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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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January 26, 2005

Big Wigs From the Blogging & Journalism Conference Say What They Found

Request from a blogger to the people who were at the Harvard conference on journalists, bloggers and trust. "Send me one thing you changed your mind about." Or at least learned. "You have 24 hours," I said. This is what they told me. (Broken into three posts.)

For example, before the conference I was pretty sure that the open and free archive for news content was going to be a tough struggle. Those who are for it—as I am—would probably lose in the end, I thought. Now I believe it might win out after all. (The AP report on the event, for those catching up.)

Dan Gillmor, conference participant, says, in a key posting, that someone will try it. That’s exciting. The closed, gated, over-priced, and under-served archive is the signature policy of the old regime (still in charge) in Web thinking for news. The idea of a new regime got injected into the conference, as we’ll see. (Also see Mark Glaser in OJR on it, Feb. 1.)

Writing at his Links and Comment page during the conference, Scott Rosenberg, managing editor of Salon and a journalist who speaks with some authority about the evolution of the Net, said the group in Cambridge was going over old ground:

It continues to amaze me how much of this debate is a retread of the mid-’90s, when journalists first moved online and discovered that the Web moved really fast, had different norms, gave their readers new voices and made their own voices sound stuffy and institutional. First I think, “Come on already!”; then I think, “Oh, it’s okay.”

But it’s more than okay. It’s what we should expect. The curve of discovery is the same at any point where you enter. If Scott Rosenberg took a moment, I bet he would say that he wasn’t amazed at all. Experience with the Web is what changes a journalist’s outlook on how different a platform the Web is. Arguments have comparatively little effect. Someone else’s experience from ten years ago? Zip.

“The world of professional media has experienced such changes” as we’re heading into now “only across the span of a century,” says Rosenberg. (And it is a crucial point.) But in the tech biz the life cyle of forms is different. “Dominant companies rise and fall, new technologies change the rules of the game, and habits of doing business get tossed in the trash every 10-20 years instead of every 100-200 years.”

The Credibility conference (also called webcred) put the “rules of the game change every hundred years or so” people—traditional journalists—into sharp dialogue with the “platforms shift every five, ten years” crowd. In this sense it was bloggers and journalists synchronizing their watches, trying to tell each other what time it is, about now.

“As a lifelong professional journalist who jumped headfirst into the tech-industry world a decade ago, I’ve made my choice,” said Rosenberg. Change for the people in journalism is only going to speed up and get bigger, he predicted. “Wouldn’t it be fun to do things differently?” The title of his post: Change is gonna come.

That seemed certain to almost everyone who joined in the conference. Big Journalism was going to experience the shock of the new very soon, or had already been “shocked” by contact with the Web and its extensions. Some got the shock at the conference itself.

“I would talk in terms of epiphanies,” said Lee Rainey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Susan Tifft said her mind “was not just changed, it was blown” by what she saw demonstrated in the way of citizens media. (It was also a lesson in why you read blogs. You see “RSS” coming up again and again and you’re more likely to find out what that is. )

Other themes:

  • The free and open archive. People are starting see how reversing course make sense.
  • Many from Big Media (but also bloggers) were candid in describing how shocked they were at being so in the dark about podcasting or Wikis or software or something else going on. “I didn’t know much about Technorati, or the Wiki family, or so many other innovators, and now I do,” said Bill Buzenberg of Minnesota Public Radio.
  • There is no doubt in sifting through the reactions: The Wiki “idea” hit home for people who thought they had been paying attention. Turns out the Wiki encyclopedia is like a dry run for Open Source Journalism. It finally dawned for some people that blogging and Wikis ought to be treated as equals. You will hear that in post three, which is about the Wiki Buzz. Big Wigs Confer, Part Three.

In this post, first of three, everyone is looking ahead to a media future where professionals and amateurs, big newsrooms and solo bloggers, can and will mix in unknown combination. And where disruptive technologies will disrupt.

It is my belief that at this moment of confusion, between platforms, and in a sense between worlds, the thing “journalism” falls open to re-definition and public enlargement. There is an opportunity to rethink its politics too, and to zero base the news concept itself. Derive “quality journalism” out of better principles, better arguments, better facts, a better grasp of the Internet in American Life, and of life across the globe.

