Live blogging MPR’s MSM vs. New Media Ethics Forum
Today The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists and Minnesota Public Radio are hosting a UBS Forum examing the present state of journalism, the effect of new media on mainstream media (MSM), and ethical issues and quandries created by evolving communication, expectation and collaboration.
MPR called Erica and Greg, your Metroblogging Minneapolis Co-Captains, and asked if we would be the official live bloggers covering the event tonight. Of course, because we’re bloggers and all, we asked if they would pay us under the table. Not really, but we bet you $100 somebody believes that’s how bloggers operate…not to say that’s not ever true.
Inarguably, new and social media wouldn’t exist without traditional journalism. Yet with that said, MSM is hitting some growing pains trying for that sweet spot between relevancy, timeliness, responsibility and oh yeah, monetization. After all, just because the average netizen expects the news for free with no ads, somebody has to keep the lights on and journalists fed.
UPDATE: Event is sold out. We’re told MPR wouldn’t spring for live video streaming (?), but there will be an audio stream linked off the MPR front page with a form for web attendees to submit questions.
Otherwise, follow along here starting at 7:00 tonight.
List of expected attendees (to be edited once the event kicks-off):
- Bob Collins, MPR’s News Cut
- Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University
- Chuck Olsen, Citizen Journalist, Videoblogger, Founder of The Uptake
- Michael Caputo, Analyst, Public Insight Journalism, Minnesota Public Radio
- Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota
- Steve Perry, Editorial Director, Minnesota Monitor
- Terry Sauer, Managing Editor, StarTribune.com
- Dave Pyle, Minnesota Bureau Chief Associated Press
- Wendy Wyatt, Journalism, Media, Ethics Professor, University of St. Thomas
- Scott Libin, News Director, WCCO-TV
G: It’s 6:42 p.m., and Erica and I are set-up in the auditorium stage-left. They have tasty cookies in the lobby and the auditorium is already hot. I’m sure it will only heat up once when the ethics throwdown begins.
G: So many people here. Wish they were wearing avatar nametags. Jason DeRusha came over and sat next to us — therefore guaranteeing he will get coverage on the blog here. We’re talking about the photo he tweeted of Diablo holding her Oscar in bed.
E: Live tweeting from http://twitter.com/swirlspice about DeRusha.
G: Ground rules – be nice, love one another.
E: Noah Kunin is setting up to stream live video for The Uptake. Mike Caputo is telling us to turn our phones off. There will be folks with mics in the audience. We “need to respect the views of others.” Stay on topic!
G: Bob Collins has livebloggers hold our hands up. Noah, Erica and Greg to the rescue.
E: Bob Collins is totally jealous that we get to liveblog and he can’t. Blogs: 1. MSM: 0.
G: Bob Collins paraphrased: As social media becomes mainstream media, there’s a need for standards. Perhaps shared or two different standards (MSM bloggers vs. independent).
G: Dan Gillmor: Forget question if bloggers are journalists — might as well ask if people who write on paper are journalists. Blogs are a tool — a form for creating media. The answer: most are not, and a few are.
E: Dan Gillmor: “Blogging is a proxy word for all emerging forms of new media.” “It’s not about MSM OR blogs. It’s about MSM AND blogs.” Need a more diverse and robust media ecosystem.
E: Dan Gillmor “What does mainstream even mean anymore?”
E: Recent example of citizen journalism collaboration with MSM is CNN reporting on Virginia Tech shooting. Terrible example: Matt Drudge. “Recent good .”
G: Bob massacres CNN’s iReport concept — calls it “iReporter.” Meanwhile, Noah is sporting no less than two media wristbands, and I saw a guy yawn in the third row.
G: Dan: Per Drudge’s Obama in “traditional garb” coverage, no one dictated them to cover this. It’s an unfortunate failing of traditional media and bloggers alike, who are wiling to be part of something that may or may not have any meaning whatsoever. Clinton’s fingerprints?
