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Read about Jay Rosen's book, What Are Journalists For?

Excerpt from Chapter One of What Are Journalists For? "As Democracy Goes, So Goes the Press."

Essay in Columbia Journalism Review on the changing terms of authority in the press, brought on in part by the blog's individual--and interactive--style of journalism. It argues that, after Jayson Blair, authority is not the same at the New York Times, either.

"Web Users Open the Gates." My take on ten years of Internet journalism, at

Read: Q & As

Jay Rosen, interviewed about his work and ideas by journalist Richard Poynder

Achtung! Interview in German with a leading German newspaper about the future of newspapers and the Net.

Audio: Have a Listen

Listen to an audio interview with Jay Rosen conducted by journalist Christopher Lydon, October 2003. It's about the transformation of the journalism world by the Web.

Five years later, Chris Lydon interviews Jay Rosen again on "the transformation." (March 2008, 71 minutes.)

Interview with host Brooke Gladstone on NPR's "On the Media." (Dec. 2003) Listen here.

Presentation to the Berkman Center at Harvard University on open source journalism and NewAssignment.Net. Downloadable mp3, 70 minutes, with Q and A. Nov. 2006.

Video: Have A Look

Half hour video interview with Robert Mills of the American Microphone series. On blogging, journalism, NewAssignment.Net and distributed reporting.

Jay Rosen explains the Web's "ethic of the link" in this four-minute YouTube clip.

"The Web is people." Jay Rosen speaking on the origins of the World Wide Web. (2:38)

One hour video Q & A on why the press is "between business models" (June 2008)

Recommended by PressThink:

Town square for press critics, industry observers, and participants in the news machine: Romenesko, published by the Poynter Institute.

Town square for weblogs: InstaPundit from Glenn Reynolds, who is an original. Very busy. Very good. To the Right, but not in all things. A good place to find voices in diaolgue with each other and the news.

Town square for the online Left. The Daily Kos. Huge traffic. The comments section can be highly informative. One of the most successful communities on the Net.

Rants, links, blog news, and breaking wisdom from Jeff Jarvis, former editor, magazine launcher, TV critic, now a J-professor at CUNY. Always on top of new media things. Prolific, fast, frequently dead on, and a pal of mine.

Eschaton by Atrios (pen name of Duncan B;ack) is one of the most well established political weblogs, with big traffic and very active comment threads. Left-liberal.

Terry Teachout is a cultural critic coming from the Right at his weblog, About Last Night. Elegantly written and designed. Plus he has lots to say about art and culture today.

Dave Winer is the software wiz who wrote the program that created the modern weblog. He's also one of the best practicioners of the form. Scripting News is said to be the oldest living weblog. Read it over time and find out why it's one of the best.

If someone were to ask me, "what's the right way to do a weblog?" I would point them to Doc Searls, a tech writer and sage who has been doing it right for a long time.

Ed Cone writes one of the most useful weblogs by a journalist. He keeps track of the Internet's influence on politics, as well developments in his native North Carolina. Always on top of things.

Rebecca's Pocket by Rebecca Blood is a weblog by an exemplary practitioner of the form, who has also written some critically important essays on its history and development, and a handbook on how to blog.

Dan Gillmor used to be the tech columnist and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News. He now heads a center for citizen media. This is his blog about it.

A former senior editor at Pantheon, Tom Englehardt solicits and edits commentary pieces that he publishes in blog form at TomDispatches. High-quality political writing and cultural analysis.

Chris Nolan's Spot On is political writing at a high level from Nolan and her band of left-to-right contributors. Her notion of blogger as a "stand alone journalist" is a key concept; and Nolan is an exemplar of it.

Barista of Bloomfield Avenue is journalist Debbie Galant's nifty experiment in hyper-local blogging in several New Jersey towns. Hers is one to watch if there's to be a future for the weblog as news medium.

The Editor's Log, by John Robinson, is the only real life honest-to-goodness weblog by a newspaper's top editor. Robinson is the blogging boss of the Greensboro News-Record and he knows what he's doing.

Fishbowl DC is about the world of Washington journalism. Gossip, controversies, rituals, personalities-- and criticism. Good way to keep track of the press tribe in DC

PJ Net Today is written by Leonard Witt and colleagues. It's the weblog of the Public Journalisn Network (I am a founding member of that group) and it follows developments in citizen-centered journalism.

