Thursday, June 26, 2008

Newspapers, bloggers, and librarians

The question of journalists and blogging has been debated for years, and I've linked to lots and lots of stuff on the topic. There's so much now that I don't usually link to it, but once in awhile I notice something that stands out. Today, it's a posting by Roy Greenslade, Why journalists must learn the values of the blogging revolution. He raises some interesting ideas:
I have tended to predict that future news organisations will consist of a small hub of "professional journalists" at the centre with bloggers (aka amateur journalists/citizen journalists) on the periphery. In other words, us pros will still run the show.
I'm altogether less certain about that model now. First, I wonder whether us pros are as valuable as we think. Second, and more fundamentally, I wonder whether a "news organisation" is as perfect a model as we might think.

On a related note, I noticed another journalist/blogger spat going on in Asheville NC, where a local blogger, former reporter at the newspaper, forecast the paper's predictable coverage of a big story. Newspaper columnist takes umbrage, 'outs' the blogger, rants about anonymous criticism. Nothing new here but a good example of how the media could be building on the contributions of bloggers instead of attacking the format. The blogger's take, with links: Bellicose Boyle misses the point on coverage of trooper tragedy. Included, a lot of makes-sense analysis of what newspapers could do better when covering something like this (the terrible loss of a young state trooper, first member of the Cherokee nation to become one, who pulled over a bad guy with a foot-long Florida criminal record who killed him with his own gun).

Some of this is the usual discussion of what is respectful coverage of tragedy, whether reporters should contact next of kin or demand 911 tapes. Although I dislike some of the 911 reporting I see, I think the paper got good stuff here: a story about how truckers led the cops to the shooter.

On another topic, I meant to link to this the other day (somehow it slipped by then) when linking on the future of news libraries: J Baumgart, who's been active in the News Division for several years, got to thinking about where the profession is going. Good thoughts. Losing the Stars and Mentors.
...the News Division has a proud tradition of strong leaders and amazing librarians whom most people in the profession put on pedastals. Many of these folks have made real careers of news librarianship with professional service measured in decades. It seems like lately many of those people have been climbing down as they leave news librarianship (not that we revere them any less) and not many people have been climbing up there.

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