Are Weblogs journalism? The debate rages on. Even newspapers are “blogrolling” now. And New York Times Digital’s CEO has a $2,000 bet on whether Web logs will soon trump newspaper sites in importance. These stories and more in CyberJournalist.net’s Weblog Blog archives.
Blog Conference in Vienna
The Center for New Media at Danube University is organizing what may be the
first conference on Weblogging, to be held in Vienna in May. "The first day of
the conference will be focused on experiences with Weblog applications and the
everyday use of blogs in the private environment and the corporate sector,"
EuropeMedia.net. "The second day deals with technical aspects of blogging
and finishes off with a blog installer party." The deadline for registration is
Feb. 28. [2/26]
Projo.com: Stormin’ Through
As snow blanketed the East Coast, storm coverage blanketed East Coast
news sites. One site that stood out was The Providence Journal’s, Projo.com,
which packed in comprehensive reporting with
information on local closings,
parking bans, travel schedules and how to cope with the snow. The site was
also wonderfully interactive with its community, publishing
a bulletin board for folks to share their snow storm stories; a spot
Storm Blog reporting notes from around the state; and
a slide show of reader
photos. The last two features mentioned highlight two promising approaches
to covering breaking news online that are being used increasingly — spot
Weblogs, such as Florida Today’s
journal and Spaceflight Now’s
Center; and reader slide shows, such as
this from the shuttle crash, these from
here from The Charlotte Observer. [2/18]
Reader Photos from War Protests
Millions of people marched worldwide this weekend in protest against
a possible war against Iraq — and hundreds sent in photos to the BBC, which
just last week started soliciting reader photos for its Web site.
Here are the
slide shows BBC Online published with those photos. [2/17]
Great Work: Reader Slide Shows
The BBC is about to start soliciting reader photos for
publication online, but The Charlotte Observer’s Web site, Charlotte.com,
has already been doing this, publishing reader-generated slide shows during big
local weather stories. "One of our Charlotte.com traditions is getting readers
involved in telling the story of major weather events," the site wrote during an
unusual January snow storm. "Since schools are closed today, and many of you
won’t be going anywhere, get out your digital cameras and send us snow photos:
your backyard, your stuck car, your dog, your kids, etc." The site then
published two slide shows using the best ones (here
here). The photos are by no means professional quality — but they offer a
fresh, unique perspective on the storms’ impact. And they have the homey-feeling
of a family photo album, except that in this case the family is one of Observer
Great Work: Witness to History
Belo has been collecting images and personal accounts of the shuttle crash from
readers and viewers into
a searchable database. The database is searchable by keyword or city. A
great way to use the Web to tap the community and advance the story. [2/11]
News From the Readers’ Perspective
Recognizing the value of tapping the news consumer community, BBC
News has launched a new feature that will showcase reader photography. "BBC News
Online wants to report the world from your perspective," the site says in a note
to readers. "And the digital revolution will help us to do that….So if you
think you have a picture worth looking at, if you found yourself in the right
place at the right time, send it to BBC News Online." The site’s picture editor
will choose the best each week and publish them
on this page
every Friday. This could provide a great and popular feature for readers — not
to mention setting up a handy way to get exclusive photos when major news
breaks. Here are
the slide shows BBC Online published when millions of people marched
worldwide in February 2003 in protest of a possible war against Iraq. [2/11]
Columbia’s Last Flight Online
Last weekend’s shuttle disaster unfolded as much online as it did on radio or
television. A group of space enthusiasts learned of the trouble in real time by
listening to mission control via NASA TV’s Webcast. They and other trackers
shared their thoughts online in many forums, including a discussion board for
shuttle buffs on the Free Republic Web site. The New York Times has culled some
of the more interesting comments into
compelling narrative; you can read the full discussion on
Blogging the Shuttle Crash
According to Daypop, the 40