“It’s an exciting time in journalism,” I wrote in my pre-conference post. “As the great social weave from which it arises changes form, the thing itself comes up for grabs.”

And I think you will hear some of that…

  • Jill Abramson (Managing Editor of the New York Times; author, with Jane Mayer, of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas; former Washington bureau chief, New York Times; former investigative reporter Wall Street Journal.)

Neither those of us from the mainstream media, especially print, nor you in blogworld, have figured out a business model on the Internet that could pay for and sustain the kind of deep, global news-gathering operation with highly experienced, trained reporters that is the lifeblood of the Times.

That there is not as wide a gulf between bloggers and journalists as I thought going in, although there are obvious differences, and ones that need to be respected by both worlds. The things that divide us are not all bad. There is no one better model for sharing information and informing the public.

The conference left me with a greater appetite than ever to figure out ways that a place like the Times can capture some of the vitality and energy and voice that makes so many blogs so readable and useful, without completely sacrificing the standards that guide our news reporting and editing.

And, finally, while I still have a huge amount to learn about blogs, I wish you guys would try to learn and understand more about traditional journalism— like calling anyone named in a story in a prominent way for comment (even when you are sure your facts are right.) You can be accurate and unfair. I don’t ever want to impose our standards on blogs, but I wish you all at least knew the walk we walk.

I don’t think the conference changed my mind about anything inparticular, except maybe the potential value of podcasting to a site like mine. What I was most struck by, I guess, was the amount of passion generated by the topic of blogging per se, as opposed to the philosophical and partisan controversies that are the main subject matter of blogs like mine.

This wasn’t exactly a surprise, given what we’ve seen about the power of the medium over the last couple of years, but still, it was very interesting to see partisan divisions more or less overwhelmed, for a couple of days at least, by different fault lines: our attitudes toward the medium, and its relation to traditional media.

  • Susan Tifft (Professor of Journalism and Public Policy at Duke University, co-author, with Alex Jones, of The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind The New York Times, former writer and editor at Time Magazine.)

Before the conference, I thought much of the blogosphere had more in common with shout TV or all opinion all the time programming. Some of it is that, of course, but what cheered and surprised me was how many core values those around the table shared: accountability, a passion for news (which Dave Winer described in evangelical terms), an understanding of the link between transparency and credibility, the need for verification.

Like the mainstream media, bloggers are going through what might be called a market sorting process. The “best”—meaning the most credible, reliable, etc.—have found a sustained audience and can point to situations where they have had an effect (Rathergate being the latest example). The “worst” have an audience, too, but just like down market tabloids, they aren’t likely to be widely believed. This will work itself out in time, much as it has for the mainstream media.

Second point: I’m embarrassed to admit it, but before the conference I had never heard of podcasting. So, big learning curve there.

Finally, an observation. There was a lot of talk about the “community” that blogging fosters. I was bemused, therefore, to look around the room and at any given time see a third of the participants staring at screens and tapping on keyboards, presumably communing with others while those in the room were speaking. (Some were monitoring the webscast, I know). Much has been said in these posts about the enormous value of being with people this weekend, face to face. I agree. Which is why it was interesting to witness the art of being together, and apart, at the same time.

My change of mind was that the Media Bloggers Association ought to be more ambitious and explore taking on a number of the issues/challenges raised at the conference.” Like… (taken from Cox’s post) legal defense for bloggers, insurance, training and education, standards, bandwidth, protection from government, new tools for bloggers and archiving.

Cox later explained by email how he sees it working:

The “big idea” behind MBA offering CARR (computer-aided research and reporting) training is the potential for “distributed blogging”; bringing together, say 1,000 bloggers - trained and organized - to analyze a complex government document like the Federal Budget and produce a detailed analysis of the report within a matter of hours and then disseminate that information to tens of millions via a network of blogs. If you think CBS News did not like the treatment they got by bloggers, imagine how Congress will feel when they realize every bit of pork they to slip into the federal budget is going to be broadcast worldwide by an army of bloggers. Now multiply that for state and local budgets, government departments and so on.
  • Karen G. Schneider (blogger, librarian, writer, former Internet Librarian columnist for American Libraries magazine.)

