Sunday, July 10, 2005

Blogging, Journalism and Credibility

Jeff at Peoria Television Stations Blog is embroiled in a heated debate about what he does, his anonymity and journalism.

The above link contains notes from a conference held at Harvard about blogging, journalism and credibility that was held in January. Very interesting read.

There's a lot of gray area here. You see, on the one hand, I get what the anonymous poster who is "calling Jeff out" is getting at. I know the blog is very well read, but I also know several (current and former) news people who have expressed to me their distaste for it for some of the reasons the anonymous commenter expresses... basically who the heck is this guy talking about what we do/did?

On the other hand, Jeff is a viewer who knows how to use a computer. He set up a site. He's expressing an opinion. And let's face it, he has set it up to look fairly authoritative, at least as blogspot sites go. To be fair, he is rarely actually critical of anyone... almost to a fault. In the past he has said he wouldn't want a news director from somewhere else to read something bad about one of our local reporters or anchors, but to be honest, reading his blog you'd think everyone here is amazing and really that's not true either.

As I've stated before, I think while Jeff and I on occasion cover some of the same topics, our blogs are very different. Still, I'm not sure I'm on board with the anonymous commenter causing all the stir. This whole blogosphere thing is still very much a work in progress. Except for the fact that Jeff tends to keep things positive, how much different is this from the calls you take at 6:31 from people who won't leave their names, but want to wamp about what they just watched? I know real bloggers might take issue with this, but I see this as another step in the evolution from message boards and chat rooms.

We are in the early stages of a new era folks... where people can just put their thoughts out there for everyone to see and I'm not sure that journalism as an industry knows what to make of it yet. What if one day there were dozens of sites like Jeff's where people shared their two cents about what they saw on the news?

And Jeff, just FYI, I don't think because I have background in TV or because I'm using my real name or because people know how to get in touch with me, that my opinion is worth any more than yours. It's just a different opinion. While I don't always agree with your assessments or thoughts, it doesn't really matter to me who you are. I do find it kind of odd that you made up a name, but then again people in TV do that all the time... so maybe that actually makes sense.


Jeff Nau said...

As always I appreciate your comments and enjoy reading the blog.

I too struggled with what the commenter said to me, all except some of the more personal attacks that I quickly removed from the blog.

Although I will always remain anonymous on the blog, I quickly learned that there are people out there who probably truly wonder what my motives are for the blog.

It's simple... to just write about what I enjoy watching. My friends, and family always laugh at me because instead of talking about the latest episode of "Survivor" or "Apprentice", I'm talking about a report I seen on one of our TV stations, or what Chuck, Lee, or Ric said about the weather. I've always been like that... had that avid interest in our local TV stations. Needless to say, I'm the only one in my circle of friends, and in my family that's like that.

So when I was able to start up a forum in which I could comment on our local stations, I thought what the heck, let me try this out.

Little did I know that there were others in the area, and people who have moved away with an interest in our local TV stations as well. It's fun to be able to chat about what's going on with our stations, but mostly it's interesting to me to see what others have to say.

That's why I'm a frequent visitor to your site Edgar, Mike's Blog, and now our newest blogger Jessamyn.

BTW, I think you're definitely right about these sort of sites popping up more and more.

Did you get a chance to check out the Newsblues Newslinks?.. there are already several sprouting up across the country.

Anonymous said...

I have nobody laughing at me for not talking about those shows.

And many of us at least want no bug when it comes to TV.

I have recived some local media feedback... all positive. Except for about two commenters.

I don't think I'm much like Jeff, though. And I would never write some of the types of things he has... but I think all he has done is a very good thing despite that.

I just am not 100% sure of what anybody else is doing. And who is?

I also agree with you about this, Edgar.

As far as I know, Jeff is great, in a local TV viewer kind of way. I think there are lots of Jeff's and people like me out there... they just don't have websites... At least not ones specific to TV and media. I think. Could be wrong...

Anonymous said...

When I said: "I have nobody laughing at me for not talking about those shows.", I ment that I know of.