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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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November 1, 2007

Beat Reporting With a Social Network: Can it Work?

Are there network effects in beat reporting? Across the US, a dozen reporters (with beats) are going to try to find out—simultaneously. This will improve their odds of succeeding. I'm still recruiting participants, so read on...

Below is a lightly revised version of a letter that went out last week to a number of professional news organizations—some big and famous, some small and unsung—asking if they want to participate. My goal is 12 willing beat reporters at 12 supportive newsrooms. I have about 7 to 8 of the 12 signed up now. This will be NewAssignment.Net’s third major project, after Assignment Zero and OffTheBus. You can email me or leave a comment if you wish to be involved.

(Nov. 15, an update. Part two of this post came two weeks later: These Beat Reporters Will Try the Social Network Way, announcing the participants and their beats.)

This is a simple project testing a single idea:

Maybe a beat reporter could do a way better job if there was a “live” social network connected to the beat, made up of people who know the territory the beat covers, and want the reporting on that beat to be better.

That’s the entire idea—so far. Beat reporting with a social network: can we get it to work?

This is probably best done on a blogging-style platform at an established news organization that can devote a pro reporter to work with a circle of “ams” or contributors from outside the newsroom. Thus, beat blogging with a social network is another name for the same idea. Bring knowledge, contacts and interests of many different people from around the beat into the production of news, views and information for the beat, by making use of social networking tools that lower the cost of collaboration and make it viable for dispersed groups to become an editorial force.

The tools for social networking are by now advanced enough that a live forum like that, nurtured by a clever reporter with flexible skills, could become the working heart of an online beat, which could then feed other platforms—the daily print edition, a weekly supplement or magazine, a podcasting schedule, a radio program.

Let’s figure out how it’s done! For that we need to do organized proof-of-concept work. But I have a way to keep the organization to a minimum. Twelve reporters (with supporting editors) in twelve editorial “shops” build the social network that makes sense for that beat— and for that shop. They design it. They run it. They fund it. They venture into it independently but simultaneously with others trying similar combinations.

Doing your own thing when eleven other newsrooms are doing the same thing their way raises substantially the odds of succeeding. But to get the benefits there has to be a forum—a common space—where networked beat reporters, with their editors, can compare notes, share problems, test tools, “fail well,” and of course watch how others do it, so as to get ideas for one’ self.

That’s NewAssignment.Net’s job: we’ll create the common space and make sure it works for the people whose by-lines and news brands are invested in these newfangled beats. We will also feed into the experiment the best thinking from outside professional newsrooms. I will share some of the ideas I have for how to approach beat blogging with a social network. While there may be advice, there is no consent. Participants run their beats their way.

As I announced at the Networked Journalism Summit in New York (Oct. 10) and the Online News Association in Toronto (Oct. 17-19) and the Journalism Leaders Forum in the UK (Oct. 16), I am pulling together a core group of practicing beat reporters to dive into this work, knowing there’s back-up available. My target number is twelve: twelve beats and twelve sites from across the editorial landscape. By “backup available” I mean….

  • The eleven other sites where beat reporters are also building social networks into their beats.
  • NewAssignment.Net’s David Cohn will be the project’s connector, compiler, human switchboard and resident journo-geek, making sure that progress is noted, lessons get circulated, common problems are spotted early, and the best tools get tried. He will also run the mailing list for reporters and editors, and the website where the results accumulate.
  • New Assignment.Net will bring intellectual capital from its network to specific problems and new knowledge needs as they arise in the doing of networked beat reporting.
  • We will try for at least one conference event where we can bring the network together terrestrially. Timed right, such meetings can solidify best practices.
  • “Philosophical backup.” Via my own writing at PressThink, Huffington Post and Idea Lab (the new Knight News Challenge Fund site) I will explain the idea—beat blogger with a social network—and place it in the larger online journalism picture, drawing attention to what the twelve beat writers are doing. My goal would be to build an audience for the work among people who follow innovations in journalism and new media.
  • A new site, (which is now operating) will contain tools, lessons, a group blog for reflections, and a handy way to follow all the live beats going on simultaneously in the project. It will also track, document and explain the project, what we are doing and why, so others can get it and follow progress. By subscribing to’s feed, weekly email service or bookmarking the site, anyone can follow the progress at our test sites, plus the thinking, analysis and tool building going on in the project’s commons.
  • NewAssignment.Net, with partners (more likely) or on its own (possibly), can have new tools and applications built specifically for beat blogging with a social network, should the practical need arise. First option will be to use existing technology to keep new costs and delays as close to zero as possible.

