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Blogs As Journalism – CIOS 246

May 1, 2008

Are blogs journalism? For the most part no, but sometimes yes. From what I have read of various blogs that put on the journalistic air, they tend to link to other blogs/stories, and offer commentary on them. That is not journalism. That is commentary with links. So am I doing a journalistic blog? No, I am not, but I am offering links to someone who did write a journalistic story and offering my own commentary which is nothing but my own.

There are blogs that do have journalistic leanings or are in fact true journalism. If the blog believes in journalistic practices (research, finding/confirming/interviewing sources, writing coherent sentences with proper syntax, tone down editorializing, run it by others before it is posted and is fact checked and checked again), then any blog can be what is called a journalistic endeavorer. I don’t think however that every single post on a blog ever falls in that category though: it is much too easy to place a quick post about how X or Y is occurring (changes to web page, big sale on socks, new seafood available at local restaurant) and you will be preoccupied with that. Time magazine doesn’t do that. Neither does the New Yorker. Nor does a local newspaper (if it is decent) or a large online news organization. The familiarity and voice in a blog is what interests people. It is, to use an idea put forth from our readings, a conversation, and many people enjoy conversations. Journalism is storytelling and informing to a mass audience. That is why some people are confused so much and believe blogs to be the ‘new journalism’. That level of engagement and interactivity provided by blogs -that has rarely been present in a standard, steady and informative journalistic news story – is exciting and what we, as consumers, want. An intimate, interactive give-and-take conversation with our individual views not only accepted as valid but then disseminated to everyone.

Taking the example of a blogger and whether their sources should be protected more or less than a professional journalist, I think it comes back to the nature of the blog. If the blog is more of a diary and suddenly there is this headline on a political scandal, I would really be suspect. That’s akin to reading about how nuclear reactors affect marshland in Cosmopolitan… it seems way out of their scope. However, if journalistic practices are followed, and it can be proved that this individual has followed them (since they have no large news organization backing them, they need some way to prove that they are in fact a legitimate source), then they could go to jail just like all of the other editors who refuse to give up their sources.

Looking at the idea of equality between a blogger and a journalist regarding press credentials, a blogger who is denied press credentials because they are not a journalist is wrong. A blogger who is denied press credentials because they have no way as establishing themselves as an expert in a given field for the press event is right. In the technology and gaming world, for the longest time, if you were interested in attending industry only events, all you had to do was fake a website with a few articles and then you were granted press credentials. That is a manipulation of the system and I am certain there are individuals who see blogging as their easy access entry into a given field.

I believe it all comes down to how the blog is presented. If I saw my blog, which has entries from less than 6 months ago, and I am claiming press credentials and I have nothing on my site except links to other news stories with a paragraph or two of commentary, I would expect to be turned down. I have no massive following, I have no established roots, nor do I have any kind of significant tie to a larger journalistic entity or established web presence (which should not be necessary, but when establishing credibility can always help). That same blog, with 3 years of entries, ties to larger web organizations, many comments/traffic and actual content (ie. news stories, interviews, reviews) that is not simply regurgitated from elsewhere, I would expect to be approved for press credentials. There is also a good chance that my blog has more readers than a given newspaper’s website and as a PR person for that event, I would want my product/idea placed in front of as many eyeballs as possible; because that would reach the maximum number of people which would then result in exposure that could end up as excellent press.

Granted, a journalist who just began work at NPR could simply waltz in and get press credentials by just saying NPR and be woefully under qualified to be there, but NPR is established. It is a news outlet. By working at NPR as a journalist, you should be following the rules of journalism as learned in school or on the job. Myawesomeblogaboutcrap.com is not established. It is rarely about news. I just post what I want. I am not a journalist. I know there are many respectable blogs out there, and often it is a case by case basis to determine if they should be allowed access to press credentials, but there are even more not so respectable blogs than journalistic ones. If bloggers want to be taken seriously as journalists, then they need to have some kind of structure (like journalists) and rules (also like journalists) that are followed in order to gain respect as a press outlet.

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Answering The Questions

April 27, 2008

1) Before you started this class, had you heard of the term Web 2.0? Did you have any idea what it was?

I had definitely heard of the term Web 2.0 and I was pretty sure it was referring to all of the new whiz bang software that was allowing the lowly net surfer to no longer simply consume what is offered online, but with a minimal amount of time investment, allow them to start contributing to the information that is available in the Net ether.

2) Imagine you are telling someone about Web 2.0 who uses the Web but knows nothing about the term. What would you tell them?

