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Are Bloggers The New Press Reporters
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msg:3559851
 5:26 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with nontraditional media outlets,"

One Retailer Says No [nytimes.com]

Everyone's a blogger, but that doesn't make everyone a reporter.

 

netchicken1




msg:3559905
 6:37 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Absolutly not ....

To mistake the two does nothing for the integrity of reporters, nor the quality of 'news'.

blend27




msg:3559953
 7:55 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

She has the full right to ask what she wants to know about and Target has the full right to tell he to go play in her own sand box, just the way they did.

As far as the Bloggers are New Press Reporters. Definately NOT.

Rugles




msg:3560010
 8:46 pm on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would say ... YES!

The thing about some blogs, they can break news while the traditional outlets are still confirming sources. The traditional news media merely confirms the news at this point in time.

I for one welcome this development considering the media consolidation that has occured over the last couple of decades.

I realize Drudge is not exactly a blog at this point, but he breaks news all the time. The major outlets seem to leak (or the employee's do) news to Drudge. He reports it and a couple hours later they publish it.

wheel




msg:3560809
 12:55 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>>To mistake the two does nothing for the integrity of reporters, nor the quality of 'news'.

Integrity of reporters? Quality of news? You must have a different TV than what I have (mine's a 32" flat panel).

Seems to me I'm watching insanity like journalists pulling stories randomly out of a box to see what they'll talk about (I'm not making this up). That's neither integrity nor is it news, but it is commonplace.

The news/media profession have let things devolve to the point where even the regular news outlets are barely above the level of brittany spears reporting. I know I'm a bit more tinfoilhat about this than some, but I do think bloggers are starting to make some inroads. Younger folks are online in droves, and not likely watching the 6:00 news. They're being trained to get their news from alternative sources.

Rugles




msg:3560998
 3:45 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

and not likely watching the 6:00 news

hang on ... they still have news at 6:00 on the teevee?

Qrystal




msg:3561443
 11:12 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd say some bloggers absolutely should be viewed as reporters, since they are genuinely reporting new developments in a news-like fashion. (Some bloggers are not doing this, and that's okay too.) "News" can come from anywhere, and doesn't have to necessarily come from "The Press". I personally think that the whole genre of blogging is becoming big enough that companies like Target should pay serious attention to their potential influential power.

One of the best explanations I've seen of blogging <snip> says that blogs bring the power to the people to provide news. And I think it's wonderful! Yes, we still have to be skeptical, but who really wasn't skeptical of the media already anyways? :)

[edited by: lawman at 11:13 am (utc) on Jan. 30, 2008]
[edit reason] No Promotional Links Please [/edit]

balam




msg:3561563
 1:54 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey, welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com], Qrystal!

> I personally think that the whole genre of blogging is becoming big enough that companies like Target should pay serious attention to their potential influential power.

I think you may be on to something there, but I wonder about the other side of the coin. Should the Targets of the world have to respond each time someone with a soapbox, err, a blog asks a question? What makes Juanita X Publico think she is a journalist and deserves a response? Because she has her Blowhard Blog account set up at Blogger and has some readers?

As for Ms. Jussel - the up-in-arms blogger in the linked article - she should decide whether she is a customer or a blogger. (See the last paragraph of the article.) As a customer, I think yes, she should be given some sort of answer. As a full-of-herself blogger, which is how she approached Target, no, I don't think she deserves the time of day.

Are bloggers the new press reporters? Can I be your new doctor? I just went to the kitchen to grab a knife, watched a lot of Marcus Welby & Doctor Who, and bought some nitrile gloves!

Malibucreek




msg:3561574
 2:05 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some bloggers reach more readers (i.e. customers) than many "traditional" newspapers and TV stations. Smart PR folks work with whomever asks, and if they must refuse requests, they sort on the basis of readership, not medium.

Murdoch




msg:3562335
 9:34 pm on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Give me a break. This woman has already gotten way more press than she deserves if the story made it all the way here to WW. Her argument is about as thin as the "leading brand" of paper towels.

How is the Target ad demeaning to women? She's fully clothed! Now people will start saying that McDonalds ads are racist because they have black people in them, or beer ads are sexist because there are scantily clad women in them. Heck, those arguments in and of themselves hold a ton more weight than this lady's interpretation of an otherwise mundane advert.

