Friday, November 25, 2005

Blogosphere Journalism

Here's a very detailed look at how a blogger (the Daily Pundit) worked a particular story. This will be of particular interests to journalists who aren't familiar with how the best parts of the blogosphere work.

An excerpt:
Well, this account shows how the Blogosphere can handle a genuine news story. I received a tip, saw a story potential in the tip, and started working the story. I posted the story to my blog, pitched it to "higher ups," got cautious reactions but links from them, which provided much greater exposure, and increased feedback from my own commenters, as well as analysis from other blogs and their commenters. As new information came in, I tried to address it, and in large part managed to do so, either with updates, or in my own comments mixed in with other comments appearing below the post. In the end the story was confirmed and completed by reax from CNN itself.

The entire process occurred in realtime over a period of about 48 hours. What did I do differently from the MSM? I was transparent. I posted stuff as I got it. I didn't just tell you about the tape (after "editing" my report to suit my own purposes), I posted a copy of the tape itself, so you could make your own judgements. By the way, I was once a customer service rep for a Baby Bell, and I've done thousands of calls with complaining customers. This specialized knowledge, not available to most MSM journalists, provided me with a gut hunch the recording was genuine - another advantage of having journalists who actually have something other than experience at being journalists.

I also posted a recording of my conversation with Preska Thomas, so you could judge her denial of a hoax for yourself. Finally, my own tone in reporting was somewhat different than I'd use if I were writing for a MSM newspaper. I used the personal "I," eschewed the faux third-person "objective" voice, and kept in mind that as a blogger a lot of this story was riding on my own credibility. And I named my sources.
A useful compare / contrast story with some insightful analysis.

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