most popular links with bloggers on Monday were all shuttle-related. Blogger Jim
Flowers has created "Shuttle
Lost," Weblog tracking how the blog community is reacting to the shuttle
The Granddaddy of Blabbermouths
Did Samuel Pepys
invent blogging in the 17th century? [2/3]
Great Work: Shuttle Crash News Weblogs
As news on the shuttle’s crash came out, Florida Today posted
continual updates to its "Columbia
landing journal," a Weblog of the failed landing and the aftermath. This was
a particularly effective format for breaking news such as this: as tidbits were
released, staffers John Kelly, Chris Kridler and Kelly Young added the latest
details, getting the news out fast and giving readers an easy way to see the
latest news without having to comb through long articles and figure out what’s
been added since they last read it. This nicely complemented
the site’s comprehensive
coverage, including its
close-up video of the Columbia launch, showing debris possibly hitting the
wing. Spaceflight Now’s site also ran Weblog-like updates as news broke, in a
feature called "Mission
Status Center." A great way to cover breaking news online. [2/1]
The Man Behind Dave Barry’s Blog
Blogger Ken Layne fills us in on
his mysterious role behind Dave Barry’s new Weblog: "I
don’t know Barry, just exchanged a few e-mails with him. But like anybody who
ever tried to write a column, I very much admire his work. After
publicly harassing him to start blogging, I figured I should at least offer
to help set it up. The ‘design,’ such as it is, is just a goofy blogger.com
template. But there is a real design in the works that looks more like the rest
of his site. I like reading journalists’ blogs, so I’ve pushed many of my pals
into the blogging pool: Tim Blair,
Matt Welch, etc. It’s sorta like being a
drug dealer, but from the comfort of your home." [1/29]
Dave Barry Starts a Weblog
Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry has started a Weblog at
davebarry.blogspot.com, packed with
tidbits of Barry-esque humor such as, "SPORTSMANSHIP: The way it works is, if
your team wins, you celebrate by
wrecking stuff, and if your team loses, you celebrate by
wrecking stuff." Barry thanks blogger Ken
Layne for helping him get the blog up and running and writes, "NOTE ABOUT
THE TWO CUTE LITTLE DOGGIES OVER TO THE RIGHT THERE: Those were not put there by
me. Those were put there by Ken Layne. I don’t know how he did it, and I don’t
know how to make them go away. If I did, I’d put cute little doggies on his blog."
A few blogs have been speculating as to whether it’s the real live columnist or
just someone pretending to be him, but Dave Barry tells CyberJournalist.net,
"That is indeed me, and I started blogging because of widespread public demand.
Actually, the only person who demanded it was Ken Layne, but he is pretty
widespread. (I mean "widespread in the sense of "broadly distributed on the
Internet," as opposed to "having a big butt." I have never seen Ken or his
Glenn Reynolds Joins MSNBC.com as Blogger
Glenn Reynolds, a law professor who quickly became one of the more
well-known bloggers as the author of
Instapundit.com, has started writing
a separate Weblog for MSNBC.com,
joining the news site’s expanding group of bloggers. "Several times a week, I’ll
be writing in this space with observations on various happenings in law,
politics, music, and technology," he wrote in his first post. "…This isn’t
InstaPundit, which will keep going on its own. It’s a new Weblog, part of
MSNBC’s Weblog explosion. I’m happy to be part of it, since MSNBC seems to be
interested in the new things going on around the Web, and so am I. The Internet
is just a big playground for guys like me." [1/20]
Newspaper-Like Experiences Online
A newspaper-like experience in an online news site is a good thing, according to
a group of test users who checked out an unnamed, yet-to-be-unveiled news site
redesign. Jay Small interviews the designer in his
latest Small Initiatives newsletter, which offers some interesting insights
into design. Unfortunately no screen shots are included, so it’s hard to
envision some of the ideas discussed, but the test subjects said they liked that
the new design "gives me a sense of what someone thinks is important." "This
response confirms a belief I’ve had — that news sites should look like news,"
says Alan Jacobson, the designer. "Users want a hierarchy of headline size and
story placement. And they don’t particularly need photos or graphics to have a
positive online experience." Just like Weblogs, as Small points out. [1/17]
Are Blogs Journalism?