If I had to make the decision on the journalistic integrity of bloggers based on this situation, I would say no, bloggers aren't reporters. Sometimes they're just idiots with big mouths.

jomaxx




msg:3562596
 6:12 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

OMG, I just read the original article. I'm sure that part of the reason for Target's reaction is that the blogger is delusional.

vincevincevince




msg:3562599
 6:18 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think the blogger has a good point. The advert is clearly sexist and portrays women as sexual symbols. There is no other reason for that exact arrangement.

Whether Target feels they want to comment to her or not is another matter. I feel they should answer any queries or complaints from their customers, whether or not those customers are also bloggers.

To mistake the two does nothing for the integrity of reporters, nor the quality of 'news'.
I'm not sure if that was intended as humour, but it certainly appealed to my sense or irony to read 'integrity of reports' and 'quality of news'.

callivert




msg:3562631
 7:36 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Should the Targets of the world have to respond each time someone with a soapbox, err, a blog asks a question?

No, but they don't necessarily respond to every college newspaper or neigbourhood bulletin either. Some of the bigger blogs are as good or better than many traditional news and commentary sources. Then there is the long tail. People look at the long tail and compare this to the Washington Post and say "oh no! this won't do!", but that's not the right comparison. Print media has a spectrum of size and quality, just as electronic media does.

There are two reasons we are more aware of the low-quality long tail in blogs.
1) barrier to entry is lower (ie it's easier to set up a blog than a newspaper), and
2) distribution of a blog is total regardless, whereas small print publications have limited reach. This means that there are many low-quality print publications that you've never seen, because it's too hard to get them to you.

Hitting random sites on blogspot.com is not the way to explore or evaluate what's going on in the blogging world.
Everyone knows that print media is dying, even (especially) those working in print media.

carguy84




msg:3562654
 8:20 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

The thing about some blogs, they can break news while the traditional outlets are still confirming sources.

Which is where blogs fall into the non-"news" category. If no one is confirming sources, and just posting whatever they hear, they become tabloid and not news.

Atomic




msg:3562656
 8:29 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

The thing about some blogs, they can break news while the traditional outlets are still confirming sources. The traditional news media merely confirms the news at this point in time.

OMG, so blogs can just say any old thing and sometimes have that confirmed. You say the media confirms what blogs report but that just isn't the case. There's an old saying that it's better to be wrong for the right reasons than right for the wrong reasons. I hope you know what I mean by that.

Oh, and Drudge has been wrong. Don't want to agree with me? Go look on the web long enough and I'm sure you can find a blog that tells you what you want to hear.

Habtom




msg:3562658
 8:31 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I do believe most bloggers and the traditional news sources spice up the news to attract readers by slightly/badly distorting the truth.

I also believe bloggers are meant to write more of personal opinions, and journalists are meant to tell the truth even if it is not something they like or hoped for.

. . . but that seems to be rarely the truth.

[edited by: Habtom at 8:34 am (utc) on Jan. 31, 2008]

jerome




msg:3562762
 12:39 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a journalist (press card, yada yada), I really believe bloggers are doing us, and everybody, a favor. Some blogs are truly worthy news sources because they are tended to by a true expert on the subject at hand, able to go much deeper, and have much better connexions, than many journalists covering the same subject.

Does that mean that bloggers *are* journalists? I don't think so. But bloggers might very well be the ones that push pro journalists to get back to basics and actually do their job.

Why? Ask yourself the question : how a blogger is different from a journalist? I believe the main difference is that most bloggers have another job. Often, this is that job that makes them experts in their field, sometimes not. But at any case, they can't afford to spend their weekdays from 9 to 5 investigating facts, meeting key players to interview them and synthesizing everything up.

We journalists have the privilege to be paid to process information, go beat the street, ask questions, meet people. That's the basics, and that's unfortunately what many journalists - especially in the IT press - have forgotten. They often don't do anything more that what a blogger could do.

That was fine in the times when there was no bloggers. But now, bloggers are there to stay, everybody can publish information on a subject she knows well, and that's a great opportunity for pro journalists to either do their job again, or find another job.

PaulPA




msg:3562827
 2:08 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Well here is one difference: You can get a B.S. degree in journalism but you can't get a B.S. in - wait, maybe you can get a BS in blogging just not a degree!