Here's Simon Waldman's blog. He's the Director of Digital Publishing for The Guardian in the UK, the world's most Web-savvy newspaper. What he says counts.

Novelist, columnist, NPR commentator, Iraq War vet, Colonel in the Army Reserve, with a PhD in literature. How many bloggers are there like that? One: Austin Bay.

Betsy Newmark's weblog she describes as "comments and Links from a history and civics teacher in Raleigh, NC." An intelligent and newsy guide to blogs on the Right side of the sphere. I go there to get links and comment, like the teacher said.

Rhetoric is language working to persuade. Professor Andrew Cline's Rhetorica shows what a good lens this is on politics and the press.

Davos Newbies is a "year-round Davos of the mind," written from London by Lance Knobel. He has a cosmopolitan sensibility and a sharp eye for things on the Web that are just... interesting. This is the hardest kind of weblog to do well. Knobel does it well.

Susan Crawford, a law professor, writes about democracy, technology, intellectual property and the law. She has an elegant weblog about those themes.

Kevin Roderick's LA Observed is everything a weblog about the local scene should be. And there's a lot to observe in Los Angeles.

Joe Gandelman's The Moderate Voice is by a political independent with an irrevant style and great journalistic instincts. A link-filled and consistently interesting group blog.

Ryan Sholin's Invisible Inkling is about the future of newspapers, online news and journalism education. He's the founder of and a self-taught Web developer and designer.

H20town by Lisa Williams is about the life and times of Watertown, Massachusetts, and it covers that town better than any local newspaper. Williams is funny, she has style, and she loves her town.

Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing at is a daily review of the best reporting and commentary on the presidency. Read it daily and you'll be extremely well informed.

Rebecca MacKinnon, former correspondent for CNN, has immersed herself in the world of new media and she's seen the light (great linker too.)

Micro Persuasion is Steve Rubel's weblog. It's about how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the business of persuasion. Rubel always has the latest study or article.

Susan Mernit's blog is "writing and news about digital media, ecommerce, social networks, blogs, search, online classifieds, publishing and pop culture from a consultant, writer, and sometime entrepeneur." Connected.

Group Blogs

CJR Daily is Columbia Journalism Review's weblog about the press and its problems, edited by Steve Lovelady, formerly of the Philadelpia Inquirer.

Lost Remote is a very newsy weblog about television and its future, founded by Cory Bergman, executive producer at KING-TV in Seattle. Truly on top of things, with many short posts a day that take an inside look at the industry.

Editors Weblog is from the World Editors Fourm, an international group of newspaper editors. It's about trends and challenges facing editors worldwide. keeps track of developments from the British side of the Atlantic. Very strong on online journalism.

Digests & Round-ups:

Memeorandum: Single best way I know of to keep track of both the news and the political blogosphere. Top news stories and posts that people are blogging about, automatically updated.

Daily Briefing: A categorized digest of press news from the Project on Excellence in Journalism.

Press Notes is a round-up of today's top press stories from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Richard Prince does a link-rich thrice-weekly digest called "Journalisms" (plural), sponsored by the Maynard Institute, which believes in pluralism in the press.

Newsblog is a daily digest from Online Journalism Review.

E-Media Tidbits from the Poynter Institute is group blog by some of the sharper writers about online journalism and publishing. A good way to keep up

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July 22, 2004

Convention Blogging: Manic Update, Four Days Out

In which the author shows he can blog like a normal person.

Maybe it is time for a New Journalism again: Ex New York Times reporter and Ad Age columnist Randall Rothenberg: “American journalism is at its nadir.” (July 18)

Well, this is certainly new: CNN’s press release announcing a partnership with Technorati to provide a “blog watch” during the conventions. Technorati’s head guy, David Sifry adds:

And on Sunday, July 25, we’ll launch a new section of our site for political coverage: This site will make it easy for bloggers, journalists, and anyone interested in politics to see the postings of the most linked-to political bloggers, to track the ideas with the fastest-growing buzz, and to monitor conversations in thousands of other political blogs. will link to this site, and we’ll be updating the CNN site with the latest from the blogosphere.

