Weblogs, community news, self-publishing and more
Following is a partial transcript of the panel on “Journalism’s New Life Forms,” held Oct. 27, 2001, on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, at the second annual conference of the Online News Association. The panel was organized and moderated by J.D. Lasica. Panelists were Dan Gillmor of the San Jose Mercury News, Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief of Women’s Enews, Rusty Foster, founder of Kuro5hin, and Weblog pioneer Meg Hourihan.
Transcribed by Alex Gronke
JD Lasica: We have a distinguished group of panelists here today to discuss what we’re calling journalism’s new life forms. What I think they have in common is the propensity for interactivity; for personal, passion-based advocacy journalism; for alternative points of view that are often filtered out by the mainstream media. Yesterday we heard from ONA President Rich Jaroslovsky, who recounted an episode in the early 1990s when the major television networks were looking on CNN as this upstart bad-boy. He suggested that today’s news media look upon online news sites in much the same way — as bastard stepchildren who may or may not share the same values as traditional journalism.
I think it would be the height of irony if the online news professionals in this room look at these new kinds of untraditional journalism forms in the same way. I think you’ll find that there is a rich treasure trove of experts and points of view that the traditional news sites can take advantage of. There’s a page of resources that we put together with a long URL, so the easiest way to find it is to call up my Web site, jdlasica.com, click on the top link and you’ll come to a pretty elaborate page of pointers to articles that have been written about Weblogs and the intersection of Weblogs and journalism. In this Weblog sampler you’ll see some of the members of our panel who’ve got their sites up here as well as news Weblogs and Weblog directories and collaborative news sites. You can also find it on the UC Berkeley new media resources collection page, so as you can see this is all very incestuous.
The panel we’re going to do is different from a lot of the other panels today. We’re going to start with a short segment of exchanges between the panelists and then we’re going to open it up to questions pretty soon because the entire idea behind what we’re doing is about interactivity, so we want the audience to be part of the conversation.