Monday, April 03, 2006

My Fame, apparently served with Sour Grapes...

Maybe it’s a small order of sour grapes, but it’s apparent nonetheless. Edmonton Journal Blogger Johnsrude writes:

"The weekend Conservative convention in Calgary took citizen journalism to new heights. At least three delegates blogged live from the convention floor, offering inside perspectives unavailable in the traditional media. The blog Summer Daydreams (walks_like_summerrain.blogspot.com) had the results of Friday night’s leadership vote at 11:52 p.m., eleven minutes before they were officially released.

We (that is, edmontonjournal.com) had the results and a story on our web page around 12:15 a.m. But our reporters at the convention, James Baxter and Kelly Cryderman, had heard rumours of Klein’s marginal 55.4 per cent showing long before midnight. Newspapers can’t go with rumours. Bloggers can. This is just another way blogging is changing the face of journalism.
"

While I will humbly resist the urge to point out that I wasn’t blogging “a rumour” (this was, after all, OUR convention) I will take issue somewhat with the tantrum aspects of “we knew it first but couldn’t say.”

Shudder to think that everything is a rumour until it is actually “officially released” to the media - as if they can be our only source of verifiable information. If “citizen journalism” really has anything to offer people it is a source of information and a perspective of issues as we see it happen and unfold - without someone else’s spin or motivations. The traditional media, despite all aspects of journalistic integrity, is not without its own biases – and everything you read (regardless of its source) should be weighed with a healthy amount of scepticism.

As my friend Quynn said this morning, with any new medium there’s always a period of adjustment and for now some see blogs in competition with the mainstream media. As well they should. I applaud the journalists who have made a leap into the blogosphere to participate in this new realm of information sharing. I just can’t help but wonder if they have missed the point.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Shutter to think"... methinx you meant shudder?

Having an editorial review occur before publishing is one of the reasons that mainstream media are often slower...

Allie said...

Yeah I did thanks :-)

Its been a while since I've had an editor or two go over my copy. But with the amount of sleep I got this weekend I think I did ok :-)

Thanks again.

Larry said...

No sour grapes at all. I'm examining how blogging is changing the way we communicate. I would like to know what you see as the purpose of your blog and who your audience is. I'm not suggesting you publish rumour. Obviously, you had inside information that we in the mainstream media didn't have. But what happens when people like me start paying more attention to bloggers like you? Will you have to start restricting your flow of information? I'd love to talk about it. E-mail me at ljohnsrude@thejournal.canwest.com
I look forward to hearing from you.
Larry

Tyler Brekko said...

Newspapers certainly run with rumours; they do it all the time. The important part is they clarify it as a rumour - "unconfirmed reports", "suspected explosion", "early indications" - it's not official, it's just a rumour.

"But what happens when people like me start paying more attention to bloggers like you?" Good things? :-)

"Will you have to start restricting your flow of information?" Assuming you mean that if a blogger starts getting quoted should they be careful about what they post? Absolutely - but that's nothing unique to blogging. Any worker knows to be careful with the gossip around the water cooler. And Allie's no fool - in life or on the internet. I'd bet good money she already vets what goes on her site.

There's a tendency to see bloggers as one homogenous group and so make blanket statements about what they can or can't do. But that's like believing the Journal and the Enquirer have the same standards. The truth is individual bloggers have to earn your trust in the same way that individual papers have to earn mine.

michele said...

I for one trust a blogger who I know - whether through their electronic track record or face to face - further than I trust almost any media outlet. Sure, they're supposed to check their facts, but there have been so many instances lately of reporters who haven't checked their facts, or - and this to me is more disturbing - who don't reveal their biases which color what and how they write, that I would rather take a blogger who is upfront about his/her politics like Allie is, than someone whose politics I'm always guessing at. There's no such thing as "pure" or "objective" reporting. I'd rather know where it's coming from than assume there's no agenda behind it.