BloggerCon Journalism Panel Discussion

Moderator, Ed Cone
Panelists: Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit Scott Rosenberg, Salon; Josh Marshall, Talking Points
(Note: All dialogue is paraphrased.)
Dave:Winer’s introduction: Let’s not debate whether blogs are journalism. Think of it as an instrument.
However, the question of what is a Weblog is very much on topic.
Some of the questions that interest me are–
— — How much editing for a blog?
— — What’s a Weblog?
— — How do conferences and blogs share philosophies?
— — Can blog style influence conference style?
— — How did the Dean/Internet synergy evolve? Will the political system change? How?
Ed Cone: What are some of the places that web logs are going to take journalism that traditional journalism cannot go–
Josh Marshall : Blogging can allow more Hunter Thompson-esque tagging along. Also the issue of what’s on the record and what’s not.
Glenn Reynolds: Sociologist Irving Goffman wrote about the ‘backstage’ where you can say thing you can’t say. The next stage in the trend is that closing things to the pres sis meaningless.
Scott Rosenberg: Blog are bring out the backstage of journalism itself ThatÂ’s where its had a most destructive impactÂ…Jim RomanesqueÂ…focal point for media coverageÂ…just having one place for a spectrum of coverage concentrated and opening up a letters page., that simple little opening of a window made a huge difference and how we have a whole Blogosphere of people writing about what’s happening inside their newspapers and magazines.
Ed Cone’s asks–
“If your best stuff goes to your weblog, how do you get paid? How do you marshal your time and intellectual resources?
“The first big blogger lawsuit is going to be very interestingÂ…. A lot of people donÂ’t have any safety net.”
“What is the ethical requirement of a weblog journalist? What is the responsibility?”
What’s your vision of the future?
Josh Marshall: It’s hard to imagine any sort of job opportunity that would entail giving up the blog. I want to run things my way.
Scott Rosenberg: What I’m hearing from the world of online journalism is that the Dan Gillmor case is more of the exception than the rule…I don’t see the mindset is changing to quickly. In a year or two years we should no longer be asking how will weblog make money or fit into business? For the last 8 years I have been trying to turn a web magazine into a successful business…my view about making money is don’t even try…it’s not big business and its not the business of journalism , that’s what makes it special.
Glenn Reynolds: “Local blogs can have an impact; there is a huge market impact for local.
Audience member: ” A bunch of people used to having monologues trying to have a dialogue.”
Jeff Jarvis: “Newspapers cannot afford to cover all the local information; Bloggers can do an excellent job of covering that”
Scott Rosenberg: “Newspaper editors spend a lot of time sitting around saying who is our audience? Online you know who your audience is because they are talking back to you.”
Ed Cone: “Webloggers who act as journalists should have the legal protections afforded to journalists.”
Audience member: How about the role of commentors on your site?
Glenn: It’s become a troll-fest for me. I am much less inclined to link to some blogs because the comments can be off-putting. I don’t really put the time into comments.
Kevin Marks: The question here is who gets to speak when? With weblogs everyone can speak in parallel. With a blog, you have an identify, a history, and a future. You’re more careful about what you post than just posting a comment on a site and running away. There’s a serial identify, we can each pick up bits.
Jay Rosen, NYU Journalism Dept: The audience as we know it does not exist anymore. Readers and the people we have called readers for almost 500 years are now writers, that is the radical thing. I got this very strange sensation when I clicked on the people in the comments section in my blog and everyone is a writer.