Doc Searls comments on the news: “While this is necessarily about CNN and Technorati, it’s also about the unavoidable coming together of blogs and media to cover a Major Event in symbiosis rather than competition. That’s the Big Story here.”

Things bloggers in Boston should ask around about… David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer political cartoonist: What’s better than party conventions?

Are conventions simply anachronisms? Is it time to find a more modern method of getting us all engaged with the presidential campaign? Here’s my Burning Question:

Is there a novel alternative to political party conventions that might better connect with new generations of voters?

Would party participants, planners, officials, delegates, volunteers, assorted Deaniacs and hangers on have something to say about it? Bet some would.

Four Years Ago… Around this time, Martin Plissner, former executive political director of CBS News (that means the guy in the control room) wrote a solid piece in the Washington Post on the conventions: It’s Not a News Event, But It Plays One on TV. Some of his sharper observations:

Before the vice president told the teary tale of his sister’s demise, Democratic handlers thoughtfully provided a schematic of the box where the Gore family was sitting, enabling network directors to superimpose the family members’ identities on the screen as they focused on one bereaved face after another. In many ways, the cheerleading style of the broadcasters and the level of production cooperation with the event’s sponsor (the party) often have more in common with television sports than television news….

At the close of [the big] speeches comes the moment for these proud news organizations to bring their analytical prowess to bear on the choices being offered the country. But in the narrow confines of the planned network coverage, there’s very little time to do any of that. Convention planners routinely make sure that the main speech of the evening goes right up to the end of the scheduled broadcast, creating a dilemma for the networks: How to provide analysis without enraging local affiliates eager to get on with their own late evening news.

Naive Question: Who has responsibility for turning the conventions into an overly-scripted “show” and do they hold press conferences where they take questions about it? Four years ago “Nightline” producer Richard Harris said: “The parties have their work cut out for them to explain to the American public why it is they should spend any time paying attention to events where the outcome is preordained.” Invite some of the 15,000 media people to that one, too… you know, to explain.

Now this is more like it… Dan Bricklin, The Convention is coming, the Convention is coming. In which a self-described tech blogger without credentials, who lives in Boston, reflects on what the invited bloggers can bring:

A “traditional journalist” gets us the facts — who, what, where, when, why. They try in many ways to be interchangeable, except that some may be closer to an “ideal” than others. Bloggers are different to me. They have a name and a history. I’ve seen how some of them have reacted to all sorts of things and know some of their perspectives. The Convention will fit in there in that stream from them over time, and the human element that they have already given us (or that we can read in old posts and in posts in the future) is something on which their reports will be carried.

Some may find this part sappy. I did not:

I remember a child who when asked if they remembered visiting Cape Kennedy Space Center years before said “Is that the place where I saw the cat with her kittens?” with no mention of any huge rocket carcasses nearby. I want to hear the wonder at seeing things that are not supposed to be the “story” but that matter to someone. We know who is going to be nominated. What else do we learn instead from having so many people together for such a purpose with such emotion behind their reasons for being involved

Note the distinction: what news was made at the convention? and what did we learn? are different questions. (The answers could be “none” and “lots.”) Read the rest of Bricklin’s piece.

David Weinberger, also a Bostonian (credentialed) reacts to Bricklin this way:

I find I have no coherent expectations about it or what I’ll write about. I bounce from thinking that I’ll react to the Big Speeches to reporting small anecdotes to reading the clips of Mailer’s 1960s political coverage and thinking “Take away the talent and incredible insight, and what’s he got that I don’t got?” I can’t even anticipate how cynical or filled with spirit I’ll be; I am, after all, perfectly capable of crying at a good political speech.

New way of organizing the media seats in the Fleet Center… “Can you cry at good political speech? This way please. Can’t cry? You’re in this section over here. Wanna cry but never have? To the left.”

Not just the what, but the why… Here’s Amy Wohl commenting at ConventionBloggers.Com (community site for bloggers participating in the DNC): “Those of us who are watching the DNC from afar will be counting on those of you who are blogging from ‘inside’ to try to see the real story — the one the official journalists won’t write. Be curious, be candid, be passionate, and try to tell us not just what you are seeing and thinking, but why.” (Via Scripting News, where Dave Winer says: “Amy Wohl said something I’ve been wanting to say, so perfectly, that I’ll just let her speak for me.”)