Blogs are many things, and can certainly be journalism. But Blog
writing is not journalism simply because of its format,
writes Jos? Luis Orihuela — in Spanish. [1/12]
AOL to Offer Blogging
AOL is planning on offering subscribers blogging tools, probably by
Samuel Pepys’ Weblog
Phil Gyford’s realized that Weblog’s are simply modern-day diaries, so he’s
taken the classic diary by Samuel Pepy and turned it into
a Weblog. "Entries and footnotes are
already being annotated by readers who provide explanations and additional
information, creating a more communal experience than conventional publishing
allows," Gyford told the BBC. [1/2]
Blogs Make the Headlines
Lott’s remarks were
one of several
issues that the burgeoning blogging community helped push on to the national
agenda in 2002. [12/27]
A Lott of Great Work Online
The sequence of events that led to Trent Lott stepping down as Senate GOP leader
began with his comments about Strom Thurmond. Soon the media jumped all over the
backlash. But the first reports of his comments came not in traditional media,
but online: on two Weblogs,
Josh Marshall’s TalkingPointsMemo.com and
ABCNews.com’s The Note. Kudos. [12/22]
Weblogs – The new news?
Are Weblogs rivaling the mainstream media? [12/17]
Camera-Equipped Mobile Phones
Mobile phones equipped with cameras may be the next piece of technology
to have a major impact on journalism,
San Jose Mercury News’ Dan Gillmor. Already there are more than 10 million
camera-equipped mobile phones in Japan and some of their owners take snapshots
and post them to Web pages. "Watch the next time a major news event, such as a
bad earthquake, takes place there. Before the big Japanese media organizations
even have time to scramble their photographers to the scene, the world will be
able to view the aftermath of the quake — and, no doubt, videos of the quake as
it happened — on a variety of Web sites. [12/10]
Meet the Photologgers
Photologs, also known as photoblogs, are similar in format to Weblogs,
but they are built around photos rather than text commentary and links,
David F. Gallagher. "Photologs are a
powerful idea in their own right?they combine some of the best aspects of
Weblogs, such as instantaneous self-publishing, with a big dose of visual
stimuli." He mentions some of the more interesting ones, such as
The Words of the Press Quickly Outnumbered Online
The Sydney Morning Herald’s
Nicole Manktelow wonders, could blogs become more than a companion to
the media? [11/8]
Weblogs — Challenging Mass Media and Society
The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism hosted a panel
discussion on Sept. 17, 2002 titled: "Weblogs — Challenging Mass Media and
Society," exploring whether Weblogs are rejuvenating public discussion and
are an alternative to mass media. This is
streaming video of the
panel presentations. [11/1]
Arts & Letters
The popular Weblog news site Arts &
Letters Daily returns today, having been bought by The Chronicle of Higher
Romenesko’s MediaNews reports. The site, which suspended publication after
the bankruptcy of its parent company, gained an international following for its
pithy summaries of, and links to, much of the Web’s best writing on ideas, the
arts, criticism, and a wide variety of other topics. The site will continue to
be run by its founder, founder, Denis Dutton, a professor of philosophy at the
University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand. [10/25]
Interview Voyeurism and Weblogs
Reporters generally condense interviews down to a few paragraphs and quotes when
writing stories, but the Internet has made it possible for interviewees to
publish the entire text of interviews online. In some cases, this can offer a
check on reporters, making it harder for them to take quotes out of context; in
others, it can provide an interesting way for journalists to study the
interviewing techniques of others. This week Sheila Lennon, a J-blogger for The
Providence Journal, posted the
complete transcript of an interview with The New York Times’ David F.
Gallagher, who reduced it to one paragraph for his story; the complete interview
offers an interesting story of how one journalist turned into a Weblogger and
her thoughts on the form. And here’s a Web site that offers a gold mine of
MSNBC.com Launches Weblog Central
MSNBC.com has launched a new feature called "Weblog
Central," which aims to "serve as a perch from which you can observe and
participate in the brave new world of personal news." The site’s Will Femia will
write a daily Blogspotting weblog to "shine a light on life in the blogosphere.