By Day 2 of the hostage crisis the Stockholm Syndrome had set in, and I now agree with my captors that transparency, in some settings, has some virtues. My ethical framework still requires that I attempt to be as objective as possible when working with the public, but I should reveal more of myself in my blogging and writing, if not in direct interactions with library users (can you see the New Yorker cartoon with the librarian saying to a confused user, “but let me tell you more about what I think?”).

  • Dave Winer (blogger, software developer, Founder and CEO, UserLand Software, Inc., former contributing editor, Wired)

I learned that the op-ed page of the New York Times may someday have room for bloggers. For some reason, of all the things I heard, this gave me the most hope. It’s been impossible to crack the hard shell of the Times on the editorial side (we’ve had considerable success with RSS, and their archive policy).

As Ed Cone points out, they still take cheap shots. This has been going on forever, with a few exceptions, here and there, and indicates fear, not reason.

How interesting that William Safire, a Republican columnist for the Times, is retiring this week. It was a good move when they brought him on in 1973 to diversify the editorial face of the paper. Now if the Times could accept a Republican in 1973, it could certainly accept a blogger in 2005. Someone who operates a blog now, and has for some time, and (key point) continues to blog on his or her own terms while writing regularly for the Times. This would be a big door-opener between the cultures, and would accrue enormously to the benefit of the Times, and probably to the blogosphere (maybe not). But I would support it, assuming they chose a blogger with integrity, inteligence, an idealist who never moves inside the Beltway, whose feet stay firmly planted with the people.

  • Lee Rainie (Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, former managing editor, US News & World Report.)

I would talk in terms of epiphanies, rather than a changed mind.

Epiphany One: I had read the thought before but didn’t quite get the wisdom of the notion until Jay said it: The difference between the mainstream media and bloggers is that reporters are edited before they publish and bloggers are edited after they publish. Bloggers have a lot to teach mainstream-ers about the virtues of opening up newsroom processes and making corrections/amplifications after publication. The mainstream media can offer bloggers some good lessons in why it’s often important — even if it’s time consuming — to try to get things right before they publish.

Epiphany Two: One of the new credibility/credentialing processes blog writers will endow to the creative world is the act of swarming. Another credibility enhancer is the notion that certain kinds of publishing ventures are best built around a shared commitment to what the wiki folks call Neutral Point of View (which is a nice refinement of what journalists call “objectivity.”)

Epiphany Three: There is much more of a community identity among bloggers than I was aware. It will be fascinating to see if there is a community-based response to the inevitable tribulations that journalists, publishers, and other creators face: The first signature libel case in the blogosphere. A plagiarism scandal. A legal challenge to podcasters who pass along original or remixed video and audio files. The first legal challenge that pits a blogger against someone who feels that the blogger has egregiously violated his privacy. The first subpoena that requires a blogger to identify the source of information in a posting, etc.

  • Bill Mitchell (Director of publishing and editor of Poynter Online, ex-director of electronic publishing at the San Jose Mercury News, former reporter and editor, Detroit Free Press.)

Our discussions got me thinking differently about the archives that the mainstream media have kept walled off and pricey. To wit:

Given the importance of keeping well-reported journalism freely available — and given the possibility of some new ways of generating revenue from archives—maybe a new approach would work. I don’t know what your chances are of winning this one, Jay, but it sure is worth exploring. My going in thinking: Unlikely that news organizations would ever give up this revenue stream.

Early re-thinking, based on just a bit of reporting while snowed in Sunday: The range of news orgs generating significant revenue from archives with current biz models may be more limited than I had assumed.

All of which is underscored by this comment from Tom Rosenstiel: “I suspect bloggers are some of journalism’s best customers, and vice versa.” If that’s true, and I think it might be, what does that suggest about how news organizations and bloggers might collaborate on new approaches to archives?

  • Jeff Jarvis (blogger, president of, former TV critic for TV Guide and People, creator of Entertainment Weekly.)

It is vital that we continue to get bloggers and professional journalists together in the same room, preferably with a lock on the door and drinks in the bar. It is vital that these two sides discover they are not sides at all but share the same desire to inform the public and improve the nation and the best way to do that is to work together.

Now having had that Kumbya moment, I also saw that continued tension is a good thing, for it forces us from each perspective to reexamine how we think and view the world and do our jobs. That’s all the more reason to keep coming together in mixed company.