The key participants and featured players in the experiment are obviously the individual reporters with beat responsibilities who want to give it a try. But the leadership of the news organization has to be in on the deal from the start and committed to trying a networked approach in one beat. In that sense the participants are the “shops” (a dozen newsrooms) that nominate a beat reporter for the project and create a home page where it lives online—a url for the beat.

There’s your minimum standard for participation. It’s five things: a reporter, a beat, a url for the new, networked beat home page, one supportive editor on the “web” or new media side, one supportive editor on the “news” side.

In addition to the reporters themselves, supervising editors are key participants because they have to be in on the larger scheme, fully understand it and support it with whatever resources are required. Same goes for the web division of the news organization: an active sponsor is needed.

Now for a more detailed FAQ:

Isn’t this what beat reporters already do?

Beat reporters have always had networks of sources, of course, but the sources haven’t been connected to one another, or able to self-publish; they haven’t been social networks at all. And we didn’t have the easy tools for Web-based collaboration that we have now, like group blogs, wikis, Facebook groups and so on.

To better understand the difference, take the Rolodex of a typical beat writer and imagine all the scattered but well connected people in it wired together. Pooling their knowledge for the good of the beat, they also get something from participating in its daily buzz; it’s river of news. We haven’t “always” had a reporting system like that.

From the reporting staff, who’s right for this project?

Reasonably Net-savvy. Committed to working in an interactive way but for the sake of real journalism. Open to doing things with different premises. They do not have to be “techies” in any sense, or citizen journalism evangelists. But they do have to believe that readers and listeners—amateurs—have a lot to contribute; they ought be interested in working closely with non-journalists to improve beat coverage.

Reporters chosen for the project should be able to handle a certain amount of uncertainty and fuzziness at the outset, since it’s not like we have a formula for doing this. It’s great to have people who are excited about learning new, social media skills, who want to be part of the solution for how journalism thrives on the open Web.

What kind of beats would work best?

Beats where it is relatively easy to identify the people “out there” who have hard won knowledge, an invaluable perspective or a network of their own, the kind of “assets” the reporter is likely to need to do a better job in covering the beat.

I picture a reporter in the Hampton Roads, VA area who is responsible for covering family life in the military for a sprawling region, with a lot of big bases. The reporter isn’t on those bases, or in the military. Getting an overview is hard because there are so many places where the story is happening.

But there are a lot of people around Hampton Roads with pieces of that story, who have built-up knowledge about it, vital glimpses into it, who might want to connect with other pieces, other glimpses, other people. They’re online and connectible. To some degree they’re already connected. What’s it going to take to get them to join your beat’s social network? What kind of contract—trust—emerges between reporter and network? These are some of the first questions participants in the project will have to answer.

Dan Gillmor, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News, put it as well as it can be put. “My readers know more than I do.” Beats where that statement is true and obvious to the reporter are probably the best.

Is there anyone doing anything like this now?

I’m sure there is. Here’s an interview with a columnist who runs an online forum at her site that is intimately related to her beat. The forum feeds the beat and helps her keep track of stuff she might otherwise miss. That’s the kernel of the approach I’m suggesting. Know of other examples? Spill.

What size social network is anticipated?

This is hard to say because I think the answer is going to vary a lot, but I was imagining a reporter starting with about 20-40 people as a core group, and seeing how that worked. That figure is really a guess. Your guess is as good.

In choosing participants for the reporter’s network, what sort of criteria should apply?

Obvious criteria. They should be people with the kind of knowledge, insight, experience, perspective or contacts that are likely to be valuable to the reporter, given the issues the beat visits. They should be diversely placed across the beat: from different institutions and levels of responsibility. (In education: administrators, teachers, parents, students, alums, board members, union officers, vendors, pols.) Get lots of points on the dial, but make it a tight dial in the sense of sharply defining what is “in” the beat, and outside it.

Participants should represent the different perspectives and stakeholders normally found in news coverage on the beat, and those not normally found but needed to round out, spread out and plain ol’ improve beat coverage. They should have diverse views and opinions while at the same time sharing a common “field” of newsy interest. They should be able to get along without fisticuffs. Some might fit the category of expert, but others might not. More important than formal credentials is: they know territory that is central to the beat. The system as a whole covers the waterfront.

