Press - Blog Feedback Loop, or The Napsterization of The Non-Fiction Media
Last night at dinner after the end of eTech, Robert Scoble (of Scobleizer, and a Microsoft employee) told me about his interaction this week with Reuters. Apparently, Reuters did an article about Joe Trippi's O'Reilly's Digital Democracy Teach-In talk Monday (which was very different in effect for those who heard Trippi than the way it was framed by Reuters). I also heard that the back channel IRC talk from the audience listening to Trippi were very critical of him. Robert reacted to that article with this:
... TechDirt compared the coverage from bloggers to that of Reuters. They underlined the "spin" that Reuters gave the story. I agree with TechDirt. The spin doesn't match the speech. Journalists need to report what was said at speeches and put it all in context. This was like listening to a two-hour speech and then ignoring almost all of it so you can write the story you want to write in the first place. Why go to the conference then?
Robert said that Eric Auchard from Reuters came up to him yesterday during eTech to explain why he (Auchard) had written the story the way he did. Robert was surprised, and notes it:
Turns out it was Eric Auchard from Reuters. Now, look back at my blog on Monday. I took a swing at Reuters for how they reported Joe Trippi's keynote here at the O'Reilly conferences. The guy who wrote that story was now speaking with me. We had a nice conversation. He said that he had read and considered what I had to write and appreciated that. Then he explained his point of view. While discussing news judgment and other factors I found myself thinking just how unlikely this exchange would have happened five years ago.
Because of the relationships I've built in the industry he was talking to me as a peer. Think about that. Reuters was explaining how it worked to me. And whether or not I was right or wrong really doesn't matter. The fact that a common citizen like me could be heard by a journalist who is at the top of his profession (you don't get a job at Reuters by being a hack or unprofessional) is simply amazing to me.
Now, is Eric changed by weblogging? Absolutely! But I'm changed by Eric too. First of all, I was able to get Eric's point of view and, to tell you the truth, it is a compelling point (that his job is to report the news and that he picked out the most interesting things for his readers). Second of all, I now have a relationship with Eric. Who do you think I'm likely to call if I have a technology story that I think Reuters would be interested in?
I think this is rather amazing. I missed the Monday sessions. But I'm happy that to see that the whole day is available here. And I really am very interested in this discussion between a blogger and reporter discussing the why and how of stories in the traditional press. It's a very interesting phoenamon.
Check out Jay Rosen's The Tripping Point for more perspective on the Trippi talk at eTech and the Dean Campaign.
And for a different take on the traditional vs. non-traditional, here's Dan Okrent's semi-blog (he's the New York Times' public editor or ombudsman) and Steve Outing's interview with Len Apcar at NYTDigital.
Posted by Mary Hodder at February 13, 2004 08:42 AM