Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Conventional Blogging

Now that bloggers are getting press credentials to cover the conventions, some “real journalists” are miffed.  Some of these ink-stained wretches are claiming that bloggers aren’t worthy of getting the same level of respect that they are.

In the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, called bloggers “witty, candid, irreverent, passionate, shrewd and outrageous Internet chroniclers,” but then put them in their place. “… Make no mistake,” he wrote, “this moment of blogging legitimization — and temporary press credentials — doesn’t turn bloggers into journalists.” What makes them different, Jones said, is that “bloggers, with few exceptions, don’t add reporting to the personal views they post online, and they see journalism as bound by norms and standards that they reject. That encourages these common attributes of the blogosphere: vulgarity, scorching insults, bitter denunciations, one-sided arguments, erroneous assertions and the array of qualities that might be expected from a blustering know-it-all in a bar.”

And then there’s this:

“They’re certainly not committed to being objective. They thrive on rumor and innuendo,” said Tom McPhail, a journalism professor at the University of Missouri…. Bloggers “should be put in a different category, like ‘pretend’ journalists,” McPhail said. (This observation prompted blogger Athenae to write a post on Eschaton titled: Well, Pardon Us For Living.) [Salon.com]

Here at Bark Bark Woof Woof my Faithful Correspondent has gone to extensive efforts to make sure that she will be able to send reports from the convention; she’s gotten Tech Support (my brother) to supply her with a dial-up connection so she can send me reports daily from the scene.  There will be no pretenions of journalism other than the eyewitness reporting of one of the convention delegates, and with any luck, I will be posting her missives on a regular basis as the convention proceeds.  And I have the feeling that her reports will give you more of a taste of what’s really going at the convention than the observations of the credentialed bloggers or the journalists sitting in the skyboxes at Fleet Center.