Rebecca MacKinnon, the Tokyo bureau chief of CNN and fellow GLT is taking leave-of-absence to be a media fellow at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard. We've talked a lot in the past about blogging and the future of journalism and I'm happy that she's going to jump out and take a bird's eye view of all this at what I think is the perfect time to be taking a bird's eye view of journalism.

Rebecca has started a blog. Good luck and welcome to our world. ;-)

I wrote a bit about her before when I visited CNN in Tokyo.

6 Comments

It should be interesting to see what output ensues from a member of the mainstream media which has come to represent cowardice and mendacity; which gives a free ride to murderers who eagerly invade soverign nations and pursue neo-colonial agendas; which shirks its duty of questioning those in power in pursuit of advertising dollars.

I, for one, will be watching very closely. It should be fascinating to see the daily comments of someone who has manifestly sold their soul for a few coins and career.

Jake, cut her some slack. It's not so much the journalists as the management at this big media companies that's causing the media to get watered down. It's because media companies have consolidated the news as just another content source, dishing out what the masses want to hear to get better ratings.

Many professional journalists are taking a step back right now to re-examine their field. I think it's a great think. Most professional journalists that I know have a very strong ethical commitment to their trade and feel just as strongly as we do that the current system is not working well.

Joi, today's journalist is tomorrow's manager. Somebody in bed with organizations that turn a blind eye to wholesale murder cannot suddenly turn honest in their blog. Unless, of course, they are brave enough to risk alienating their day job.

I highly doubt a CNN'er would do such a thing.

Another thought: what if the blog movement gets co-opted by large corporate interests? Do we really want to encourage these entities? It's like the sharks in Finding Nemo. Their gut instincts (eating Nemo) are completely antithetical to what they try to do (not eat him).

Just look at the absurd heights (depths) copyright and trademark laws have reached on the web. The RIAA running after kids, everybody and his uncle claiming rights over public domain items, URLs being sued for under dubious pretexts of trademark integrity.

If Joe Potbelly suddenly wakes up one day and decides to (woo hoo!) go outside the mainstream for his news, then ends up reading blogs by people like this CNN lady, what's going to happen to blog-land? It'll end up being yet another playing-ground for the same people who are systematically taking away Joe's right to own *anything*

Greetings from the "CNN Lady"... it's very interesting to see how people are reacting to the idea that I am blogging. Thank's for defending me, Joi! Please note that my blog is my own private project, conducted during an unpaid leave-of-absence. It is completely un-affiliated with my employer. So I'm doing this as a private citizen - who just so happens to have a lot of professional journalism experience. I'm trying to keep an open mind and am not acting in any particular corporate interest. At the same time I'm not going to make public value judgments about my employer. I'll be the first one to tell you that my industry has a lot of shortcomings, and there are lots of reasons for them. The past cannot be reversed, unfortunately, especially not by me. So what I'm interested in doing is to focus on the future...and try and explore what journalists who care about improving our industry can do.

Rebecca,
glad to see a mainstream journalist checking this out with an open mind (I hope Joi loaned you his flame-proof jacket)! I hate to see individuals attacked for the flaws in their industry -- it indicates a rather myopic view of the world.
At any rate, I wanted to comment on something you said on your site, re the anti-globalization protestors being kept well away from Davos. While I'm sure there is good reason to keep those with a penchant for violence away, it smacks of "the old boys network", especially when Clinton remarked several times that "we all know what the issues are...".
In particular there are some very cogent arguments against globalization (at least in its present form) that would make an excellent counter-point to the pallor of smugness I sense creeping in.
Many years ago I heard a fellow in Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park admonishing all to "know your adversary" by keeping a copy of their writing with you. While I dont believe in such an adversarial approach, I think much can be learned from those with differing views. And blogs are a great way to see the many dimensions of an issue and the people who make it more than words. It might even provide some historical perspective as things change...

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