Let’s say we decide to join up, and we have a reporter with a challenging beat, fully briefed and ready to give it a go… what happens then?

Your mileage may vary. I see these initial tasks in the first month or two:

1.) Pull together the network by picking the right people and asking 20-40 of those people to join as “friends of the beat;” includes figuring out what to say (what terms to offer) in the letter requesting their participation. It also means working on the give-get bargain: what do participants give, what do they get out of it? (See this post, “Grok their motivations and they may contribute.”)

2.) Decide on tools: the initial methods by which the reporter will convene the network, get it running, and communicate with it: blogging platform, mailing list, online discussion forum, wiki, Facebook group, weekly conference call, or some combination of forms.

3.) Come out with an adaptable home page (with a unique url) for the newly networked beat that displays the reporting, but also other fruits of the network, as well as other beat information. News feeds, aggregation, lists and calendars, weights and measures. The beat blogging with a social network home page must be a tool in motion—versions of it keep coming out.

4.) Run a few simple trials to test how well the network works in providing concrete assistance to the beat reporter in doing particular stories, investigation or news features. The sooner these small raids can start the better for the big battles later.

If we decide we’re in, what do we need to do?

First, you need to designate a reporter and a beat. Then I need a “we’re in” letter via email stating your willingnesss to participate, and a bit about why, how this fits into what you are doing. It should include three names, with their titles, email addresses and phone numbers. 1.) The beat reporter chosen and a short description of his or her beat; 2.) an editor on the new media, digital, interactive, online, or innovation side of the operation, who will support the work, and 3.) the editor with direct supervisory *

* * *

After Matter: Notes, reactions & links…, the compendium and switchboard site, launched Nov. 14, 2007.

Dave Winer at Scripting News: “Jay Rosen is onto something. Beat reporting and social networks of people who know the beat and want better reporting. Please help him if you can.” Thanks, Dave. Considering what he’s done, that’s an endorsement and a half.

Ryan Sholin at Invisible Inkling: “Plea: Jay Rosen has the beatblogging with a social network thing worked up pretty clearly at this point, but if the project doesn’t leave behind tools (a WordPress theme, a Drupal module, a useful set of forms — something more tangible than good ideas that other news organizations can use), it’s just twelve more reporters with a blog and a bunch of know-it-all commenters.”

Ryan then follows-up with a little more of an explanation:

I think it’s a great idea. It will work. Good stories will come out of the project.

And that’s where I get off the bus, because I’m hoping for something that goes beyond a “project.”

I want a hunk of code that professional or amateur journalists can use to build social networks around their beat.

That’s my reservation about the plan as it stands right now: Leaving the technical choices of how to get this job done up to news organizations seems like it leaves a major step unfinished.

For me, that step is leaving behind software that a news organization can use to build more social networks around beats.

I have yet to work in a newsroom where its technical needs were caught up to its philosophy. For example, it is much easier to convince editors that presenting information in databases online is a good idea than it is to actually code up an application to make it easy for reporters or online staff untrained in MySQL and PHP to do it.

Eric Eldon of in the comments: “I’m a reporter. I write for a tech blog. I already use social networks to get scoops. So do my competitors. This idea should work, in one form or another.”

Jemima Kiss at The Guardian’s digital content blog.

Much of the time the ideas and theories around online journalism and using new sites and tools stay just that - theories. We need far more projects to put these ideas into practice so this has to be a good move.

The basic idea is to join together a network of people with the same interests to communicate, share ideas and information and then work these stories together “through” the journalist. That’s pretty much what a lot of journalists do already (and arguably have always done), but social networking tools like Facebook et al allow these relationships and channels of communication to be formalized, and in turn this project formalizes that working process.

Mathew Ingram of the Globe and Mail: “My only reservations are that some sources may not want it known that they are sources, and reporters may not be comfortable opening up about how they do what they do. That said, I think it will be a fascinating experiment in Journalism 2.0.”

John Robinson, the blogging editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, reflects on the shrinking newspaper staff and what it can “cover.”

Do we do enough? No. Not even close.

How do you watch over things when the watchdog has to cover acres and acres of corruption and countless miscreants? Employ honest public servants? Well, that’s a start, and most of them are. But it only takes one.