Second, I knew how much the blogging community values openness but I was surprised at the fervency of that belief, given the reaction of bloggers to being left behind the velvet rope before the event. Lesson learned, eh? And that’s a lesson not just for confabs, of course, but for all of established media: Take down the barriers or you’ll be sorry.

Third, I was surprised — and delighted — at the eagerness of established media—in the person of MSNBC’s Rick Kaplan—to embrace citizens’ media. Here, too, I knew that MSNBC was already blogsmart. But it’s clear that Rick came eager to make sure we got the message that he is ready, willing, and eager to play blog. Rick said that only fools would not see that. Sadly, I think there is still a good supply of such fools here and there. But in Rick and a few others like him, we have evangelists for the future who can convince their colleagues in established media that change is good, change is necessary.

Fourth: On trying to find business models that will support both the journalism of established media and the growth of citizens’ media… well, we couldn’t fix this in an hour! What did surprise me is how far we are from solving those issues in a world of distributed networks (that no one owns) replacing centralized marketplaces, a world with Wikipedia overtaking a $350 million enclopedia business and CraigsList vaporizing $65 million in classified revenue in just one market

So there’s the real surprise: The business crisis is worse than I thought and we’re farther away from answers than even I feared. Next time, we also need to bring in publishers, broadcast executives, ad sales people, and most important, marketers to wrestle with the hard questions and imaginative answers to support the best of both media worlds.

I had my mind changed about the level of interest that mainstream media has in completely rethinking its business models and willingness—nay, enthusiasm—to embrace change. I didn’t realize that so much constructive thinking had gone so far so deep so quickly.

  • Alex Jones (director, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard; co-author, with Susan Tifft, The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times; former reporter, New York Times, former-host of NPR’s On the Media.)

1. Many of the values and innovations of blogging lend themselves to innovations that will almost certainly be adopted by the institutional media. It’s coming, and that is a good thing for journalism. It may not be such a good thing for blogging, because I think that the brand and distribution power of the mainstream media will be even more important in an increasingly crowded blogosphere.

2. The idealism and passion of blogging are its most precious qualities, and accountability and transparency are its core values. If institutional journalism can tap these qualities and values, journalism can be renewed. If blogging can maintain them, blogging will grow in influence and importance. These are both big ifs.

3. Open archives is a great idea! It makes moral and professional sense. But it also has great potential for building audience, especially at newspapers. All it would take is a successful experiment at a couple of respected newspapers that show the income from selling reprints could be matched or exceeded from advertising at a newspaper’s “old news” web site and from special services (for instance, tapping the desire for a momento by selling framed photocopies of actual clips). Result: win-win-win.

4. Despite the wonders of digital interactivity, sitting around a table face-to-face has special power. I already knew this, but it was dramatically on display this weekend.

Indeed, what a meeting. I felt this was a conference I would look back on in 5 or 10 years and say I was there when we learned about…”

First, scale: I didn’t know there were 6 million blogs, 35,000 new blogs per day, and 700,000 posts a day, and that all of this is doubling every 5 months; Much less what that can mean for citizen powered information.

I didn’t really know much about podcasting, and now I see all sorts of opportunities.

I didn’t know about MSNBC’s use of blogs for interactive audience building.

I didn’t know much about Technorati, or the Wiki family, or so many other innovators, and now I do.

I knew about, but had not met John, one of the minds behind the blog; etc. etc.

My list could go on and on. It was a Web-world-opening experience for me and made me realize how much change is ahead of all of us.

  • Jim Kennedy (Vice President; Director of Strategic Planning, The Associated Press; former executive director of product planning, Wall Street Journal Online, former business editor, AP.)

Going in, amid the usual us-vs-them debate, I thought the conference had no chance to get beyond those arguments. I was pleasantly surprised to see that we did. The differences between reporting and blogging are now well-established. There is much both groups can learn from each other, and perhaps we’re a step closer. But there is so much more to discuss besides who’s credible, and we began to scratch the surface of those issues on Saturday.

The real “ecosystem” of news — with reporters, editors, bloggers and wikipedians — won’t truly flourish until we figure out how to support it. Can we provide services to each other, form business partnerships, generate mutual traffic benefits?

All these are topics for the next go-round. The good news is we may have broken the ice, amid the blizzard.

