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Session 2- Best of Both Worlds (part 4) December 10, 2005

Posted by delal in GV05, Session 2.

Rebecca MacKinnon – I want to go to David, our Americas editor. David is not a very old guy; I know he struggled with the question of whether he should become a journalist and go to journalism school; or continue in this wild and wholly world of independent media. I’d love your perspective. I know you recently attended a training course on bloggers; how to use the web for research, etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you think training etc is something bloggers should seek out…and global voices – does this change the way you view responsibility on your own blog? How do you think that changes what you do on a number of levels, on Global Voices posts and on your own blog?

David Sasaki – I do struggle with that’ I’d like to be a journalist; I do distinguish b/t what I think blogging is and what investigative journalist is what I hope happens is that investigative journalism goes to one side, does it very well, with competent journalists; decentralized, all over the world, done by everybody with Global Voices, I feel like I’m a host at a party, talking to different people, like me introduce you to this person… tracking conversations. But in my mind, the blogosphere isn’t a “medium” as much as it is a café, a conversational space. 2d question : I haven’t dealt that much – have been thinking about it, as my own blog [posts] have changed a lot – On my own blog it’s a space to have fun, while on Global Voices I can be more serious; but it’s a matter of responsibility. The Americas – all the regional editors cover very broad, diverse places; diverse linguistically, culturally. You need to know the cultural and political history; and that’s tough; you get put on this pot, and you have to know how to say “i don’t know” “talk to this person” but I think I’m getting better at that, and you have to recognize that I’m learning, you’re learning. Also, you have to realize that reporters are individuals too; often we say “the NYT said this; Reuters said this” we should be willing to name the person who said it. I’d love it if a reporter called me up, talked to me [personally] — we all know the feeling of someone quoting you and not mentioning you by name at all. We should have more contact with journalists…I often end up meeting a blogger, and say “I know you, I read you, I’ve seen you on flickr” and give them a hug and I don’t feel that way about journalists. I’d like to… would like all journalists to hug me, today.

Rebecca MacKinnon – he wants to be hugged 🙂 I want to know more about how you think about logging on your own blog… bout giving your own opinion; but saying we’re not going to be a platform (as Global Voices) for people’s personal views… for instance when we ask someone to do an overview about a country ;it’s “here’s the conversation happening online in our country and here’s the range of opinion” we do have different views in how neutral that can be, or how opinionated that can be. For instance, Indonesia.. When the poster has a strong opinion about what’s going on to what extent is it okay for those biases to come out in a Global Voices post? Iria? When writing about the Venezuelan blogosphere, what kind of posts will give you credibility, and help people understand Venezuela?

Iria Puyosa – So far I have been trying to be as inclusive as I can be selecting bloggers from different pov’s, opposition, pro-chaves, independent, to represent them in the most respectful way, avoiding being so extreme. I try to keep [my own opinion] under control to make other people’s points of view the subject of conversation

Rebecca MacKinnon -a number of hands up… david?

David Sasaki – you asked the 2d questions before the 1st question. What do you want Global Voices to be, and how do you want it to be looked at? What do you want your audience to feel? You and I were both in china… we both had strong personal opinions about what we were seeing… the opinions I expressed to my wife at the time were different than I’d express to Europeans…. than I’d express in a diplomatic gathering (all different by degree) different than I’d express on a panel. The larger the audience, the more they’d misunderstand or blow out of proportion the extent to which your personal bias is influencing your reporting. If you want Global Voices as an organization to support many povs, fine; have people express that in individual blogs. But if you want it to be seen as a neutral source, you should be careful to have people with strong posts on personal blogs; because the audience will not distinguish b/t what is personal-personal and what is written for Global Voices

Rebecca MacKinnon – that’s a good point; its true. A lot of loggers make a big distinction b/t what they put on their own blog, what they link to…a lot of other people don’t make that distinction. The public isn’t necessarily clear what you mean when you link to something.

Brendan Greeley – Also speaking as a journalist (and I will give you a hug after lunch)


Dean Wright – I wish I were in that room.

Brendan Greeley – One thing we need as journalists, other than more hugs, is training. One of the question’s I always have, using a blog in the newsroom: how do I know I can trust that? Interesting b/c it’s something journalists learn in journalism school; you have to face this every day when standing in front of a person, to look at a thousand non-verbal cues; and those cues exist on blogs too. You live in the blogosphere, so you know these things…you know what [the cues] are. If its a legitimate entry, they’re probably young, if it has a Global Voices badge, it’s probably a little more reliable at least; What would be a tremendous resource for journalists who are getting started…– it’s all in the journalists judgment on what they should rely and on what they shouldn’t — would be if you could put together an guide on all these things that you just know that we couldn’t be expected to. A wiki of things / clues you should look for on a blog about whether to trust someone or not [or on a wiki! –Ed] would be tremendously useful.

Tom Steinberg – There’s a very strong response for something happening in Britain recently : An anonymous blogger here, a bit like the Drudge Report, called guide faulkes, running a blog called Order Order they set up something called a ‘press plagiarims of the year’ award with a fantastic trophy I hope someone find online consisting of a gold pair of scissors, a gold bush, and an old jar of glue. As he reported himself, he got astonishing traffic for this b/c everyone in the main stream media wanted to know if they’d gotten called out. There’s probably been no greater education in the world of blogs (for main stream media in England) as realizing that at doing this could have gotten them into serious trouble.

Cecile Landman – I want to… address the trust issue. It is not the same as looking at Fox, CNN, BBC, and at the paper you read you always make a choice about trusting that. Blogging is growing and people trust less and less the main stream media…There are so many organizations in the media who try to get people to think in one direction; especially in this time when war is [to the fore]…

(Tagged: gv2005, globalvoices)



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