Journalistic options:

Citizens? I like this social network idea by Jay Rosen’s NewAssignment.Net.

Maybe a beat reporter could do a way better job if there was a “live” social network connected to the beat, made up of people who know the territory the beat covers, and want the reporting on that beat to be better.

It makes sense when you consider the potential of the two-way Web and the inevitable march of the thinking world online. We’re trying to pull together a proposal to participate.

Can it work? Dan Gillmor: “The answer is yes, I’m certain…”

Posted by Jay Rosen at November 1, 2007 11:31 AM   Print


Found this at

A new site (with the capacity to handle that kind of participation) is being built and will launch with the hiring of our first editor in the first quarter of 2007.

Hopefully that editor will be hired really soon... ;)

Seriously, the idea of a partnership between reporters and participants seems like an idea that can bring out the best in both.

Posted by: Ontario Emperor at November 1, 2007 3:35 PM | Permalink

This sounds like an excellent idea! Will it fly? There are people who never thought popstar Madonna would be anymore than a one hit wonder. And on the Net, where search engines already had a presence, who would have imagined Google growing as big and financially strong as it is today? I'll be watching from the sideline, cheering for your endeavour!

Posted by: Dave Lucas at November 1, 2007 6:54 PM | Permalink


It's unclear to me if you've given up on the idea of building some sort of a "community" for NewAssignment. Or maybe you never really wanted to go that way?


P.S. aside from keeping some of the key people, I don't see much of a continuity between the projects (something that would motivate prior participants to stay involved and build a community of sorts as time passes) D.

Posted by: Delia at November 1, 2007 11:10 PM | Permalink

It would surely help if reporters had sources who knew the subject.
Problem is, if they already have those Rolodexes, they already have sources who already know the subject. Don't they?
How come they get it wrong so often, when having talked to somebody who knows what's going on would have saved them a world of hurt (if that's what they get for screwing up which doesn't seem to be the case)?
Why would wiring together the inhabitants of the Rolodex make the process better?
Either the reporter is already checking with them, or he/she is not. So if person with experience and inside knowledge of the subject from vantage point A talks to a person who has vantage point B, that would be better than the reporter talking to both?
Seems to me that a reporter who's interested in this is the reporter who doesn't need it. If this looks to the reporter like a good idea, it differs only in technology from what they are already doing.
Those who need it won't touch it.

I see Code Pink suckered some of the hard-nosed fact-checkers.

You guys.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at November 1, 2007 11:44 PM | Permalink

I'm a reporter. I write for a tech blog. I already use social networks to get scoops. So do my competitors.

This idea should work, in one form or another.

Posted by: Eric Eldon at November 2, 2007 2:04 AM | Permalink

This is an example of layering a new toolset onto a natural beneficiary. I am sure that this project will illustrate the power of the many to contribute, while building off solid journalism to generate deep, intimate, informative and very popular beats.

Would a college newspaper, who had the potential of pulling this off, be a good candidate?

Posted by: David Harris at November 2, 2007 9:30 AM | Permalink


Interesting idea, which I thought might be worth joining. But I'm not part of big media - I'm successfully independent at

If you have a minute, take a look and see if my journalism is interesting enough to find a way to include. I understand why you want to keep things small and well-supported, but I suspect it's worth getting some folk like me involved. It might be as simple as allowing us onto the mailing list and tools.

Among the most interesting in tech are Om Malik/Liz Gannes, Mike Masnick, Susan Crawford, and Mike Arrington. All bring in interesting ways of working with very different styles.

Dave Burstein

Posted by: Dave Burstein at November 5, 2007 2:22 PM | Permalink

What, exactly, are the gains the new model is supposed to provide?
Will they improve the product?
Will they increase readership because of the improved product?
It seems to me that listing how the product will be improved would require listing shortfalls needing improvement. But journos don't accept the assertion that there are shortfalls in the process or product. So you'll be fixing what, in the past, has not needed fixing.

As somebody said, if Harvard notices, it has to be obvious. And Harvard noticed liberal bias in the media.
To the extent that liberal bias in the media contributes to lack of customer interest, how does the new model fix that so as to increase customer interest?

If there's an article on military affairs, are you going to call Jason van S. or Jesse McBeth?