. . .We?ll count on bloggers and those who know and appreciate online journals
to help us spot trends, share tips and make connections," says Joan Connell,
MSNBC.com’s Executive Producer for Opinions and Communities. She adds, "While
weblogs serve as soapboxes for the self-absorbed and platforms for previously
unknown commentators and critics, they also offer interesting new tools for
traditional news organizations." [9/27]
Weblogs and Traditional Media
Weblogs can be important journalistic tools and
Ben Silverman says he
has proof: "It’s called As The WorldCom Turns, Dotcom Scoop’s WorldCom
Weblogs: Media Lawyers’ Nightmares
Once news organizations edit and publish Weblogs, they become
responsible for its content. "If I’m a lawyer advising a news organization, the
idea of a Web log like this would just make me break out in hives," Jane E.
Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota,
tells The New
York Times. "It’s the kind of situation," she added, "where the editorial
side and the lawyers are going to have a clash." It will be interesting to see
what happens when the first Weblog libel lawsuits come around. And they will
Searching for the Right Weblog Architecture
Belo’s Jay Small
says the best Weblogs have permalinks and link banks, list most recent posts
at the top, keep items to one page, and are quotable. [9/18/02]
Weblog Panel Discussion
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism held
a panel discussion
on Weblogs and their role in mass media. Here are some reports from
J.D. Lasica and
Dan Gillmor, and from audience member
Danny Dawson. [9/18/02]
Crashing the Blog Party
Blogging is a hybrid form of journalism,
says Rene Tawa of the Los Angeles Times. "The best bloggers have signature
voices in print, spinning news and musings the way a Rush Limbaugh does, or an
Oprah Winfrey, and with the same sort of loyal followings."
The Post 9/11 Rise of Do-It-Yourself Journalism
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks gave new prominence to the
phenomenon of do-it-yourself journalism, from eyewitness accounts to analysis
from amateurs, according to a new study by the Pew Internet & American
Life Project. As a result, the study found, growing numbers of Americans seem to
want to use the Internet to supplement the information they get from traditional
Read CyberJournalist.net’s report on the study. [9/6/02]
Journalists’ Soapboxes Sprout on Net
A number of journalists now publish Weblogs that started out as
hobbies and have become must-visit destinations: AndrewSullivan.com and Jim
Romenesko’s MediaNews, for example. "What I do see in increasing amounts
is people building their reputations using Weblogs and then cashing out in
John Hiler, editor of Microcontentnews.com, tells The Globe and Mail. " If
you’re a freelance writer, a Weblog can help turbocharge your career."
The Future of Blogging
Despite the scores of stories that have been written about blogging
of late, Newsweek’s Steven Levy
somehow managed to find an interesting and original take on the phenomenon.
While there are an estimated half-a-million blogs out there, only about 10,000
of them are getting most of the attention, he figures. "The bigger story is
what?s happening on the 490,000-plus Weblogs that few people see: they make up
the vast dark matter of the Blog-osphere, and portend a future where blogs
behave like such previous breakthroughs as desktop publishing, presentation
software and instant messaging, and become a nonremarkable part of our lives."
And he adds, "The blog format lends itself to a new kind of reporting:
on-the-spot recording of events, instantly beamed to the Net."
Now that journalists have jumped on the blogging bandwagon, it’s not
surprising that public relations professionals are not far behind.
Trufelman and Laura Goldberg argue in Public Relations Tactics that PR
professionals should start playing close attention to blogs. "The ability to
check out journalists’ blogs offers an invaluable opportunity to gain insight
into their true interests and viewpoints. This information can be the difference
between crafting an effective pitch and one that will be deleted."
New Blogging Publications
The uses of blogging continue to evolve. Now a group has organized the writings
of about 100 bloggers, whose collective posts on "music, books and popular
culture miscellanea" together form a new publication,
BlogCritics.com. And separately, Pete
Rojas, a free-lance technology journalist, and Nick Denton, the founder of
Moreover, have launched a new commercial publication/Weblog called
Gizmodo, which focuses on gadgets and not
only posts links and comments on them, but includes "Buy" links for recommended
Weblogs Going Mainstream
Weblog Handbook author Rebecca Blood says, "In a few years, I think we will
see the weblog format routinely used by major media to do the things it is best
suited to do: filter information, organize frequently updated information in a
way that allows readers to quickly identify new content, and summarize complex
stories with pointers to more detailed sources of information."
