You can check out who is applying for approval (several friends of mine are there and I respect them for applying). It’s a club I probably won’t join, because the ethics thing will work itself out from the bottom up this time ’round.
We learn about it from a fascinating new study, The Pro-Am Revolution, a 70-page paper from Demos in the UK. It barely mentions bloggers or journalism, and so it is perfect for sketching a larger pattern into which J-blogging fits.
The twentieth century was shaped by the rise of professionals in most walks of life. From education, science and medicine, to banking, business and sports, formerly amateur activities became more organised, and knowledge and procedures were codified and regulated. As professionalism grew, often with hierarchical organisations and formal systems for accrediting knowledge, so amateurs came to be seen as second-rate. Amateurism came to be to a term of derision. Professionalism was a mark of seriousness and high standards.
And of course this happened in journalism in the 1920s through 1940s. University training, professional societies, codes of ethics emerged. This movement created my institution, the J-school, as well as the standard of neutral, nonpartisan professionalism of which Howard Fineman spoke. Demos on the shift:
But in the last two decades a new breed of amateur has emerged: the Pro-Am, amateurs who work to professional standards. These are not the gentlemanly amateurs of old – George Orwell’s blimpocracy, the men in blazers who sustained amateur cricket and athletics clubs. The Pro-Ams are knowledgeable, educated, committed and networked, by new technology.
Negroponte is back. Why can’t I trust this guy to have humane motives?
This is my favorite as the letter is telling everyone that we are not smart enough to understand the difference between a multi-million dollar, flash ‘enhanced’, cookie hammering, website for new cars and a wrecking yard website whose opening paragraph states; is an Independant Auto Recycler providing parts and services for and has a Disclaimer so as not to create confusion.
Blogging has not only given everybody the opportunity to have a soapbox, but with syndication, comments, and trackbacks has given us a really, really, big loudspeaker. We have the ability to do some serious trash talking, some significant fact checking, share opinions, observations, first hand reporting, and engage in transparent dialog. Understanding the old chestnut, opinions are like assholes and everybody has one, given a choice in my writing I would prefer to be known as opinionated rather than an asshole. But that is your call.
What bugs me about MediaBistro, after having listed myself in its classifieds service, is that it is New York-centric, yet the whole point of the change we are living through is that the media is everywhere, in every household, not on an island at the mouth of the Hudson River.
There’s money in them there links….
Now five shows are being podcasted by the Beeb.
Another participatory journalism attempt, TakeBackTheNews.com, has launched. (Yes, it’s getting hard to keep track of all of them…)
This one so far seems to be mostly a blog summarizing mainstream media articles. But the site has more ambitious goals. Individuals are encouraged to participate in the following roles at TakeBackTheNews.com:
• General Content Contributors, who submit interesting news-of-the-day items covering various topics
• Topic-Specific Content Contributors, who focus on a particular topic or content area and submit news items relating to it
• Op-Ed Contributors, who submit original opinion pieces
Contributing Bloggers, who submit takes on the latest news and increase blog exposure
• Editors, established contributors who may apply for or be recruited to serve as volunteer editors
Editors will review all editorial submissions for purposes of appropriateness and clarity before publishing content online.
As I wrote the other day, the rotting corpse of AT&T is being parceled out for cannibalization by its offspring.
It happens in Indiana, USA and the evolution is quite interesting. First, this little media group from the Middle-West – The News-Sun, The Evening Star or the Herald-Republican – radically changes its name: “For years we had been known as Kendallville Publishing Co. For some people, that’s what we’ll always be, even though it’s an image that isn’t quite true anymore… Finally, the change was officially made to KPC Media Group Inc. with the “KPC” part reinterpreted as “Keeping People Connected.” It’s a very clever name because “Keeping People Connected” is the main asset of newspapers. Offline and online. Second, the group recently decided shift towards a paid model: “The first change you’ll notice at the beginning of February 2005 is that the Web site will be moving to a paid model. That is a huge shift, and one worth talking about.