Journalists & bloggers discuss what’s ahead for the expanding media ecosystem
The following exchange took place Sept. 17, 2002, at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and appeared a week later in OJR. Note: I’ve left original terms like “webloggers” intact, even though the language now seems outdated.
By J.D. Lasica
Online Journalism Review
When do webloggers practice journalism? What do informed amateurs and niche experts bring to the media ecosystem? Should journalists blog? And should they rely on weblogs as news sources? Should bloggers and those in traditional media engage in a dance of fear and loathing, or do both sides stand to gain from the other? Should blogging be taught in journalism classes?
Those were some of the questions tackled last week at the University of California Graduate School of Journalism. Three journalists — Dan Gillmor, business columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, Scott Rosenberg, managing editor of Salon, and myself — as well as veteran bloggers Rebecca Blood (author of The Weblog Handbook) and Meg Hourihan (co-author of We Blog) exchanged views before 75 journalism students and members of the public.
By coincidence, six days after our panel, the New York Times ran a piece that mirrored some of the topics raised by the panelists, and Providence Journal columnist Sheila Lennon did the same in her weblog. Here are selected excerpts from the panel on weblogs and journalism:
Moderator Paul Grabowicz: We made the mistake of putting the class description up on our Web site. Wired News ran a story about it, and all hell broke loose. One blogger said that the class, if journalists were doing weblogging, would be the Altamont of the blogging world. Why was there that kind of reaction?