if this isn’t an awesome statement, then i don’t know what is:

“…at a time of upheaval and shift, to be in the beginning of something is to have a privileged seat at the table of freedom.”

spoken like a true communicator. jay rosen, the renowned media theorist/critic/educator spoke to the CUNY grad. school of journalism’s inaugural class on thursday. his visit was inspiring, shocking and informative.

i have been a fan on rosen’s since my undergrad days at hampshire college. i studied his work closely (as it was related to my focus on media studies and “infotainment”) and was particularly interested in “public journalism.” his new project, newassignment.net, has a premise that is similar to that of public journalism. get the people/readers/consumers involved in the production of news, make them want it and care about it. newassignment.net is for the future, that’s the twist. it lives on the internet, and will help journalists get paid online.

i hope that rosen’s project exceeds all expectations. the idea puts the power in the hands of the public, which in this day and age is seemingly what the masses want. choice! i’m glad that rosen has such a vision though, the role of the editor and of course the “director of participation, ” as he refers to it, will help with quality control. the idea of Pro-Am (professionals and amateurs) is brilliant, but there must be some oversight.

open-source reporting….gather the experts, the everyday folk, the volunteers…give them tasks, create what others haven’t created before…then “you’re cooking.”

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blog=journalism?

October 8, 2006

today’s assignment was to find four blog posts that we considered “good” journalism. while i believe in online/new media and appreciate the new forms of storytelling, i’m having trouble identifying stories as “journalism.” perhaps my definition is too broad, or maybe blogs are not “journalism” at all.

so, what is journalism? could it be just the simple dissemination of information? are analysis and crafty writing essential? it’s complicated.

i think blogs can be just as effective as traditional media forms. but, because they follow different models of storytelling, they need to have a name that’s all their own.

journalists should be more than just information providers. they should cover stories that span the spectrum, not just those they know the most about. they should write stories without using sensational tactics and language. and above all else, they should be interested in achieving a higher goal. it’s not enough to just inform, you have to give readers, viewers, whatever a higher understanding. i don’t believe that true journalists should just “say it as it is” and not provide context and thoughtful analysis. i also don’t think, to use the example from class on thursday, that a person who writes about one issue, product or trend for a specific population, is a journalist. that person is an expert and is certainly providing a positive public service (he wrote about treo’s and their good and bad attributes, developments, etc.), but they cannot wear the badge of journalist in my book.

i have not named any specific blogs as journalism, but i do enjoy the stories from certain sites. they are generally commentary sites, which says a lot about the blogosphere. it’s a place where many go to seek out a certain type of information or viewpoint.

they are, to name a few: thehuffingtonpost.com, thenation.com, buzzmachine.com, tompaine.commonsense .

The Tribune Company fired Jeffrey Johnson, the publisher of the LA Times, after he refused to cutback his reporting staff by 100. He has been replaced by a man with obvious partisan beliefs (he used to work in the Reagan whitehouse alongside John Roberts.) Read it here.  Scroll down the page.

Also reported is an advertising deal that stinks of corporate control. Free Press, the media watchdog organization, was prevented from taking out an advertisement that rallied against the FCC loosening media ownership rules. Read about it right below the blurb on the Tribune Company. And yup, you guessed it! They’re related.

today’s nytimes has an article by charlie leduff, part of his american album series. the story he tells is so poignant and the subjects trust him to no end, it’s amazing. i hope to one day have people share with me what matters to them most, and trust that i will tell it how it is. the article is well written and there is also a link to a video made for the story. the addition of the video is necessary, we see the context from which the quotes were taken for the article and also the faces and the long pauses that the subjects took before speaking. this is a great example of excellent journalism; telling the stories of others unknown and also relating them to real life, large scale issues.

ok, so the question of “why do i have this blog” needs to be addressed. i started a blog this past summer but never wrote anything for it…never posted anything, all i did was name it. why did i do that? well, i was interested of course. i wanted to understand the bru-ha-ha…be a part of the future of communications, etc. not till i got to school though, was i required to dive, head first, into the vast and limitless place of the blogosphere. but, i’m here now and here to stay. i am even going to start another blog soon for the neighborhood of east williamsburg, brooklyn. i am going to post stories i write for craft class and hand out fliers in the neighborhood alerting people to the site totally devoted to them…they can comment on what i write and send suggestions for other stories. i am looking forward to this, what jeff jarvis and others call “the conversation.” yesssss…

what is fiercetalk about?? as my broad and all encompassing title suggests, it’s for commentary and enlightenment on “anything and everything.” i purposely made fiercetalk a non-specific blog…because i knew there would be no clear direction until i worked on it for awihle. it’s main function is to serve as a meeting place for myself, my classmates and my professors, jeff and sandeep. discussions about the future of media and journalism as well as class projects appear on fiercetalk. some personal blogs appear too. not personal in that they are about me as an individual, but personal in that the subjects have been chosen by me, because they interest me.

being from CT i am very interested in the race for the senate seat…i have chosen to cover this issue on my blog…the topic is coverage in different media forms… new (blogs) v. traditional (newspaper articles).

it’s great to have these class blogs. i have so much fun reading what other people think about class discussions, etc. this is why i think these blogs should be solely devoted to class topics. start a new blog for other doodlings, serious or frivolous. there’s space on the net!