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at November 7, 2007 11:57 AM | Permalink

There are some of us who consider most 'mainstream' media already to consist of one big echo chamber. It IS a social network, with largely homogeneous concepts and attitudes. That's apparently how hiring is done at the big papers and TV stations - is this candidate one of us, or not? The qualifications for employment seem to extend considerably beyond an ability to gather news and write it up clearly and on schedule. How else to explain the miniscule minority of journalists who do NOT contribute to the Democratic Party?

So is this social-network proposal a mechanism to consolidate the groupthink, and to enhance the ability to present a 'narrative' that will shove public opinion in some preferred direction? Indeed, as Richard Aubrey poses, how many of these networks would include a link to Jason Van Steenwyk on questions of military reporting, and how many to even Richard Clark, let alone Jesse McBeth?

Do someone please address this question.

Posted by: Insufficiently Sensitive at November 7, 2007 9:08 PM | Permalink

Consolidate groupthink, spread bias, reinforce the tenets of liberalism, elect John Kerry, bring back big social programs, legalize dope, mold public opinion so that Americans want a society more like Cuba, ban the lord's prayer from dinner tables in the U.S., raise taxes, spend the money on sex education for third and fourth graders-- these are some of the goals of the project, yes. Got a problem with that?

Posted by: Jay Rosen at November 8, 2007 8:49 AM | Permalink

Jay --

I am so disappointed that your project does not also plan agitate to...

...slash Pentagon funding; create a bilingual common market with Mexico; provide guaranteed government-funded healthcare, housing and incomes for all; unionize the entire workforce; reduce the prison population; convert all private automobile transportaion into mass transit; offer universal state-funded abortion and euthanasia; encourage heterosexuals to explore their closeted polymorphous perverse sexuality; repeal the Second Amendment; give the United Nations control over US foreign policy.

I had been led to believe that academia was the natural home of the left wing. It turns out its agenda is mere liberalism.

Posted by: Andrew Tyndall at November 8, 2007 10:14 AM | Permalink

Thanks Jay, your list was almost complete. But you might contact the University of Delaware for the specifics of their Residence Life Education Program, which represents some cutting-edge thinking in pointing out the paths of righteousness to an insufficiently educated public.

Posted by: Insufficiently Sensitive [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2007 10:29 AM | Permalink

Jay, I think this is a great idea and wish you better success than Andy and Jay had with

Posted by: Tim at November 8, 2007 7:04 PM | Permalink

Jay, what are the main potential problems you see with it? what *could* go wrong? (realistically...) D.

Posted by: Delia at November 8, 2007 10:07 PM | Permalink

> what *could* go wrong?

The project could attract a bunch of one-theme, write-only participants who'll criticize all day long, but melt away when there's actual work to be done...

Posted by: Anon at November 9, 2007 4:11 PM | Permalink

Anon: well... just my opinion but I think you *need* constructive criticism, with any project, if you want it to turn out well. Figuring out what could realistically go wrong and trying to prevent it from happening cannot be accomplished by people just jumping in...


P.S. And good critics may or may not be doing "the actual work" (seems irrelevant) D.

Posted by: Delia at November 9, 2007 7:32 PM | Permalink

Jay, the "Anon" response above if reminiscent of your style -- of course I don't *know* it was you...


P.S. anyways, good luck with your project! D.

Posted by: Delia at November 9, 2007 8:26 PM | Permalink

What a pathetic suggestion.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at November 10, 2007 5:22 PM | Permalink

*which* suggestion? (Anon's or mine? and if mine, which one of mine?)


P.S. if you are referring to my last post, I really didn't mean it the wrong way...and I completely believe it *wasn't* you, if you say so... D.

Posted by: Delia at November 10, 2007 10:07 PM | Permalink

Your suggestion that I would play sock puppet on my own blog is pathetic and insulting and enraging all at once. Worse, you want to make the insinuation and deny you meant it at the same time. Why don't you just get lost?

Posted by: Jay Rosen at November 11, 2007 12:34 AM | Permalink

Jay, again, I DIDN'T mean it that way -- you seem to have an odd habit of seeing the worst in people (I've lost track of how many times you've accused me of doing you wrong and than acknowledged it was a "misunderstanding" ("garden variety" or otherwise...). Frankly, I've had MORE than enough... so yeah... I was going to "get lost," anyways... (Hope you are happy...)


Posted by: Delia at November 11, 2007 12:57 AM | Permalink

Excellent. See ya 'round.

Posted by: Jay Rosen at November 11, 2007 1:38 AM | Permalink

From the Intro