Drilling Down Into the ‘Blog
One of the elements from the video that is striking is that all of these four ‘Blogs exhibit early on is the tendency to self-reference, or “blogs talking to each other,” phenomenon.
Links to the referenced source or outright quotes are the keys to where the writer is getting their information from. Some of it takes the form of “getting you up to speed” on what happened before if you are new to the blog thread. Such as this example from Pressthink. Jay Rosen links to the NPR story and then his own post about it from his own blog.
But look at how Rosen crafts his blog post. In order to tell the story, does anyone else see that he is engaging in the very thing he is railing against? Look at the various links that reference his own posts to his various blogs and NPR’s response. It begs the question of how do you do “more reporting” when you are dealing with a story of how “reporting” is presented.
Jeff Jarvis has so many irons in the fire that he has no choice but to constantly bring us up to speed on the various arguments he finds himself embroiled in: as in this post. Author of Buzzmachine, I met Jarvis about eight years ago when he was first taking the “citizen journalism” road show to media professionals at a conference in Toronto. I like him because he makes me think about the industry. But I don’t like that he conducts himself like a bull in a china shop.
He doesn’t care what he breaks.
But he does reference his sources. Look at the links he provides to back up what he says. It’s useful, but is it journalism? Even he has trouble defining what that is.
What is journalism, then? I define it broadly — some would say too broadly, but I am always afraid my umbrella is not broad enough. I say that journalism helps a community organize its knowledge so it can better organize itself. I say that a community can now share its information without us, so we journalists must ask how we add value to that exchange.
Interesting that in his effort to redefine journalism over the last 10 years, he, and others, have effectively written the journalist out of the equation:
What is journalism, really? Does it matter? I’ve long said — ever since I rejected my own use of the term “citizen journalist” — that is a mistake to define journalism by who does it, as anyone can commit an act of journalism. Anyone can share information. By that definition, Arrington and certainly Blodget are committing acts of journalism as they gather and share information quite effectively. TV news is less effective. Wikileaks is perhaps too effective.
Since we can’t define it by who does it; (because that is problematic for Jarvis’ new definition of journalism;) can we the argue that journalists don’t exist as all? I hope not.
Thanks, Jeff. I knew ten years ago that you were drinking the Kool-Aid that you, yourself, made. But now you come up with:
Journalism is not defined by who does it and who does it does not define journalism.
So what is journalism, damnit?
I don’t know.
You’d better figure it out, because you are a journalism professor. [And so am I. So, "Physician, heal thyself."]
[See, everyone? I've just engaged in what I'm talking about. Now I'm in a conversation with another 'Blog. Great!]