May 18, 2009

Search Industry Expert wants Media Bloggers Association idea

I'll get around to "Wolfing Alfalfa" sometime, but I actually might do more real-world good today with my tiny audience of readers by discussing search expert Danny Sullivan's recent post, prompted by recent Google/newspapers issues:

"Dammit, I'm A Journalist, Not A Blogger: Time For Online Journalists To Unite?"

I want online journalists to get organized. Yes, there's the Online News Association, but that seems an extension of "traditional" journalists working in mainstream organizations with digital outlets. I think we need an "Online Journalists Association," or a "United Bloggers" or whatever catchy name you come up with. As for its mission? I'm not certain, but some thoughts:

* Ensure the news blogs get an equal seat at any table where news and journalism is being discussed
* Help promote deeper reporting and recognition of work that already happens
* Perhaps share correspondents and photos

Danny, this has already been attempted. It was called the "Media Bloggers Association". You might want to talk to Robert Cox, who created it. And to Rogers Cadenhead, about the MBA's role defending him in the AP / Drudge Retort dispute.

There are many lessons to be learned there, some of them quite unpleasant.

One big problem is that any such organization is likely to have a substantial contingent of the destroy-traditional-journalism-replace-it-with-BLOGS!!! crowd, both sincere and insincere, for many dubious motives. This faction will interact badly with those who are more moderate, and want to work with the dreaded mainstream media. Note I donít simply speculate here, it already happened (students of group psychology will recognize a standard radicals vs reformers split).

And then, there's the eternal question - where's the money? Who is going to pay for it?

Regrettably, this is basically a case of "We tried your idea, and it didn't work".

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in mba | on May 18, 2009 11:27 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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