Webwork




msg:3562845
 2:22 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Fox News", my favorite oxymoron, is staffed by journalists that report the news, right?

In it's own misguided way Fox is helping to drive the age of citizen journalism and citizen fact checking. Not bad IF the process leads to a better informed or more enlightened populus.

OTOH, the best hope for the future of Fox News is the dumbing down of society.

Anyone see cause for concern? <0-O>

weeks




msg:3562904
 3:05 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

It is, indeed, a new age. One major reason advertising works is because of what is called "propaganda theory." This is, people remember the information, but they do not remember the source of the information.

If you have ever been an editor in a highly competitive field, you've seen this first hand where readers will write letters to the editor on articles that appeared in your competition. Your friends and family even credit your competition with articles you published. It's basic: people don't think about the source.

So, the value of "brand name news" is easily discounted. If you've got an audience--and with the web, that's easily to determine--you have influence. Some will say the Drudge Report is a good example.

The question then becomes, how do you get an audience. I hope the answer is with quality, thoughtful reporting that is useful and fair. But what you think is useful and fair isn't likely to be the same thing that I think is useful and fair. Fox News, in the eyes of many, is saying things that need to be said.

One of the things about people who hang out as WW is they are, usually, interested in hearing different opinions. It probably has something to do with how working on the web is so difficult and ever-changing. Webmasters know there is a lot they don't know.

That's not true of enough people, alas. Too many people are not willing or able to listen to points of view that conflict with their own world view.

All in all, however, I think the web is in educating more people, giving voice to new ideas. But, yeah, it's no magic wand.

europeforvisitors




msg:3562915
 3:13 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I
personally think that the whole genre of blogging is becoming big enough that companies like Target should pay serious attention to their potential influential power

And they probably do (or should), if the blog is well-known and has a large audience. But if the blogger is just a hobbyist or a fringe player, saying "We don't work with nontraditional media" is a politer brushoff than "Sorry, you just aren't important enough to be worth our time."

Webwork




msg:3562921
 3:24 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of my favorite statements about "the news", news broadcasting and the news media was made by a widely known - and trusted - member of the news media, some years ago.

"Essentially, news is a medium for selling advertising."

What an intersting summary of the news media - at its best and worst.

Think about it.

I sure do.

balam




msg:3562926
 3:35 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

<light-hearted sarcasm>
> The advert is clearly sexist and portrays women as sexual symbols. There is no other reason for that exact arrangement.

By sheer coincidence, I happened to see a Target TV ad last night - first time ever. It's promoting a CD by a musician of a certain race. The ad ends with him walking up to a crowd (he's on stage, I believe?), back to the camera. At the end of the spot, the Target logo appears over the back of his head, and drops to the center of his back. It's like looking through a sniper scope.

The advert is clearly racist and advocates the assassination of people of a certain race. There is no other reason for that exact arrangement.
</light-hearted sarcasm>

A bit more seriously, it would seem that the Target logo itself - a red-and-white bullseye - has become, ahem, a target.

BUT that's what I wanted to see - something ridiculous. Ms. Jussel wants to see negativity, without it there's no reason for her blog to exist. Pre-conceived notions, can I use the word "bias" here?, can certainly affect the way most anything in life is perceived.

Rosalind




msg:3562945
 3:58 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

My local news, both on the TV and in print, seems to spend a lot of time/column inches in begging the public to send in their news stories and pictures. I think it's a little desperate, but they are obviously responding to the threat from online: send your news to us, and don't post it on the rest of the web. Lately I've noticed that these appeals have become increasingly insistent.

So the line between old-school news reporting and citizen journalism is getting blurrier and blurrier.

balam




msg:3562953
 4:05 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

AP via Yahoo! News: Trains, bloggers are threats in US drill [news.yahoo.com]

Imagined villains include hackers, bloggers and even reporters.

Lions-and-tigers-and-bears, oh my!

TheWhippinpost




msg:3562966
 4:21 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

The line is definitely blurred for those who take niche-blogging seriously.

Balanced and responsible reporting - I've discovered - is not as easy as it sounds; one word or misplaced comma can very easily introduce ambiguity or lead to misinterpretation.

Responsible Reportage - Fact-checking

I began a blog and podcast covering a new sector last year. After a short while I felt a growing responsibility to actually start approaching companies to check rumours coming through to me from various parties and with that, comes a responsibility to report it in as balanced a way as possible.