I would start off by asking them if they had a favorite subject/topic/hobby (and just about everybody does). Then I would say that you could have information from an event on that specific topic/subject/hobby sent to your cell phone or email the moment someone posts anything that you feel is noteworthy, based on certain triggers that you set. Instant information, updated, well, instantly, and sent through a filter of your own design that leaves you with nothing but wheat and very very little chaff.

3) Do you participate in any sites that you think are part of Web 2.0? If so, what are they?

I guess you could say I do because I have a MySpace account and a blog. The MySpace account… not so much. That’s more of an ‘appease my girlfriend’ situation. On my blog however I actively seek out new content and have constantly updated headlines from major technology and game news sites running down the side. Constant information, constantly updated.

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3 Blogs Full

April 27, 2008

I had some hilarious idea for a joke involving that nursery rhyme that talks about wool, but it was much funnier inside my head before I shared it so I will just leave it at that.

Here are the three blogs that I really enjoy checking out:

http://www.destructoid.com/
This is a very funny and incredibly snarky blog that makes fun of not only itself, but also gamers, gaming society and all points in between. They also do various game reviews which are often very honest and reflect what the average joe would think about a title, but never had the tiem or patience to put it into such succinct words.

http://www.engadget.com/
This is what has been called ‘gadget porn’. They feature pictures and announcements regarding new technologies and various devices. They are almost always slick, cool, and drool inducing… and incredibly expensive or available only in Japanese.

http://www.kotaku.com/
A true gaming blog with a Japanese feel that positions itself as ‘the gamers blog’, they scour the web and post blog entries that are often overlooked, over tidbits of gaming news, reviews, videos or just offer incredibly odd features. One was all about the ‘artists’ who drew the ps3 and xbox 360 as female Japanese animation characters… it was weirdly disturbing.

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Introductory Post for CIOS 246

April 27, 2008

Hmm, as I write this I realize I may be doing a whole LOT of posts in a very short period of time, ala’ a week, to get all caught up and complete this class I am taking at UAF, CIOS 246. Perhaps I can request a slight extension from the instructor?

If you are wondering where all of the computer info has gone, its all over at gpfault.org, so go there and get all caught up with the computer talk that you can use. This blog has become a sort of class blog, or assignment blog, or bloggedy-blog so I don’t have to keep making all of these blogs all over the Internet for each individual class that requires it, and amazingly enough, that number grows each semester.

I guess in a very strange way I am sorta glad that I didn’t graduate from College back in 1998, when I should have according to the “4 year plan” that is beat into our heads by college entrance officers. I wouldn’t be exposed to blogging , podcasting, Web 2.0 applications or any of these developments that have all taken off since 2004, when I began slowly crawling back into academia.

My major is also in something that didn’t exist in the 90s: New Media. Its a journalism degree that focuses on how the web and traditional journalistic approaches to, um, journalism, can work in unison and provide information and news that people want to see/hear on their terms. No more force-feeding of news breaks throughout the day or being chained to the evening news at 6 and 11; you can now be informed when you want it, about any subject you choose, and with as much in depth information as you can handle. It is pretty exciting to be a part of that and to think that I will be providing that service to people, someday.

I’m a fairly accomplished web guy (I’ve been hosting a tech radio show since 1998), and a big collection of my writings, audio and podcasts are all at www.gpfault.org. I also know my way around an audio program/radio station pretty well (12 years of experience in college, non-commercial, and community radio with a smattering of commercial here and there) so I can create some fairly compelling audio. I just need to combine that with knowledge of images and video, and I think I am set! I’ll be posting more soon, I am certain!

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MOVING TO GPFAULT.ORG

March 28, 2008

For our one (and only) reader that is a bit confused as to the complete and total lack of updates, well, we moved. Head over to www.gpfault.org our new home for all things tech with podcasts featuring yours truly and Ivan.

www.gpfault.org
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media fire test

March 24, 2008

<a href=”http://www.filefactory.com/file/e7e559″>Story.mp3</a><br />

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Ivan & Jeremy: General Protection Fault As A Podcast

February 25, 2008

gpf_logo.gifIt is the first pod cast featuring your old friends Jeremy and Ivan, the two hosts of General Protection Fault: The Source of Computer Talk That You Can Use.

Since it is our first pod cast, and our first time recording together in a little over 2 years, we are still a little rough around the edges, but listen anyway and get that audio fix of computer talk that you have been craving.

Any criticism, hopefully creative, is welcome along with accolades… which I am certain will become much easier once we allow comments again on our official site at gpfault.org. But if you would like to comment, and we certainly hope you do, head on over to our WordPress blog, which you are on right now, and post away.

Audio hosted from MediaFire.com