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« Why CBS Should Have Been Smarter | Main | Exclusives are Fun, Too »

January 13, 2005



somnethings funky is happening with the comments sections of the previous post.. so placed it in here..

Yeah scoops are great ..but then RSS cannot give you scoops.. really intel comes out from digging deep and ensuring that collateral is untarnished and valid !!


I posted a comment on David Weinberger's Joho blog in regards to the entry about the Berkman conference for blogs, journalism, and credibility. (

The point I raised in the comments section there is that an invitation-only conference of bloggers leaves out a significant constituency: the blog reader. If the consumer of grassroots journalism is not included in the feedback loop, then how is this any different than the mainstream media?

Dominic Jones

How much does good press cost?
I'm looking at the coverage Wal-Mart is getting today in the mainstream press about its "Facts" campaign. I haven't read all of the stories, but the AP piece and others have a decidedly pro-company tone. One item moving on AP does not quote a single detractor, it's all Wal-Mart.

The best piece I found was by Bloomberg, which quotes a variety of people.

Now I'm wondering, does the fact that Wal-Mart is buying full-page ads in 100 daily newspapers have anything to do with the tone of the coverage?

Just thought I'd ask.


Wal-mart and Ads ?? Is this not good Damage Control ?? After all Wal-mart is going a big class action suite.. which will cost them an arm and a leg soon... !!


Wal-Mart trumpets the claim that its "average pay" is higher than most of retail.
Average pay is different than median pay, and if that were the dollars looked at, the pay would be a lot less.
They also claim they are hiring 100,000 new employees this year. They leave out the million people who don't work for Wal-Mart who will lose their jobs, as their jobs are exported to China!
Just another day and a lot more hot air from the most evil corporation in the world.

Felicia Krippet

Breaking news ...

It has just been revealed that Markos and Jerome Armstrong, two of the most blustering blog voices on the left, were paid consultants to the Dean campaign.


Dominic: Off the record, I would say yes, it has to do with the advertising.

Re: Grassroots Journalism - is anyone doing an all Walmart all the time blog yet? Would it fill a spot?

I think they're big enough to do something on, no? I mean, they earn more than some 3rd world nations now, don't they ;)



btw, (and to keep this transaction transparent), i think there's a prob in the comments function when you 'preview' then try to 'post' a comment. if you 'post' first w/out previewing, though, it seems to work. win98 using firefox 1.x


Freedom of Speech
Dan, I missed my chance to comment about this in your posting a couple of days ago, so I'll jump in now.

Freedom of speech is not absolute, of course, and if you think about it, the only kind of speech which is critical to our liberty is political speech. The freedom to spout obscenities is hardly the freedom of speech that the Founding Fathers were thinking about. In China, for example, I doubt anyone values the freedom to swear; what they would like to have is the freedom to criticize their government and its leaders.

Far too much of the discussion about "freedom of speech" wanders off this central point: it's not just any speech that the Constitution should protect, but the expression of political opinions, especially those at odds with the powers that be or with conventional wisdom.


Any thoughts on how balance will be achieved? MSM's attempt at the appearance of balance has been ridiculed a lot (citing both sides and not pointing out that one side is lying), but exactly how is distributed grassroots journalism going to handle the issue? With decentralization, the tendency will be for people to gravitate towards sources that confirm their existing biases, and I don't think group blogs are the answer, as readers can simply ignore those in the group that they dislike. Perhaps more collaboration in story-writing is needed?


Profit and GrassRoots journalism.

I have a question - if I were to "scoop" an event with a picture of something I took with my cell phone, how could I profit insanely by using blogs?

Lets say I was the only one with the picture.

We need a way to fair use "force a trackback" all the way up the tree.

For example, if slashdot referred to an article in boinbgboing which referred to an article on my blog, slashdot would be forced to refer to my picture on my blog.

Maybe force is not the right word, but some kind of incentive might be interesting. Like shared HTML space on the final page or something. Brainstorming here.

Anyways, it's an interesting problem and I think solving it will go along way to providing an economic substrate beneath grassroots journalism.


fling93: To achieve balance in the mainstream media, I have two words for you:

Fairness Doctrine.

There is a move in Congress to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, which Reagan deep-sixed, leading to the present plague of vitriolic, one-sided garbage found on the public airwaves. You can find an online petition here:

Restoring the Fairness Doctrine would make a HUGE difference to the quality of political debate in the U.S.


fling93: Any thoughts on how balance will be achieved?

HT: There is a move in Congress to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, which Reagan deep-sixed

Wow, I hadn't realized that was deep-sixed. But equal time to both sides is something that can still be far from balanced when one of the sides (say, the Bush Administration) uses this to their advantage by being deliberately misleading. Brad DeLong and "The Daily Show" have pointed this out before (and I have no doubt this occurs when Democrats are in power as well). In particular, DeLong has an excellent post bemoaning how journalists rarely know very much about the topics that they are covering, and thus can't even tell when a source is pulling a fast one on them.

I think blogging has the potential to change the paradigm of journalism because now experts can self-publish. But my point is that balance in the blogosphere strikes me as a bigger problem than in the MSM, because most bloggers do not attempt to address their biases (nor hide them, which is a good thing), and most blog posts are written by a single writer and from a single point-of-view.

I was also discussing this with Hugh, who suggested aggregation of top posts from both sides, but I still think most readers will still choose to just not click on the posts on the side they disagree with.

phil shapiro

while the trend towards citizen-journalists is encouraging, i wonder if there is a concurrent trend toward journalist-citizens? a journalist-citizen might be described as person who earns their primary livelihood as a reporter, but who regularly sheds their "reporter skin" with involvement in civic or community-related activities.

in my experience, many reporters i've come into contact with feel as if there is an either/or thing going on. that you're either a reporter or you're involved with your community. they feel that if they don't keep their distance from community, they might become too entangled in it.

it's a justifiable concern such persons have. but methinks it's possible to be a journalist-citizen.

there will come a day when someone is asked? are you a citizen-journlist or a journalist-citizen -- and their answer will be: "i'm both."

(a related thought in "zen buddist text" on the page linked to above.)


Wow, I wonder if maybe there might even come a time when citizen and journalist mean the same thing because it becomes the duty of every citizen to voice their point of view. Would we then be called citalists or journizens? :)

Or is this whole scenario too out there because it would mean total cacophany?

phil shapiro

here's an encouraging example of a journalist-citizen in ashville, north carolina.

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