Getting Lost in the Blog
Chicago Tribune staff reporter Nathan Bierma kept a Weblog, or "blog," for 24
hours straight for "Blogathon 2002," an annual online charity event.
Here is a diary of his experience.
How Weblogs Keep the Media Honest
"Bloggers are busting chops, big time,"
says The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz.
Flogged by Bloggers
Bloggers now swarm over its news columns searching
for errors and bias. The blogging revolution,
Andrew Sullivan, "undermines media tyrants."
What’s a Blog?
York Times’ William Safire weighs in on the origins of the word "blog,"
which he credits to Jorn Barger of Chicago.
Newspaper Blogger Crosses Ethical Line
The Houston Chronicle’s Steve Olafson has been writing a Weblog that criticizes
his own newspaper and offers opinions on news that he covered. But rather than
be honest with his readers and editors, he did so anonymously, under the
pseudonym "Banjo Jones," The
(Clute, Texas) Facts reports. It’s generally not acceptable for journalists
to spout opinions on issues they cover — but doing so anonymously makes this a
serious ethical violation. The Weblog has since been shut down, but for the
here’s a cached version of it.
As has been rumored, Salon is launching
a new Weblog section, powered by the
popular Weblog software Radio Userland. Salon is desperately searching for a way
to pull in more money and this could be it. If users buy into the advertised
benefits of having their blog on Salon.com for $39.95 a year — versus free on
places like Blogger.com — then Salon.com could pull in a fortune. Salon’s
pitch: software and hosting for a year; affiliation with Salon’s name; and
inclusion on the The Salon Blogs Updates
and Rankings pages. Watchers
of the "blogging as journalism" debate, take note: Salon, a respected journalism
outfit, is effectively opening up its pages to amateur authors.
Are You Blogging Yet?
journals could have business value.
Blogging Goes Mainstream
Will the widespread use of the Weblog format kill its appeal? What’s a
movement built around providing an alternative to traditional news to do when
the alternative becomes adopted by the mainstream?
Battle of the Blogs
Guardian is launching a competition to find the best.
Where are the Sports Webloggers?
Why aren’t sports journalists and fans producing Weblogs en masse,
Buffalo News’ Mark Connors? He points to a few now defunct ones, such as
Bostonsportsguy.com and the Surf Jones Weblog for Sportsjones.com, and several
other decent ones still publishing. But experts say they’re baffled by the
relatively small numbers compared to all the other blogs out there. Connors also
Angeles sports talk show host and sports-weblogger Brooks Melchior. "Most
people still don’t understand the potential of the Internet," Melchior says.
"…For me, the site is a marketing and promotional tool that in turn enables me
to increase my profile in the market and make more money through appearances and
increased radio ratings."
Is Salon Starting Weblogs?
Rumor has it that Salon may be starting Weblogs.
The One True b!X
Weblog reports spotting
Weblogs.com’s list of recently updated blogs — and when visited found this
note: "The very first post on the very first blog at Blogs.Salon.Com." Since
then it appears the page has been password protected.
Web Gives Voice to Iranian Women
Iranian women are using Web logs to talk freely about taboo subjects
such as sex and boyfriends, providing otherwise hard-to-find insight into a
the BBC reports.
Voices in Blogland
Conservative estimates place the number of blogs
at about 200,000, with new ones arriving all the time,
Christian Science Monitor reports.
Net Journalism Pioneer Dies
Scott Shuger, the first writer of Slate’s popular "Today’s
Paper’s" feature, died June 15 in a scuba diving accident. In
a touching tribute, Michael
Kinsley called Shuger a "complete Internet journalist" and a pioneer in the
field. "The Internet was essential to both his input and his output, and the
result was something new and useful that couldn’t be done before. Without the
Internet, Scott couldn’t have read five newspapers from across the country?and
done it before the paper editions were even available. With the Internet, Scott
could even write the column?about the day’s major American newspapers,
remember?from Berlin… Having gathered his material from the Web (with the
help, as it became popular and influential, of faxes and phone calls from the
various papers’ newsrooms), Scott would push a few buttons that would
essentially publish his column to our Web site, where it could be read within
seconds all over the world, and send it out by e-mail automatically." Launching
in 1997, Shuger’s "Today’s Paper’s" may have been the first blog-like journalism
to be published by a mainstream online news site (know
of any other early ones?) — a format, five years later, that has been
widely adopted by mainstream media sites.
