January 25, 2007
The blogger/journalist thing
The Chron's RG Ratcliffe explores the "are bloggers journalists?" question in the context of some recent actions by the Lege: possibly credentialling bloggers for the Lege floor, the blogger libel bill, and the proposed journalist shield law, among other things. All this and more is in podcast form, which includes a few words of wisdom from yours truly, along with Eileen, Evan, Matt, and Rep. Pena. (It's easy to see why Eileen always gets called for these things - she's a great interview subject.)
One point to add to this: If the criteria for offering expanded shield law protections for online journalists involves revenue in some form, then I'm out of luck. I don't take ads, and I make no money off of this thing. I realize that it would require a more subjective approach to include folks like me, and that such a thing is impractical to say the least. I just wanted to note that for the record.
Anyway, it's a good listen. Check it out.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 25, 2007 to Blog stuff
I have ads and I haven't seen dime one yet. No matter how many times I click them :)
Journalists and ANYONE who engages in political speech have a shield already -- it's known as the First Amendment.
Lawmakers are struggling with the question of whether bloggers are real journalists ....
I might accept that there is a real struggle going on with lawmakers about this and that lawmakers are spending many a sleepless night pondering this dilemma. But I won't because I know journalists like to use words with punch in them to dramatize their story. I think it really means something like: "journalists are struggling with the question of whether bloggers are real journalists". But what do I know since I don't have a journalism degree and therefore lack the appropriate communication skills?
In a quest to get an answer to some of these questions, capitol bureau reporter R.G. Ratcliffe interviewed several bloggers and legislators.
In a quest to determine if bloggers are legit, that reporter (who implies an objective view of the blogger encroachment issue) did his job professionally and without bias.
Given the ubiquity and ease of Google Adwords, if that ever became a criteria it'd be easy enough to put Google ads on your archive pages (so most folks who see them came in on search engine hits). I started doing that on Grits last fall, and the revenue is only a little more than $1 per day, basically enough to feel justified buying a book every now and again or submitting an open records request that costs money. But it doesn't matter that it's so little. The shield law bill doesn't specify how much revenue you must have to receive the protection, so Google Adwords, I think would be the obvious, soon-universal solution for those who cared about such things.
Journalism had been pushed into a corner and needed the room that bloggers were creating (with stories of the truth) to help journalists push back again.
And, journalists really redeemed themselves this Oct. and Nov. as they upped their truth telling and so would be my choice for "Person of the Year."
However, journalism really did need redemption. There has always been (Corporate, Business, Government) Media, but only in times of great stress on average people, has there developed new inventions of media to tell the truth. Talk to Juan Gonzalez from Democracy Now and The New York Daily News, if you need a history lesson.
Prior to this election, journalists' awful work had gotten us to this dangerous point in time with Climate Crisis, the destruction of the middle class and poor, No Evidence and Hidden Evidence Voting--all for a Kakistocracy, and such meanness as to harken to the days of the Inquisition. You let this all get so out of hand, you have made it difficult for everyone. People needed us. You needed us.
Now, you have room for the truth again, even though some of it will be embarrasing to own your profession (you know what I mean). You must tell more; there is a lot to recover. You are already in part way, might as well go for it.
And, if not, then bloggers, authors, historians, scholars and others really will have a big, needed and noble job to do--tell the truth--to help us all.
Or, perhaps, you might do it for Molly Ivins.