And I would add: there is subtle difference between the stories “official journalists won’t write” and the stories they wouldn’t write— meaning “even think of.”

Atmospherics: Dana Goldstein at World Editors Weblog (an international site): “I for one, am very interested to see to what extent bloggers like Rosen take advantage of their actual physical presence at the conference to give readers a real taste of the atmosphere in Boston, as opossed to just doing what they could have done from home, which is comment on the speeches and the way big media covers them.”

Explanation Gap… Dallas Morning News columnist and editorial writer Rod Dreher at The Revealer’s Campaign Coverage Forum:

I don’t see a lot of newspaper religion journalism that tells me all that much about the state of religious life in America today. For that, I go to the specialized publications, and blogs edited by smart people who know where to find these obscure but telling stories and commentaries. Newspaper religion journalism tends to be like newspaper political journalism: following trends more than explaining the fundamentals undergirding and driving the trends.

Journalists doing stories on bloggers, take note: here’s one of your own explaining why he reads “blogs edited by smart people.” And here’s Jeff Jarvis with his categorized starter list of suggested blogs: “A blog list for media guys,” he calls it. And, via Instapundit, here’s a good summary of some of the advantages bloggers have over the mainstream news media, geared to the Sandy Berger story and the Right’s current feeling that the liberal press is downplaying it. But the points are valid whatever the story. Plus: a very good scholarly paper on the influence of weblogs by two bloggers (Daniel Drezner and Henry Farrel) who are political scientists.

De-mystifiers-in-Chief: Here is Adam Nagourney in the New York Times, July 18:

Conventions have been demystified with draw-back-the-curtain journalistic examination that has portrayed them as, largely, elaborate political artifices. It is hard to imagine that Mr. Clinton’s “spontaneous” pre-nomination walk from Macy’s to Madison Square Garden - a riveting break from tradition that signaled that Mr. Clinton was no ordinary candidate for president - would be seen today as anything more than another focus group-driven scene in a very well-staged play.

Yet for all that, the American convention remains a singular moment in the nominating process - a relic of a bygone time, perhaps, but a relic that nonetheless keeps driving the story line of a presidential election.

When are journalists going to learn to describe conventions, not by what they once were, but what they are now? And what lies beyond de-mystification?

And now for my first ever tech news… I have been cramming with tech people at NYU and if things work they way we’ve planned, if the WiFi is working, and if I don’t screw it up with my own green hands, I will be audio-blogging from Boston, posting edited interviews (and maybe my own voice commentaries) on a University server and linking to them at PressThink. (MP3 format.) I have a nifty new SONY Digitial Hand Held ICD-BM1 audio recorder, which I have been fooling around with. Will try to post a test file in the next day or so.

And finally… The convention as ritual: a professor’s note. My fellow academics in journalism and media studies all know his name; too many journalists (and bloggers for that matter) do not. James W. Carey of Columbia University has had the biggest influence on my work of any writer on the press. For purposes of understanding a political convention, I re-read—for maybe the fiftieth time—his most famous essay, “A Cultural Approach to Communication,” where he identifies two alternative views of what communication is all about.

One he calls a “transmission view,” by far the most common in our culture. Here communication is equated with the delivery of “messages” across distance. Typically, the messages are of an informational sort, and they are assumed to be important for making decisions or controlling action. At the “deepest roots of our thinking,” he observes, “we picture the act of communication as the transmittal of information across space.” In contrast to the transmission model stands the ritual view:

Here, communication is linked to terms such as “sharing,” “participation,” “association,” “fellowship,” and the “possession of a common faith.” This definition exploits the ancient identity and common roots of the terms “commonness,” “communion,” “community,” and “communication.” A ritual view of communication is directed not toward the extension of mesages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time;” not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs.

Perhaps the simplest example of a ritual act of communication is a church sermon, which typically serves not to “send a message” or convey facts, but to draw the congregation together in the celebration and contemplation of a shared faith.

