Archive for Yesterday's News, Tomorrow's Headlines

Why would we talk to him? He’s crazy?

A CBC journalist says that, in his experience, news organizations have tended to focus on people in authority, recalling a raving protester whom his editors saw no point in talking to.

“Sure that guy’s crazy, but I can’t even talk to him,” he recalls.

This journalist says, for all its flaws, the internet equalizes that.

Matthew Ingram follows by discussing the value of using citizens as stringers, and teaching them journlistic tools.

This could be applied around the world.

“We can learn from them,” says the CBC guy.

One journalist who was sent to Afghanistan to teach Pashtuns to use vid cameras talks about how dfficult and expensive the process is.

“Why can’t we tell that story?” says a woman.

“Because no-one advertises in Afghanistan.”

The woman, who practices local news, says that crowd-sourcing local people for her job at CityTV is like pulling teeth for her.


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Is what I’m blogging the news?

Is the news someone blogging something when it happens instantly or when it’s frozen in a newspaper?

“News for me is something that changes every two seconds,” a woman says.

I can’e believe I’m blogging this.

“Now a story had no real end,” says Globe tech blogger, Matthew Ingram.

But how do we make this profitable, the question comes again.

“Newspapers didn’t use to be profitable,” says Ingram. It was something that people financed because it had value, he continues.

“I think they need to be responsible to their readers, not their shareholder,” someone points out.

“That’s a deliverable,” someone calls out to Neil Ward, who’s frantically trying to write key points under the heading “deliverables” on a whiteboard.

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Bias in the news versus the net

The discussion veers into the territory of credibility.

Newspapers are error-prone and nobody wants to admit that. Second time today that’s come up. The notion is kicked around a little bit.

Then the issue of bias comes up.

“We have four major papers and we knew them by their bias,” someone says.

The commenter goes further, raising the notion of transparency, which is commonly thrown out as the web’s advantage over being authoritative.

“Some of the biggest opponents of the CBC,” he says by way of example, “are in their own comments section.”

“Is there an inherent bias in print that makes it more credible than the the internet?” asks Gary Graves head of

Graves goes on to say that lawsuits against news organizations result in higher fees than newspapers, because he sees newspapers as more credible and the internet, apparently more nefarious and libel-prone.

“That’s an old man talking,” says a student in the audience.

“Even if the judges are old white guys,” says Graves, “they still reflect a bias that exists in the culture.”

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Norris McDonald’s take

Norris McDonald a senior staff from the Toronto Star addresses the room.

“Every time I hear a Jeff Jarvis, I think that’s fine, but what about the next six months, the next two years?”

The question McDonald asks is how traditional media can stay in business through the transformation, keep their brand and keep their staff working.

This old-school newspaperman isn’t necessarily attacking the brave-new-world booster-ism but asks the practical question about how to keep a business he’s responsible for still running. Read the rest of this entry »

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