January 09, 2005

"Blogging, Journalism & Credibility"

"Blogging, Journalism & Credibility" is a conference, well, I'll quote:

... an invitation-only conference to be held on January 21st and 22nd, 2005 entitled "Blogging, Journalism and Credibility: Battleground and Common Ground." The conference, which will bring together a select group of thoughtful bloggers and journalists, is being organized by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School, the American Library Association's Office of Information Technology and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


To both journalism and blogging, credibility is essential. What are the areas of common ground shared by these very different approaches to handling news and information? Can journalists who also blog do their work without conflicting standards? Might bloggers adopt standards and a transparency that will elevate their credibility? Our purpose is to bring together a small group of smart and thoughtful people to ponder these and other related issues, which will result in a published report and - we hope - will mark the beginning of an on-going and very important dialogue.

The subject matter of the conference has been, err, "controversial", given the issues of "credibility", and the background of the participants. I summarized the problem in the following well-received comment:

It was all about cats
and their habitats
But they only invited
the dogs and the rats

[Not original with me, I read it somewhere]

I think the issue which some critics are exploring is that the speaker's list, overall, doesn't seem to have anyone who has to struggle for credibility. All names which I recognize are well-ensconced "club members", the sort of people who already have institutional validation as academics and/or journalists. They *are already considered* "credible", in a professional sense. This doesn't mean their reflections on the topic are wrong, but it might make the collective exploration somewhat limited, as a factual matter.

If the purpose is to puff the participants resumes, well, *shrug*, I suppose that's not a bad thing in itself, and there's not a whole lot for anyone else to say beyond pointing it out.

[Disclosure/disclaimer - although the suggestion that I should have an affiliation with the Berkman Center is sometimes raised by uninformed or well-intentioned people, realistically the chance of that happening these days is zero.]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo , webcred | on January 09, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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