A transmission perspective sees the newspaper as a vehicle for disseminating news and knowledge. It also leads us to ask about the “effects” of this process on receivers. We see news “as enlightening or obscuring reality, as changing or hardening attitudes, as breeding credibility or doubt.” A ritual view treats news-consumption as a different sort of act, concerned not with the conveyance of facts but with our placement in an imaginative space— one that is interesting, dramatic, satisfying to the imagination. From a ritual perspective:

What is arrayed before the reader is not pure information but a portrayal of contending forces in the world. Moreover, as readers make their way through the paper, they engage in a continual shift of roles or of dramatic focus. A story on the monetary crisis salutes them as American patriots fighting those ancient enemies German and Japan; a story on the meeting of the women’s political caucus casts them into the liberation movement as supporter or opponent… The model here is not that of information acquisition, though such acquisition occurs, but of dramatic action in which the reader joins a world of contending forces as an observer at a play.

Why do I lay this out now? Because if you try to understand a political ritual with a transmission view in your head, you will miss much of what’s going on. And because at the deepest roots of their thinking, journalists see the transmission of new information as real and important, whereas ritual communication is fake, newsless and ultimately unimportant. (Aw, hell. Maybe I can’t blog like a normal person.)

Posted by Jay Rosen at July 22, 2004 1:34 AM   Print


Alright, if you can blog "like a normal person," I can comment like a normal person.

My mother has been asking how voice gets recorded and then on the web; your mention of the Sony may explain it to her better than I've been able to so far. Thanks.

Posted by: Linkmeister at July 22, 2004 2:04 AM | Permalink

The preference for the message model over the ritual model has roots in male domination of the news business, no?

The message model is coital, "the newspaper as a vehicle for 'disseminating' news", "We see news... as 'breeding' credibility or doubt".

Most bloggers are men, too, no? What's the ratio of accredited male bloggers vs female?

Posted by: panopticon at July 22, 2004 2:27 PM | Permalink

5 out of 33 accredited bloggers are women according to the list at

6, if Jesse Taylor is a woman.

Posted by: pan at July 22, 2004 3:19 PM | Permalink

"Nightline" producer Richard Harris said: "The parties have their work cut out for them to explain to the American public why it is they should spend any time paying attention to events where the outcome is preordained."

Perhaps the explanation should not just be why Americans should spend time on the conventions?

Conventions are under increasing scrutiny for having no, or limited, public value. For being a routine, even a rut.

Fine. But. The debate over whether conventions are irrelevant to the public should not overlook the fact that they are not immaterial. Where the ritualism, or political spiritualism may be lacking, the merchants and money changers are not.

This has been mentioned before, "Follow the money." Certainly there are financial beneficiaries from the conventions, and they should not be invisible or allowed to lurk in the shadows.

But, is the expense today to secure the convention, in order to prevent tragedy, and to stand-by, in order to react to the tragedy imagined, the same as four years ago?

How are the political parties, or the country, better served by what you see at the convention? How are our first responders and "homeland defenders" benefited or hurt by the 'conventioneering' throughout the city and at all hours?

Is there a cost to the city and the country and are we being well served, politically, locally, nationally - or even as party partisans?

Or, have conventions just become a quadrennial, disposable, tax subsidized sports stadium and street party?

Posted by: Tim at July 22, 2004 4:26 PM | Permalink

I was wondering what the racial/ethnic background of the accredited bloggers is? Any way to find that out?

Men outnumber women 6 to 1.

I have a feeling there's probably a similar or more profound disjuncture according to race.

Probably an examination of income levels would be interesting as well, and the ratio of Ivy League college educated bloggers to state college bloggers or no college bloggers.

Glad to see there's no class or gender issues among the Technorati.

Hierarchies subvert hyperlinks.

Posted by: panopticon at July 22, 2004 4:48 PM | Permalink

The ability to spend a lot of time pontificating for free, is obviously gender/income/race - linked.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at July 22, 2004 5:01 PM | Permalink


"As blogs and radio and Fox and magazines and a thousand other sources of information allow the informed amongst us to become more informed about only their own side's arguments, the apathetic and barely aware swing voter becomes more and more important.
"When the constant reinforcement centers around beating them rather than electing us, I'm not sure what we end up with. No, that's not true, I am sure." - Ezra Klien

"I see this far too often in the blogosphere, and it bothers me a great deal. Far too many blogs are hesitant to criticize their own side, or quick to nail the other with insufficient information. (perfect example) It doesn't so much bother me that they believe it, as it bothers me that they (and "we"? yeah, sometimes) promulgate the misinformation and polarization." - Jon Henke

Posted by: Tim at July 22, 2004 7:32 PM | Permalink

[Ritual] exploits the ancient identity and common roots of the terms "commonness," "communion," "community," and "communication." A ritual view of communication is directed not toward the extension of mesages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time;" not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs...