Learn to Blog
The University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of
Journalism is planning a Weblog class for the fall term, in what is likely the
first graduate-level journalism course in Weblogging. Taught by John Batelle,
former Industry Standard CEO and co-founder of Wired magazine, and Paul
Grabowicz, the school’s new media program director, the course will explore
whether blogs are "a sensible medium for doing journalism, and what does that
Students will also create a Weblog on intellectual property issues.
Check out the
An overview of the Blog
phenomenon in the American Journalism Review contains this tidbit: Some
of the most popular blogs come from big-name journalists and former editors who
are brand names, such as Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan.
‘A New Literary Genre’
MSNBC.com has launched
daily Weblogs on media, politics, technology, international news and
entertainment. "Although a relatively
new phenomenon, blogs are becoming an important distribution network for news
and information," says "Altercation" blogger Eric Alterman. "Although a
relatively new phenomenon, blogs are becoming an important distribution network
for news and information." Adds Joan
Connell, executive producer for Opinions and Communities on MSNBC.com: "We see
blogs as both a new literary genre and the next generation of online
communities: A focused, information-rich environment in which a writer —
famous, infamous or unknown — engages in the daily act of thinking aloud, in
the ever-expanding universe of the Web."
Read bloggers’ reaction on
Metafilter. And find these and more journalists’ blogs in
The CyberJournalist List.
Hail to the Blog
As blogs proliferate, the time is coming
when many of us will be turning them before Bloomberg or the BBC,
Putting Bloggers on the Map
A new Web site is trying to map New
York City Webloggers by Subway stop. Liz Maryland and Mike Everett-Lane, who
started the site, believe this is the first effort to physically map blogs on a
local level. Could this be the first step toward creating a local news network
of Weblogs? (Imagine: Check your neighborhood Blog for the latest news!)
The Emerging Media Ecosystem
MicroContentNews’ John Hiller examines how Weblogs and journalists work
together to report, filter and break news and declares that Bloggers and
Journalists are both parasitic organisms that feed off each other, much
like a biological ecosystem. As biologists can attest, such a symbiotic
relationship can been of great benefit to both parites — and in this case it
has, with Bloggers thriving off Journalists’ content and serving as a check, and
Journalists getting fresh ideas and increased attention from the Bloggers.
Time to blog on
At a Silicon Valley conference,
blogging technology left old-style reporters so far behind that they retired to
the bar. San Jose Mercury News’ Dan Gillmor told The Guardian: "This is my
guiding principle in journalism: My readers know more than I do, and that’s
Liberals in the Blogosphere
Eric Alterman is
joining the so-called "blogosphere" (though he hates the name) with
"Altercation" at MSNBC.com.
The American Prospect wonders, "Could the notion of a "conservative"
blogosophere be on the verge of becoming passe?"
News by the People, for the People
Online communities with their own publishing tools and networks are
redefining news in the 21st Century,
says Paul Andrews in OJR.
Are Blogs the Future of Journalism?
Business 2.0 Editor
Josh Quittner says Blogs are the future of journalism, because they can
"hold every single fact up to the light and make sure that it all works.
"The first commandment of blogdom is that anyone can become a
says columnist John Leo in the New York Daily News. "Nobody is in charge.
Bloggers can say anything they want to and get their message out with blinding
speed. This is unsettling to us lumbering print guys. Six or seven times I had
to abandon a column because some blogger beat me to it.
At Large in the Blogosphere
"Print journalists often adopt a tone of peeved professionalism when
talking about blogs; constrained, at least nominally, by stricter standards of
relevance, they seem to resent the blogger’s high ratio of self-expression to
information," writes Judith Shulevitz in The New York Times.
Old and New Journalism Together
"Since when did the next journalism become
us versus them?"
writes Dan Gillmor in his e-Journal. He points out that news organizations
and Weblogs each have their advantages. "There are emphatically a number of
things big organizations do better than Weblogs, and will always do better. One
is solid investigative journalism, the kind that takes deep pockets and lots of
time. Collectively, bloggers can ferret out untruths and come up with a zillion
facts. They don’t do as well at serious investigations or putting it all
The Big vs. The Blogs
"Are there some things the Bigs do better than the blogs?"
