- Panel 5
Jane Perrone - Guardian Unlimited (UK)
"Blog to work: blogging and journalism"
She is deputy editor, news and politics - blogging: 5-10% or her job
GU set up Jan 99 2001: 2.5m+ unique users 2004: 9.5m+
3 blogs: GU weblog guardian.co.uk/weblog, US Vote 2004 (/weblog/usa) , OnlineBlog
Weblog mention in the UK press:
stories mentioning weblogs: 230
stories mentioning iPod : 746 in UK national papers
stories mentioning blog: 242 182 in Guardian
176 in Guardian
(might have messed up those numbers by formatting them, should double-check them with those in the presentation)
75% of their young trainees have never hear of weblogs
Salam Pax helped raise the profile of blogs - they blogged about him before the war and followed up during and after. They published his book. He brought blogging to many people who would not be exposed otherwise.
Belle de Jour - winner of GU weblog award and was a catalyst for many newspapers to start writing about blogging in the UK (supposed to be a prostitute working in London -- but is she?)
Is blogging journalism? NO.
but blogging does provide a set of tools that could be used for journalism. displayed a quote stating that a set of practices irrespective of tools is what makes up a profession e.g. medical profession and the use of high tech imaging systems
She resisted having a blog for some time. Now she has one about gardening (perrone.blogs.com), along with other GU people Simon Waldman (wow.blogs.com) and Neil McIntosh (www.completetosh.com)
Some considerations on journalists and their personal blogs.
Where's the passion?
Victor Keegan set up a blog about Agricultural subsidies (kickaas.typepad.com) and found a good reaction, audience, etc.
on her personal blog: what do I want to write about
on her guardian blog: what does the audience want to hear about
She is open to responding to user feedback about possible subjects for articles on the weblog.
more news/theme-based blogs
blogging will become integral to covering major stories
adapt Scoble's corporate manifesto for journalists
Emphasise that we are writing in a first person voice, not as the collective of the paper, and also be clear and open about the rules they follow.
Weblogs will become more central to news organisations
HORST PRILLINGER, The Best Guide in Vienna: "Are you serious?"
How serious are we when we write weblogs, when we read weblogs? Should weblogs be used for serious purposes only? Are we annoyed by cat pictures and cheese sandwiches?
Horst's guestblogger: Haldur the moose, more popular than him, usually appears on Sundays
weblogs are NOT journalism, even though they can be used for journalism (minimal percentage of weblogs used in this way)
weblogs :: journalism = frontpage :: web design
There is a lot more to journalism than being able to use a publishing software.
"Duty of care":
verification of sources
editorial process (quality control)
separate facts from opinion
=> what does your weblog look like in this respect?
one source (in most cases -- all goes back to just one initial posting)
no verification (=> great rumor-mill) -- extra: see the Kaycee Nicole Swenson Affair for example
instant publishing (and the inevitable Dave Winer reference)
total mix of fact and opinion
Without any blog-bashing, let's examine Glenn Reynolds
The Sound of Blogging (1)
(Glen Reynolds) examples of stories " STANDING UP for free speech"
>>> comment: somebody that is simply linking becomes more important than the source!
<< some quotes => one-liner articles (or maybe two) >>
Not interesting, possibly even absurd if you leave the link out.
In addition to the traditional direct mediation of news, we have a new indirect route to the source - weblogs as news access points
Weblogs are not journalism, but that's exactly what we love about them
not really about the ordinary (rather the extra-ordinary)
focus on social/political elite
interesting: news that is relevant to me -- news for me = what's new in MY life (what I am emotionally attached to) => GOSSIP
News of other places is just there because the mass media communicated it to us, so the emotional connection is somewhat (artificial?)... (anybody got a good word?)
Life itself is banal => content pertaining to people's lives is not as exciting as the news on TV, but the people concerned are directly involved, so it can be more important for them
the value of gossip? It has always been important.. but...
we now have a medium which is good for gossip
Of course the contents of the weblog can also be constructed, fictitious, void of meaning, artistic, whatever:
The Sound of blogging (2) example out of "The Dullest Blog in the World" http://www.wibsite.com/wiblog/dull/ (the "I turned the light off" post)
Weblogs are not supposed to be about the truth, unless they are journalistic. They are about what concerns one particular person. About representing one individual's (by definition) very distorted point of view.
Weblogs are about one person's point of view (is this wiki-bold?)
But if you take a body of weblogs together, you get a larger picture - "Weblogs are a mosaic of everyday life"
People don't want to be journalists, they just want to be themselves and express themselves.
Weblog history -- a lot of material out there! Material on the banality (or reality) of people's lives.
Mass Media revolution? Revolutionary because people aren't taking their blogging too seriously (use for "everyday lives", not for "serious stuff"), and the fact that they are doing this is very serious!
are you serious about expressing yourself?
Peter Praschl: "Weblogs and Jam Sessions"
the problem: explaining weblogs (and all associated bits) to head of a corporate media company (?)
upon reflection, the listener noted: 'ah, Weblogs are jam sessions'
Jazz Musicians facing a crisis -> had to play for money - which was not very rewarding.. Left for another venue, where they could improvise, play what they wanted.
weblog writers: improvising from standards
almost by accident, a whole new kind of writing emerges...
weblog repeats findings of all modernist art,
part of a collective process (like Jamming). one wnats to be part of the working band.
entries are about flow, not new content; call and response
not about whether blogging is a new journalism, but rather about the after hours jamming
Phil: No editorial mechanism? There is a feedback mechanism present in blogging where incorrect facts get rooted out.
A: journalism: editorial process before publication; weblog: feedback process after publication, not a bad thing, just a different thing.
Q: how can blogs change journalism - e.g. change the interactions with readers? How do you use the comments at GU?
A: blogs JP writes dont have comments. Will add comments when they move to MT server.
Q: Subjectivity in weblogs? The subjectivity is less obvious when you take a collection of blogs (as opposed to a single blog & single voice).
A: yes, that's what I meant when I was talking about "the mosaic" - by putting together many blogs, you get something more than the sum of all the parts.
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