Perhaps the simplest example of a ritual act of communication is a church sermon, which typically serves not to "send a message" or convey facts, but to draw the congregation together in the celebration and contemplation of a shared faith

Nah, the sermon is most definitely a message.

In the Catholic Church, the sermon is followed by communion, in which a materially transubstantiated message in the form of a wafer - which is the body of Christ in its full facticity - is transmitted from the ciboreum to the mouth of the communicant.

This is probably the primary instance in which "the medium is the message".

When you eat Jesus the ritual and the message are one in the same.

Posted by: panopticon at July 23, 2004 12:18 AM | Permalink

There will be demonstration related to the conventions and in the vicinity. There should be news value there - if nothing else, in what various messages turn up.

Are bloggers at a disadvantage covering these? Or an advantage - taking their own pictures and video and plugging them into the blogs in near real time?

Posted by: John Moore at July 23, 2004 1:34 AM | Permalink

Blogging: Journalism or Activism or Both?

You might find interesting the conversation in this blog thread:

First paragraph:

If blogging is part of the new participatory journalism, is a blogger at risk of violating the traditional divide between journalism and activism? Is this an ethical issue, or a postmodern assertion that that divide isn't legitimate? Can a blogger do an activist-oriented post one day, and an objective report another day... thereby alternating roles at whim?

. . .

Excerpt from the comments to the posting:

For the most part, the broadcast reporters aren't "sniffing out" the original stories (as my journalism instructor used to say about a reporter's "nose for news"), but they do build on those found by others and create a new product with new media. The interaction between bloggers and mainstream reporters, and vice versa, isn't necessarily that different.

Posted by: susan at July 23, 2004 2:29 AM | Permalink

An "activist oriented post" can be objective. One can chose to write a report about a particular group or event, do so "objectively," and achieve an activist purpose by the act of choosing the topic. Likewise, an "objective" article can be activist, and today more and more meet that criterion. I have given examples in the past.

Today's main stream media crosses the traditional divide every day, mixing activism and news. The only difference is they pretent not to cross the line - in other words, they lie. It is hard to classify today's NYT article on Sandy Berger as anything other than activist, with its attempt to shift the focus from the crime and the criminal to the Bush administration (when did they know it, etc). The NYT this year has been a regular activist publication for the Anybody But Bush crowd.

The difference is that the Times has a large readership, some of whom apparently imagine that it is authoritative and honest, while bloggers (for the most part) do not, although their audiences are more likely to have a good understanding of the blogger's viewpoint.

So it would seem that the blogger should just keep on doing what he/she normally does. Presence at the convention provides additional information sources, but if the blogger was an activist before (as Kos is), then it would be silly for the blogger to attempt to change his stripes at the convention. Why let in Kos if Kos is not going to behave like Kos?

Posted by: John Moore at July 23, 2004 3:28 AM | Permalink

Quote Margaret Cho on her Web site:

"Unfortunately, I hear they [DNC] have felt the destructive power of division as a result of their actions. I regret any harm that may have been done to them, and to the important cause of democracy."

You go girl!

NOKlist - It's time we finally get the white male perspective in the media.

Posted by: NOKlist at July 23, 2004 5:18 AM | Permalink

"Can a blogger do an activist-oriented post one day, and an objective report another day... thereby alternating roles at whim?"

Interestingly, how often does anyone ponder "Can a journalist write an op-ed piece one day, then file an objective story another day ...?". Maybe occasionally it's asked, but it's generally assumed possible.

One thought I've been having is that the big problem here is less about intrinsic "postmodern" issues of what-is-truth, and more along the lines that on the one hand the blogger subculture venerates Having An Opinion as *the* essential element of worthwhile writing ("unedited voice"), while journalistic culture venerates a style of writing which tries to minimize the *overt* expression of opinion.