Dave Winer writes
in his Weblog. He suggests a comparison: "Do an industry conference and put
some bloggers and some pros in the audience. Who gets the story faster? The
bloggers of course. Who gets a more accurate story? Let’s check that out next
chance we get. Was the wait worth it?"
Blogorrhea in the Blogosphere
The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz says that even though many Weblogs are
self-indulgent, some have "produced fresh, clever, idiosyncratic, real-time
musings by all kinds of people whose voices would otherwise be heard only at the
The Rise of Amateur Journalism
Jon Hiler uses journalists’ ethics codes
examine whether Weblogging is indeed a new form of journalism — and
Blogging Code of Ethics. In sum, he says, amateur
Journalists are inherently biased; caveats are critical online; and blogging
doesn’t magically make you immune from libel and slander.
Revenge of the Bloggers
Disgruntled Canadian media employees are
making their voices heard on the Web.
Newspapers Try Weblogging
The Providence (R.I.) Journal and The San Jose Mercury News are
just two of the newspapers that have joined the Weblogging party.
Betting on Blogs
Martin Nisenholtz, chief executive of New York Times Digital, and
Dave Winer, creator of a Web publishing tool called Userland Radio, have made a
$2,000 bet on whether by 2007, a Google search on five keywords representing the
year’s top news stories would rank Web logs higher than the New York Times site.
"I think it’s a sucker bet,"
Winer told The Washington Post’s Leslie Walker. "There are half a million
Web logs now, and in five years there’ll be a lot more." Nisenholtz sees things
differently. "Readers need a source of information that is unbiased, accurate
and coherent," he said. "News organizations like the Times can provide that far
more consistently than private parties can."
Changing Approaches to Journalism
Dan Gillmor, technology columnist and Weblog author for the San Jose
Mercury News, tells MSNBC.com
eJournal Weblog he’s been writing since 1999 has changed his approach to
journalism. ?My readers know more than I do, and that?s a liberating notion, not
a scary one,? he says. ?Every journalist ought to realize it?s true. No matter
what you cover, your readers know more collectively than you do. If we can
capture that, we all come out ahead.? Weblogs, he says, include elements of a
seminar and conversation. ?The division that has existed between the journalist
and the audience is blurring, and that?s a good thing.?
Are Weblogs the blinking neurons of an emerging, chatterbox superbrain? Or are
these proliferating online diaries merely podiums for bush-league blowhards?
James Wolcott says in Business 2.0
magazine they?re a bit of both, and that’s precisely what makes them so
More newspapers are starting to incorporate Weblogs into their sites, and the
Observer-Reporter is taking a new approach. Columnist Jessica Smith has invited
the newspaper’s readers to suggest links for "Off
the Record," a general interest Weblog. "Blogs usually are praised because
they remove the traditional media intermediary," Smith says. "We’re retaining
the mediator (me) because I have nightmares of snickering adolescents posting
links to their favorite porn sites or self-appointed political analysts using
our blog as a platform for extended tirades. I promise to exercise a light
Spokane’s Innovative Approach
Ken Sands, "interactive editor" at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., has
created several special-coverage blogs, such as one with updates on a high
school basketball championship,
writes Steve Outing in E&P. "The blog got so popular, and I was so
recognizable by the end of the tournament, that fans and even the players were
approaching me to tell me stories," Sands says. "I’ve never seen anything like
it in my 21 years here." His latest Weblog
Webloggers: ‘Pay Attention to Them’
"To keep up with the discussion and latest analysis, one now needs to pay
attention to the online debate and commentaries and not just what finds its way
into print or on the TV screen,"
writes Geitner Simmons in The Masthead, a publication of the National
Conference of Editorial Writers. "Just as bloggers are watching us in the
traditional media we need to pay attention to them."
