Friday, December 21, 2007

When Journalists Get Huffy

Apparently Buzz and my responses to the rather hysterical article by UGA professor David Hazinski on "citizen journalism" have ruffled a few feathers.

Athens World provides a rather reasoned response.

Hazinski could rewrite his piece in a way less damning of amateur journalists but making the same point, that mainstream media outlets should promote journalism training and prefer the contributions from trained people. This point is not very interesting because mainstream outlets can do whatever they please as long as the advertisers and stockholders are happy.
Then there's the Athens Banner's professional journalist Blake Aued.

When y’all start doing your own reporting, rather than rely on rumors, press releases and the dreaded MSM, then you can call yourselves journalists.
A couple of things here Blake.

If you actually read my blog you would know I have never called myself a journalist and its rare that I rely on rumors and press releases. Yes, I do rely on the MSM pretty frequently. Next time y'all have an edition which doesn't contain a contribution from the Associated Press let me know.

As far as doing our own reporting? Having attended the recent Senate debates in Forsyth County, even though I'm an unwashed blogger, I can confidently say the only "journalist" there was a staff writer from the Forsyth daily. Despite four candidates for our next statewide election and a Democratic challenger for the 10th district, you know, the one that includes Athens, nary a Banner Herald scribe in sight.

Here's a funny coincidence. I was just remarking to a colleague the other day that with the entry of journalists such as Blake Aued and Macon's Travis Fain into our little world maybe the Georgia blogosphere is about to enter a new era.

I may have to rethink that position. At least about what comes out of enlightened Athens.


Anonymous said...

oh, y'all play nice!

Blake's the best that the ABH has had in a very long time (though that might be taken as damning with faint praise, I didn't mean it that way).

I wish his editors would actually read his stories more carefully so they could be better informed.

Bottom line, for me:
MSM - OK on the news; puny on the OpEd

Blogs: thin on the news; rich on the OpEd

Right now, it takes reading both and then actually getting out into the world to see for yourself. Lots of folks miss that last bit. ;-)

(still can't get my damn Blogger account to work)

Anonymous said...

I meant to add, Blake's the only one over there that actually seems to "get it" when it comes to the blogging thing so you should cut him some slack.

He reads you! That's gotta be worth something, right?

The ABH has a blog thing (as you know) but they publish some of their blog in their print editions which seems somehow "out of bounds" to me. Can't put my finger on exactly why that bothers me but it does. Maybe it's because the anonymous nature of the blog violates their rules about non-anonymous LTE policies but they end up on the same page. It just feels wrong so I won't post on it, ever.

Al, again

Lucid Idiocy said...

Tell you how savvy I am - it took me a couple of readings to figure out what MSM meant.

One of the great things about journalism is this: I can't get a single public document as a reporter that you, or any person, can't get. I have always liked that.

Are there pitfalls? Yeah, but you're not going to stop idiots with rules.

As with every single other thing in life, it all depends on the person behind the information. Always consider the source and your past experiences with it, whether it's The New York Times or Drifting through the Grift.

Me, I'm trying to learn how to be both reporter and blogger, and this is one of the places I learn from.

p.s. - Death to the new media!

- Travis

griftdrift said...

Death to the weird!

Anonymous said...

GriftDrift, I challenge you to duel. Laptops at dawn.

And once I dispatch with him, I'm coming for you, Travis Fain. This town's only big enough for one non-citizen journalist/semi-blogger.

Al, you're off the hook. I can't believe you're taking up for me (does Heidi know about this?), but I'll take it.

Blake Aued

Anonymous said...

Trained professionals prefer listening to trained professionals? Not that surprising to me.

Thinking otherwise would mean that all those years of grad school and time in the mainstream were totally worthless.

As self-serving a commentary as I've heard in a while.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Want to really annoy a "real" journo? Sure you do! (I love doing this, as it works every time.)

Get yourself into one of those press crunches for a juicy soundbite from a key person (Atlanta Press Club luncheons with political GA biggies are a good place to do this), elbow your way into a really choice spot, then yell real loud to be heard over the din of all the "real" lipflappers and assorted riffraff and handlers, "I'm a Georgia blogger, and I'd like to ask you ______________." (Fill in the blank with the question of your choice.)

This just makes 'em ("real" journos) go ape-shit apoplectic! They somehow think they're the only ones granted the not-terribly-divine ability to ask, for example, a candidate for Governor, that super deep stuff like, "Sir/Madam, why did you drop-out of the race? Who do you think should run instead?" You get the picture...

And of course interpreting the answers ("health" reasons, for example) could only EVER be handled by an experienced, "dues-paying" person who works, for instance, on the Cox Media Plantation.

Heavy lifting kinda material, eh?! Call ONLY a pro.

And about getting that soundbite on tape... well, that's info people pay me real money for. Maybe the "real" journos need to come to a workshoppe?

TIP: Office Depot has this handy little pouch you can sling around your neck to make you too appear, poof, like a "real" credentialled journo. They cost about $5.00.

However, to print-up a nice quality press pass for yourself and/or your peeps, to go in the pouch you may need some computer graphics basics.

Oops! There goes yet another reason for a "real" journo to sign-up for a new media/multimedia workshoppe.

Begging the question... so who's so "experienced" now?