After Matter: Notes, reactions & links…

Here’s the rest: Big Wigs Confer, Part Two. Journalists and bloggers in fruitful combination. Big Wigs Confer, Part Three. The Wiki Buzz.

Scott Rosenberg, managing editor of Salon, reacts to this post:

When a New York Times Magazine writer declared last fall that “nobody reads” most blogs, he casually flattened the space between “mass or niche market” and “nobody.” This formulation shoves everything that falls below the threshold of media significance into the null void.

Pros — stuck on the understandable but by now, one hopes, discredited idea that blogging aims to replace journalism as we know it — often can’t kick the habit of valuing blogging purely as a business proposition. Some quotes from Rosen’s roundup illustrate this.

I highly recommend his post.

Item from the news: Senator Barbara Boxer joins the Daily Kos to post there a message of thanks to the Kos community for its help in applying pressure during the confirmation hearings for Condi Rice.

Conference participant Jack Shafer takes on “blogger preening,” a serious problem! Shafer writes at Slate: “the alleged divide between the old media and this new whippersnapper media of blogs has never seemed real to me.”

With the exception of the “metro” section reporter covering a 12-car pile-up on the freeway, I think most practicing journalists today are as Webby as any blogger you care to name. Journalists have had access to broadband connections for longer than most civilians, and nearly every story they tackle begins with a Web dump of essential information from Google or a proprietary database such as Nexis or Factiva. They conduct interviews via e-mail, download official documents from .gov sites, check facts, and monitor the competition—including blogs—the whole while.

And he ridicules the triumphalism bloggers allegedly showed at the conference.

Here is my reply.

Dave Winer also has some reflections.

Remarking on the Shafer column, Tim Cavanaugh at Reason’s Hit and Run has a point: “The bloggers’ own claims that they are transforming the media, empowering the individual, making the old fogies at the newspapers and TV stations quake in their boots, etc., are always taken at face value when newspapers or TV news shows do a blog story (and that kind of perfunctory reporting could itself be seen as a form of condescension if bloggers had a lick of sense.)”

Meanwhile Kevin Maney, who covers technology for USA Today, writes pretty much the same column. “Take a pill, all you blogomaniacs.”

Jon Bonné, conference participant, at “Blogging doesn’t merely add more voices to the dialogue. It is an essential tool in helping to translate the world. But at the end of the day, the challenge remains to squeeze a world of information into our very finite lives.”

AP account by Frank Bajak, Technology Editor:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— The managing editor of The New York Times threw down the gauntlet as she stared across a big O-shaped table at the prophets of blogging.

Did they have any idea, asked Jill Abramson, what it cost her newspaper to maintain its Baghdad bureau last year?

The unspoken subtext was clear: How can you possibly believe you can toss a laptop into a backpack, head for Iraq’s Sunni Triangle and pretend to even come close to telling it like it is?

Note to conference planners…. This event showed that an invitation-only conference and a public weblog about it are in conflict. They don’t mix. You can’t be open to participation and invitation-only. At least, that is the state of our knowledge right now.

Going in, I thought the Blogging, Journalism, Credibility conference weblog was a good idea. Now it needs a re-think. More thought needs to go not into “branding,” but into naming such an event, along with explaining its genesis, who’s coming and why, what the point is, what the expectations are, and so on.

Nifty portal page: Founder Michael Schaefer e-mails: “We thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a quick portal where most of the respected bloggers, massive blog engines, and just plain good & well maintained blogs were easily found and accessed…so that tech blog readers might be encouraged to easily check out political blogs, or religious blog readers may quickly find contemporary cultural blogs and vice versa. A place where the guys and gals who helped invent and nurture the blogosphere are highlighted and where the big search directories for news and blogs can be accessed for current information.” Their goal: a one-page guide to entering the blogosphere.

This is a webcred “tag it and bag it” post.

Posted by Jay Rosen at January 26, 2005 3:50 PM   Print


Heard you on Hugh Hewitt's program. I was dubious about the conference, but I was wrong. I especially agree with you about bloggers being content providers and sharing some of the same space with traditional journalism.

When I started reading Instapundit from a link on Best of the Web, I immediately saw what you mentioned, that freedom of the press is limited to those who own one and that blogs would be a paradigm shift. All the people who've been yelling at their TV sets and newspapers for years could now be heard.

