Monthly Archives: June 2008

Vying for the public’s attention, but what about their feedback? – Journalists vs the Blogosphere

Yesterday, I checked my Google Reader after, well NOT doing so for days and it had 976 new items. Holy blog-activity, Batman! One might automatically assume that I subscribe to too many blogs that don’t hold my attention enough to be a regular reader. This, in all honesty, is probably half-true. I’m a pretty busy person and I like to subscribe to random blogs. Some of them really are entirely hopeless in the thought that every single post will be read by my eyes: Amazon Daily, Mashable, NPR’S Bryant Park Project all put out several blogs a day, but I keep them because I find fun little gems like this. So on a day like today, I usually get flustered by all the posts and start scanning through them, just to chip away at that number of “unread items.”

On this morning, though, I scrolled across a nice post in one of the “biggies” that usually clog my reader: the MediaGuardian from the UK’s “The Guardian”. This piece by blogger Roy Greenslade discussed (and is so titled) “Why journalists must learn the values of the blogging revolution” and why their understanding of the concept and the activity is so vital to media. More than anything he stressed how journalists are used to bringing up the topics and moving on, not waiting for a conversation to happen. Blogging has, according to Greenslade, turned that orthodox on its head. And contrary to popular journalistic-veteran belief, it does not threaten “the established order of journalism.” Journalists must, according to this post, open themselves up to a new thought process away from “us and them” and toward a more integrated way of doing things.

This was a nice post for me, fresh out of Journalism school and wondering how to reconcile “get the information to the people” stuff I learned with this new (well “new” by comparison) wave of reciprocal information going out.

As with all emerging facets of media, the content and its validity must be of the utmost importance. in a 2005 post in Poynter Online, Rick Edmonds warned that blogging and “citizen journalism”, though it [was] the next big thing in new media, must be checked – with all the conversation, “where is the news?”

I’m not sure there are many journalists out there who don’t understand this blogging explosion, but rather, there are probably journalists of traditional media who see it as something that takes up time that could be spent reading and digesting actual news and current events. It could also be that blogging is, essentially a way to have the same power and outreach as traditional media, without the credentials and hard work to get there. But isn’t that just how it goes nowadays? Isn’t it time to bury the hatchet and, as Roy Greenslade suggested, integrate?

On my part, consider it buried.

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Schizophrenic 2.0

Like The West Wing and Subway sandwich punch-cards (I recently learned they brought them back) the Bryant Park Project,  so many good things in life come to an end: In my case, college. In the midst of finishing final projects, studying for finals and saying goodbye to life as a student, I have been eagerly and frantically looking for housing as I relocate to the Bay Area. I’m already anticipating the repercussions of this huge change: distance from friends and family, a busier, fast-paced lifestyle, a much more steady income, less sleep, more reading, less homework, more client work.

There is one aspect of this situation that I hadn’t considered prior to reading Todd Defren’s post entitled “The Secret Life of Runners.” In this post he brings up an important issue: talking about client work on company or personal blogs. As far as my blog goes, I’ve never held much back. It’s been a log of my PR experience and discoveries as well as a personal manifesto as to my intentions for PR (to treat it like a lady, of course).

This blog has been a very successful resource for finding ways to not only join the conversation, but also to ask questions and get them answered by PRos. To say that this blog has been merely instrumental in where I am headed as a recent graduate and practitioner-on-the-verge would be a gross understatement so – I hardly intend to abandon it and the further lessons that could be gleaned from continuing to maintain it.

My question is, where’s the line? Can I afford to discuss my work in an anonymous way in a Web 2.0 world where to join the conversation is to, essentially, have a strong web presence and thus have your job, your work, your personal profile easily accessible? Do I refrain from discussing whatever career/life lessons I learn on this blog? Do I sacrifice my transparency by being secretive about my work? Does it benefit my client at all from any discussion I might have on them?

Any insight would help here, I’m having trouble with this one.