tim Porter at September 30, 2004 08:37 AM

Amateurs such as George Soros Also Want to Be Bashed ... (grin)
On Tuesday I delivered a speech at the National Press Club in Washington explaining why I am involved in this election. In the coming weeks, I will be traveling the country to speak with more Americans about why I believe President Bush is endangering our safety, hurting our vital interests and undermining American values. I have started this website and this blog to hear from you. I am eager to engage in a critical discussion about this election because the stakes are so high, and I welcome your opinions here and on your own blogs. I am looking forward to responding to the many comments that I have already received in the days ahead. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
• Words fail me as I never thought George Soros would ever have the time to blog. On the other hand, I never thought the Iron Curtain would come down in my LIFETIME! George Soros [Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush]

Posted by: Jozef on October 3, 2004 08:45 AM

URL for Soros failed to link up ...

Posted by: Jozef on October 3, 2004 08:48 AM
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