The conflict between these two, that Having An Opinion is the most important thing in the world, versus something like a human failing (we know we have them, and can't escape them, but wish we didn't), leads to a lot of, well, opinions.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at July 23, 2004 8:04 AM | Permalink

Is convention security affecting business around the Fleet Center?

Is the city fining one business for "complaining"?

Posted by: Tim at July 23, 2004 10:37 AM | Permalink

I was raised to believe that the NYT was a far left, nutty rag. This prejudice didn't last thirty seconds from the first time I actually laid eyes on it and read a copy, at the age of 18. Bill O'Reilly carries on this tradition with his rants about a newspaper called the New York Times that empirically does not exist (as documented ad nauseum at Media Matters).
Compared to more credible sources like Democracy Now (I know some of you will consider that amusing. We clearly disagree.), the Times is maddening, unreliable, and in bed with the powers that be. They piss off Democrats and Republicans several times a week and have trouble being honest in either direction. I think the Post has blown them out of the water over the last couple of years and the Times folks are now clearly putting out a second rate paper.
From my perspective, NYT coverage has been activist, but my exhibits are Nagourney, Wilgoren, and Judith Miller. Nagourney and Wilgoren continue the five year old NYT tradition of taking snarky potshots at Democratic candidates in the guise of "coverage." If they published their stuff on a Republican blog, I would understand and just ignore them accordingly. It is galling that they pass for "objective" journalists who just wouldn't know how to respond to the idea of point of view these crazy bloggers bring with them. John certainly has a hardy amen from me on his point that this line is crossed daily on the major media outlets.
Otherwise, over the last three years the rest of their product strikes me as more like the incoherent muttering of a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome than activist journalism from a "liberal" perspective.
I look forward to blogger coverage that might not be such zombified capitulation. How does an outfit like Democracy Now fit into the blogosphere type questions we've been discussing? Haven't we been ignoring non-web-based alternative media in most of the discussions on this site? Any thoughts?

Posted by: Ben Franklin at July 23, 2004 4:33 PM | Permalink

For many reasons I can't be at the DNC, and am on the lookout for audio/visual recording of events inside the convention center. Jay, do you mind if I borrow bits of your audioblogging for Blogumentary?

Also, anybody know of bloggers bringing a video camera? Please contact me directly. Thanks!

Chuck the Blogumentary guy

Posted by: Chuck Olsen at July 23, 2004 6:56 PM | Permalink

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is sponsoring Georgia delegates-as-bloggers:


"It’s party time in Boston and two of Georgia’s youngest delegates are ready to give y’all the inside scoop. From the fancy soriees to the down home clambakes, these two will be hobnobbing with big wigs and writing daily blogs from the Democratic National Convention. Adam Nisbet, 21, and Clayton Adams, 18, will give us a behind-the-scenes look at the speeches, schmoozing and politicking that goes on all week long.

"Nisbet, a rising senior at Georgia College & State University, is majoring in political science. The Gray, GA, native been active in campus and local politics and and spent a summer in DC with Senator Jim Marshall. He watched the last convention on CSPAN and said he “can’t wait” to get to Bean Town for the big week

"Adams, a recent graduate of Union County High School, is heading off to Tusculum College in the fall. He spent the summer as a camp counselor and was recommended to serve as a delegate by his high school principal. He’ll be bunking in with his dad at the convention."

Posted by: Tim at July 23, 2004 7:04 PM | Permalink


Nice post.

They piss off Democrats and Republicans several times a week and have trouble being honest in either direction.

Considering that the truth is biased and takes sides on every issue, wouldn't the fact that the NYT pisses off both Democrats and Republicans be an expected outcome? Or do you think the truth is reliably found with a single political persuasion?

The difficulty the NYT has had with honesty, the second part, has three parts to it, I think. The Blair part (clear dishonesty); The Miller part (avoiding the emergent truth - or bad news doesn't get better with age); and the "impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of a history" that must always surrender to the biases of ambiguity, structure and media.

I think another aspect of calling brown pudding, brown pudding, and being seen as having done so honestly, is having the experience, wisdom, qualifications, credentials, ideology, or whatever it is that allows you to say, "This is brown pudding." without pissing someone off.

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