One thing that has surprised me is how thick most journalists have been. For media pros to be so blind to how they are perceived is baffling. The only major TV newsperson who hasn't behaved like a Luddite and treated blogs as a personal threat has been Brit Hume.

I don't know what the influence of the blogosphere will be in the long run, but it definitely has broken the market for news wide open. The wall between the presenters and the watchers has broken down. People like Dan Rather will have to accept that they're performing before a live audience.

The corrupting influence has been money and celebrity. They remove reporters from the working class and place them among the "beautiful people" who are out of touch with the Great Unwashed. It takes a special person to not allow that to happen to him/her. I see it happening to Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, and I presume it will happen to some bloggers, as soon as a real business model is invented. But the difference is that there will always be bloggers who aren't in it for money or celebrity, but because they take democracy and their duty as free people seriously.

Posted by: AST at January 26, 2005 7:50 PM | Permalink

"The conference left me with a greater appetite than ever to figure out ways that a place like the Times can capture some of the vitality and energy and voice that makes so many blogs so readable and useful, without completely sacrificing the standards that guide our news reporting and editing." (Abramson)

On one level, framing vitality and standards as mutually destructive seems to guarantee in its formulation the impossibility of ever achieving its stated goal. On another level, it seems a clinically accurate description of "a place like the Times."

Posted by: tom matrullo at January 27, 2005 12:13 AM | Permalink

Jay, reading this is almost like being at the table. Perhaps better, because we get to see the event through an intelligent filter.

I don't wwant to give up professional journalism, I would just like it to be better -- and I am concerned at the notion of edited blogs maintained by the big media because then the notion of what a blog is gets blurred. If the media isn't ready to support blogging, it shouldn't have blogs.

Bloggers are becoming a major source for information of every kind. As we develop good tools to judge their reputation, we will be better able to take advantage of which of these 6 million individual voices are worth reading. Such a system, based on credibility rather than just popularity, needs to get a high priority.

Posted by: Amy Wohl at January 27, 2005 9:09 AM | Permalink

as good as a play

Posted by: Vertu at January 28, 2005 2:33 AM | Permalink

The best wrinkle about the blogs vs. MSM is that the blogs offer easier access, and allow newcomers to "break in" without brown-nosing their editors and producers.

Let's face it, most blogs stink. And those which have something are produced by people with good ideas and command of the language. The three men who do Power Line, for instance, would have the same winner in a newspaper or on cable TV. They are good, and their stuff is excellent.

In a way we are looking at the small store versus supermarket battle. Upon analysis it was clear both had to watch costs and margins. With the information battle it is still necessary to distribute the material people want to read or hear. Ossification in the old media has helped the blogs, but competition will close the gap.


Posted by: exguru at January 28, 2005 1:42 PM | Permalink

You need to do a part IV: What everyone else had to say.

Its nice that the "select" (those deemed worthy of participation in the conference) have opinions and ideas, but there was also a far larger audience than the 49 or so people who were invited to participate. After all, Berkman went to the trouble of doing two IRC feeds (one a transcription of events, one for comments) and an audio feed.

Or is Jay Rosen too elevated to deal with "the rabble"., I don't want to be asked what I thought.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at January 28, 2005 6:43 PM | Permalink

Paul, be very careful what you wish for, you might get it!

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at January 28, 2005 10:40 PM | Permalink

Speaking of blogging and credibility, Minneapolis' TCF Bank and its president, former state Republican Party chairman Bill Cooper, continue their campaign as corporate enforcers for Power Line and Republican Blogactivism with an advertising blacklist:

Posted by: Mark Anderson at January 29, 2005 4:14 PM | Permalink

Thanks for asking these questions, Jay. They illuminate a lot of the conference, in ways that the Saturday wrapup session couldn't possibly have.


Posted by: SJ at January 29, 2005 10:19 PM | Permalink

Part IV: What everyone else had to say -- Paul was actually one of my sources for this piece. I framed it all within an analysis of how the conference handlded inclusiveness.

Perhaps the only thing I can generalize from the 8 people I spoke to was that, among those who agreed that credibility and ethics were to be discussed, it needs to be done in an ongoing way with persistent engagement.

A few joined me in throwing some water on blog triumphalism.


Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at January 31, 2005 1:29 AM | Permalink

From the Intro