The blog (and podcast) remains the only one in the sector. It has - and does - influence company balance sheets and recruitment.

It's so easy to run with a juicy rumour and have it destroy your blog's credibility; When people start calling companies on the back of something you wrote (or said), it soon hits home how responsible you need to be... particularly when it's a lawyer!

Being balanced and responsible brings with it trust - A crucial currency to possess when you have to approach a CEO to get their comment on something they don't particularly want to address publicly.

Investigative Journalism

There is also a wild west element to the industry (as in most new sectors) which attracts the fast-buck merchants. I would love to do more to investigate and expose them but - and here is the critical difference - there are certain protections "official" journalists can use in law (public interest etc...).

I dearly want to record conversations with certain dodgy company reps and put them on the podcast - Not so easy as a non-journalist wih privacy laws.

(If someone knows the UK position on this, do please let me know)

Two-way Traffic (but don't be used)

Being the only news source can mean there are days when nothing happens. It also means you are approached with "stories" from companies - AKA: advertorial.

You have to make judgements on that - Is it newsworthy/informative? Have they had more than their fair share of coverage? Will readers sense a bias?

But on those quiet days they can be a blessing and now and again, you get some gems.

Along the way, you develop relationships which can be very difficult to balance - You want the stories and the access; they do too... only they want the one's that paint them in the best light.

Inevitably, something goes wrong (for them). What do you do?

If you report it, will they be so willing to share something with you in future? If they are a major shaker in the field, you can hardly ignore them.

It's two-way traffic - They get coverage of a new launch, for instance, and (sometimes) in return, they have to be prepared for the odd negative story. Some people don't get it though - It hurts when it's close to home.

Now, ya know, try and convince me that the above is much different to the real life experiences of professional journo's?!

I'm not a trained journalist, but I seem to be behaving, and treated as one.

I will say this, though; I have come to better appreciate and respect the art of journalism throughout this journey.

Interesting thread.

Qrystal




msg:3562985
 4:33 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome, balam!

One of the best explanations I've seen of blogging <snip> says that blogs bring the power to the people to provide news.

Since the link I posted in my first post here got <snip>'d (understandably), I'm posting the YouTube link to the same video instead (thanks, lawman, for the discussion about whether this is okay):

[youtube.com...]

I saw this video shortly before encountering this discussion here, and thought it was a really neat way to see how just about anything can be considered "news". In the case of this ad, a person's opinion of it IS in fact relevant information, and so it can be considered "news", whether or not the majority of people agree with that opinion or not. Besides, a person's opinion doesn't need to be verified with other sources, and opinions have ways of catching on... even if the source is small.

"We don't work with nontraditional media" is a politer brushoff than "Sorry, you just aren't important enough to be worth our time."

I just think that the brushoff was a bad move. Ignoring it would've been politer than either of those options, or even just saying that the concern has been passed along to the advertising agency for consideration (even if said agency does nothing with the information).

For the record, I agree that the ad can be seen as sexually suggestive, but I'm not offended, just amused at the extent of the outburst it caused! :)

Re: PaulPA ... BS in blogging, hah! That's hilarious! (But isn't the Journalism degree a BA, bachelor of arts, not science?)

PaulPA




msg:3563107
 6:48 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Re: PaulPA ... BS in blogging, hah! That's hilarious! (But isn't the Journalism degree a BA, bachelor of arts, not science?)

Depends on the school [google.com].

FattyB




msg:3563298
 10:59 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Most bloggers are not reporters in the traditional sense.

Some are reporting direct from sources they have or are 'on the ground' but seems to me the vast bulk are posting their take on what the traditional press and agencies have reported. Else they would not even know about it.

So in most cases not a replacement but a compliment. Shows a few more shades of opinion than you would get from the large agencies and traditional outlets.

I find the outraged reaction a bit thick though regards the Target snub...companies often refuse to comment to all but the biggest or most favourable outlet. Just part of being a journalist I would have thought.

Personally the target ad...looks like something just did not think that one through or else they did and...

europeforvisitors




msg:3563311
 11:10 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Most bloggers are not reporters in the traditional sense.

The blogger featured in the NEW YORK TIMES story certainly wasn't acting as a reporter when she called Target to complain about an advertising campaign.

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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