Thursday, March 15, 2007

New ideas in journalism

Here's a wonderful idea from the Charlotte Observer: two researchers, Maria Wygand and Marion Paynter, have just started a blog for Sunshine Week that I hope will last: Your Right to Know. It's a guide to the public records available to Charlotte readers.

NewsAssignmentZero is the new site from Jay Rosen's that provides "Pro-Am Journalism" where you can contribute stories, research, interviews. Joel Achenbach discusses it more, and says "It's a bit like Wikipedia-meets-Woodward-and-Bernstein." Joel asks Rosen:
What about Bad Information?
That's a concern, he said, but there will be a Director of Verification (now that's a job title I'd like)

Oh, yeah, me too......where do I sign up?

And a couple other things I noted of interest:
The Horse's Mouth: Matt Drudge is the MSM's assignment editor. This is a reaction to a mention in the Washington Post by reporter Chris Cillizza, who says Matt Drudge's headlines are used as a source to find stories. TPM's Greg Sargent asks,
...if we're perfectly aware that Drudge is the primary sludge line for campaign oppo research, and if we're perfectly aware that some Drudge stories are massive distortions or outright falsehoods, shouldn't we be trying to figure out how to prevent Matt Drudge From Ruling Our World, rather than granting him continued domination over us...?

On the Media: Carol Rosenberg talks about covering Guantanamo. The Miami Herald reporter has covered Guantanamo probably longer than any other journalist. She talks about how hard it is to get information from the detainees when the government doesn't want it reported:
A couple of years ago, a colonel said to me, you know, we still don't have one of those Men in Black flashy things that can erase it from your brain.
What a thought.
Her point of view is useful in interpreting today's confession story...

(Added later:) More on the dubious confession from WIRED's Danger Zone blog, which compares Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's performance to that of The Wire's Wee-Bay in the first season ender.

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