Group Web Logs
Steve Outing wonders in
E-Media Tidbits, a group Weblog, why there aren’t more collaborative blogs
online. Tom Shugart pointed out to him a few other group Weblogs:
Reading Gonzo Engaged, a
free-wheeling group blog that lets in anyone who asks;
Blog Sisters, a group of more
than 50 women Webloggers; and
Blogtank, an "attempt by a group of us to see if we can get a viable
consulting business going with this approach," says Shugart.
Web as Conversation
James Lileks writes that
"the newspaper is a lecture. The web is a conversation."
Writing, and Blogging
The Weblog revolution just might change
journalism for the better,
Jonathan V. Last writes. TV
Poynter’s Steve Outing writes about a "Whoa moment" San Jose Mercury News
columnist Dan Gilmor had at a conference he was covering, when he posted an item
eJournal Weblog using a wireless Internet connection and soon after a
speaker, after reading the item on his laptop, announced a correction. "Gillmor
says he had a ‘whoa moment,’ realizing how profound was that near-instantaneous
exchange between journalist, source, and audience," Outing writes. "Now that’s
Dot.commies and Dot.reactionaries
Salon has withered, but many smaller sites are still
offering political commentary and political musings. Here’s a suggested reading
list from the
Chicago Tribune of some you may not know about or bothered to read:
Sullivan, Arianna Huffington,
FrontPage Magazine (which claims its
traffic grew 75 percent in 2001!), 3 a.m.
Magazine, Identity Theory,
Arts and Letters Daily.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Kuro5hin are four small
sites doing good journalism on tiny budgets with tiny staffs. Some good lessons
can be learned from them, as
J.D. Lasica points
out in the Online Journalism Review. Note, in particular, the discussion of
Metafilter, a communal blog where anyone can post anything. "People like playing
reporters," creator Matt Haughey says. "Editors and reporters are always going
to remain important. But this is an important supplement."
OJR’s Emmanuelle Richard writes about how independent Web publishers are
thriving despite the closure of and cutbacks at many larger news sites. (The
piece includes a mention of CyberJournalist.net.)
According to The Times…
The New York Times on the Web has begun a Weblog of links to some of the weeks
top stories in The Times called "According
to The Times…" What’s particularly interesting is that the site is
basically using the Weblog to repitch stories to readers, except with a
completely different angle. Rather than the usual straight news headline — or
even a headline that summarizes the story — the Weblog highlights a catchy
detail or fact from the original story that was otherwise buried. For example,
an article titled, "Pop-Up Web Ads Pose a Measurement Puzzle" is linked from the
Weblog with line, "Pop-unders ads were originally developed by the online
pornography industry"; and an article originally titled "Pulitzer Prize Winner
Also a Profitable Bookseller" is pitched in the Weblog as "Best-selling author
Larry McMurtry’s favorite meal comes from the Dairy Queen in Archer City, Tex."
Me-zine Bully Pulpits
The New York Times looks at
the rise of
"me-zines" and how writers are using them as bully pulpits. Mickey Kaus
claims me-zines can easily turn a profit, pointing to his site’s "Pseudo.com,
dead," Mr. Kaus said. "Feed, on ice. Inside, sold. Salon, dying. Kausfiles,
SmarterTimes.com points out that Kaus must not think very highly of himself,
as he hasn’t factored the value of his time. Blogs: Not mere bumps on logs
Blogs: Not mere bumps on logs
The bulk of traditional media has only in the past year become aware of Web
logs, known to some as a form of personal or amateur journalism,
writes Jadine Ying.
Many people see Web logs as a supplement, chipping in what old media lack in
irreverence, personality and interactive flow.
Blogging as Journalism
A two-part series by J.D. Lasica
in the Online Journalism Review:
Blogging as a form of
Weblogs: A new source
of news on how Weblogs offer an outlet for alternative
Fear of Links
While professional journalists turn up their noses,
Weblog pioneers invent a new, personal way to organize the Web’s chaos.
Weblogs: A History and Perspective
history of this new online writing form.
Baring Your Soul to the Web
Firth reports for Salon on the pre-blog phenomenon of Web diaries
in 1998. "Online diarists have invented a new art form and gathered a devoted
following. But now some pioneers are questioning what they’ve created."
Meet Other CyberJournalists
our collection of links to Weblogs and personal sites of online journalists.
Got a favorite site or a site of your own?
Send it in!