God tells me to copy and paste, so you can't stop me. -- Kate

"You know, I could run for governor, but I'm basically a media creation. I've never done anything. I've worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business ..." -- G.W. Bush

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. -- Galileo Galilei

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bloggers' conference emphasizes tools of reporting

Monday, May 9, 2005 Posted: 1447 GMT (2247 HKT)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Bloggers -- those Internet-based writers without rules -- are fighting back against criticism that their work is unreliable, libelous or just poorly done.

More than 300 bloggers came to town Friday for a two-day conference that was heavy on teaching techniques used by journalists in what bloggers term "the mainstream media." One class taught students how to access and analyze government statistics.

Conference organizer Bill Hobbs called blogging "citizen journalism."

"If freedom of the press belongs to those who have the press, then blogging expands ownership of the press," Hobbs said.

Right now, more than 8 million people write blogs, said Bob Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association. Blogs, short for Web logs, are running commentaries on whatever their authors are interested in. Content often focuses on politics or media criticism and usually includes feedback from readers.

Participants such as Shelley Henderson said they want to expand their research capabilities to strengthen their commentaries. Henderson, of Los Angeles, dedicates her blog to keeping the Internet unregulated.

Blake Wylie of Nashville was among the participants who took exception to criticisms from politicians and mainstream media pundits that their work is often inaccurate.

Wylie said bloggers often provide links to let readers go directly to their sources of information.

Hobbs noted that blogs entries are corrected more thoroughly and prominently than in other forms of media.

"We write and then our readers edit us," Hobbs said.

Linda Seebach, a columnist for The Rocky Mountain News, said traditional media outlets are experimenting with involving bloggers in their news reports. Her newspaper this week launched a series of 40 community-oriented blogs to serve the Denver area.

Hobbs said bloggers and the news media are linked because bloggers use them for source material and that the relationship could grow closer.

The prevalence of blogs seems certain to expand even more as people explore ventures such as global blogger news services. Hobbs said the usefulness of such projects was shown when the Indian Ocean tsunami struck last year and some early accounts and pictures from the area came from bloggers.

Anymore, mainstream media equals big business. Big business rules aren’t necessarily the rules that I want governing what news I see.

A few months after the Exxon Valdez had it’s little accident in Prince William Sound, Exxon bought out the local newspaper. Somehow I don’t think it had to do with the locals being able to get correct timely information about the accident and what was being done about it.

Those who control the news control the people. I’d rather get my news from a variety of sources. I figure it ups the chances that I’ll see more good information and understand more. Leads to an informed opinion, not something BB wants.

I’m reasonably sure that the big businesses own so much so they can make a bundle of money. I’m also reasonably sure that being in control of the info is in a dead heat with making money.

By the way, it’s been 16 years this past March since the Exxon Valdez accident. Clean up was stopped after four summers and some beaches have not been cleaned up and remain oiled including the beach where the ship hit. Never did see anything on the news about that. Gee, I wonder why?

Off Topic: I really like the Harper’s Index, you can get all kinds of interesting info.

Number of the 535 free subscriptions Hustler offered members of Congress last year that were rejected: 16 [Hustler (Los Angeles)]
I also like this one, also from July 1998:
Number of words in the 1999 Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary whose “offensive” designation will be italicized: 200 [Merriam-Webster Inc. (Springfield, Mass.)]
Gotta make those words easy to find. You know, I don’t think I know 200 offensive words. Maybe I’ll pick up one of those dictionaries and learn some new words.
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