Sunday, April 03, 2011

Andre Coleman - Intro to Citizen Journalism Session Part 1

Update April 5, 8:29PM - Folks I need to make it clear that I made a mistake in not separating my remarks from Mr. Colman's video. Unlike Dogbert's pappy, I do not take down posts once I've written and published them. There was a better way to write this post.

In hindsight, you should have seen what I ditched. Never tweet when angry and never post when your fingers are moving faster than your brain.

Original Post

I am a blogger. I am also a writer. I do a lot of stuff actually so I really don't like labels. But let's say for the moment that I am a blogger. I have to say I'm a little touchy about current blogger/journalist relations.

They suck.

I have had a few days to think about the citizen journalism session. The Pasadena Community Network has weekly meetings on Tuesday nights. The focus of the meetings is to develop journalism skills that can be applied to blogs, web sites, mimeograph reporting or how ever you want to do it.

There is also the Pasadenan which is also citizen driven content with an editor and staff moderating the content. That is cool. Works for me. I have no objection to anyone development better writing or reporting skills.

It is getting better but there is a long road to the junction of peace. This is reporter Andre Coleman speaking at the March 29, 2011 Citizen Journalism Speaker Series that was held at the main branch of the Pasadena Library. Mr. Coleman write for the Pasadena Weekly.

My Thoughts

First of all I support anything a person can do to make their writing better. Many bloggers take workshops, online classes and actively work on developing their skills. I am not a journalist but I do make use of some of the classes and webinars at Poynter's NewsU. Special shout out at the great tutorials at the Knight Digital Media Center.

Good writing and reporting transcend labels.

I do not hate reporters and good journalists. I was raised in a newspaper town with two major newspapers and six or seven alternative newspapers. It truly saddens me that we have lost a huge chunk of the respect and the importance we use to hold for newspapers in this country.

I have people around me that use that term blogger as a pejorative. (Not referring to Andre Coleman. I have other real world examples that like to point with pride the ink in their veins.)

Many of these people are ex-reporters, current reporters and soon to be ex-reporters that do not apply their training to find out what is happening with contemporary bloggers and technology.

You want to lump me in with the fat guy sitting naked at his keyboard? Go for it. That just shows ignorance. That is not a good thing for journalists to display but if that is what you want to do why should I stand in your way? But I am not the one that put the shiv in the back of newspapers.

Newspaper management did it to themselves.

Newspapers in the 1980s and 90s did not want to pay attention to people outside of their chosen proven money demographic. They did not court the next generation. They totally did not get the beginnings of early on-line communities or the Internet.

If you do not talk to me or connect with me in some way why should I buy your product or service?

Some of the current silly rabbits in newspaper management and related media companies think all they have to do is take a person previously known columnist and change the word to blogger and then people will come a running back.

Many in the industry blame bloggers for stealing content from their newspapers yet provide links to stories and want people to tweet the news story. However they don't want others to summarize or add additional context to a news story that omitted an important perspective.

News management wants bloggers to promote newspapers but you don't want us reading your content.

My admittedly limited understanding of the corporate news management perspective is that I should pay for content I do not read or cannot use, such as sports, that I should be grateful that said content exists and that I should not want or need to have any further communication with those that generate said content.

Oh, and don't tell anybody else where I found the content that does not interest me on account they might read it too.

Tell me again why I want to have a relationship with newspapers?

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