G: Bob: Now we’re talking about easing of standards as exemplified by NYT’s running John McCain affair story.
G: Dan: NYT abused their trust. They screwed up.
E: Dan Gillmor: NYT abused the public’s trust. That was a major mistake.
G: I’m sorry, but listening to two old white guys sit in the front of the room and talk at us is so NOT 2.0.
E: Bob Collins: At least NYT has their standards readily available for all to read.
E: You know, so we can all know *exactly how* they fucked up with the John McCain story.
G: Bob: Is it reasonable to expect traditional media to have the same standards as new media? And are there areas that have become de facto standards online that should be migrating to traditional media?
E: DG: Whose online standards? Joshua Micah Marshall/Talking Points Memo = good. Matt Drudge = bad. Man, this guy hates Matt Drudge. Okay, who doesn’t hate Matt Drudge?
G: Sorry, we got so bored we started taking camera phone pictures. It’s been 30 minutes and they are still talking.
E: Talking to Jane Kirtley. One of two white women on a whole panel of white men. She quotes: “The best of blogs are about transparency, but not about fairness and accuracy.” DG doesn’t think accuracy is too much to ask. It’s part of being an honorable person. Most bloggers aren’t trying to or wish to do real journalism. But there’s lots of great journalism (advocacy journalism) that’s highly biased. If you’re gonna be biased, be transparent so people can come to their own conclusions.
G: JK: Judges are terrified at the thought of unshaven bloggers storming into courtrooms and taking photos with the camera phones
E: Who cares if bloggers are like traditional journalists? Can we stop perpetuating the myth of unscrupulous people with agendas?
E: The title of “journalist” does carry weight when credentials (i.e., access) are involved.
G: Check it out. In a 5 second Google search, I found a site to make my own press credentials.
E: DG: “We need to protect journalism, not the people called journalists.”
G: This isn’t how I thought this was going to go down, according to Bob’s comment earlier that this is a discussion forum, not just two guys in the front of the room talking.
E: Is Bob Collins missing a finger? Go for the left hand when you arm wrestle, Chuck! Oh, wait, it was just a shadow. Never mind.
E: DG: Anyone could follow anyone else around for an hour and get enough material to make someone look ridiculous on the web.
G: DG answers questions so slowly. I can’t believe the invited forum guests are only allowed to ask Dan questions. I wanted to see people ask each other questions, share ideas, etc. etc.
E: Steve Perry asking about economics. Paraphrase: Used to be only newspapers could afford to provide reporters and resources. As newspapers lose readers and revenue, what do we lose in the process that citizen journalism or smaller shops won’t be able to supply?”
E: Yeah, I’m bored with the “panelists” supplying questions for Bob and Dan. Can we get to the audience please?
G: Dear MPR, you are losing us.
E: I’d rather this was a little more roundtable. Maybe a difficult format for radio with so many “panelists.”
G: Garrick Van Buren tweets this format mirrors his last experience here: “There were 100 people in the room. Maybe 10 were on mic for the 90 minutes we were there. Like the elderly gentleman next to me, I too, expected more of a discussion, less of a performance. It would have been more interesting to actually have a discussion.”
E: I got distracted by Twitter. I think Dan Gillmor said “smaller/online shops won’t be able to replicate the original newsroom model” but he wasn’t sure why.
G: DeRusha tweets, ” Is it only 7:45? Good god this is slow.”
E: DG: “Best examples of CJ training has bloggers focusing on very niche subjects.” I wish he could give a good example.
G: If this was a podcast, I would move on to the next one.
E: DG did pimp MPR’s Public Insight Journalism initiative.
E: Dan GIllmor says Bakersfield, CA’s pothole map is a fantastic example of cititzens collaborating with MSM to provide info the people are really interested in.
G: Michael Caputo tries to save the panel by involving the crowd.
E: Mike Caputo FTW!
G: Producer at KSTP points out that we, too, have a pothole map. Says KSTP blogs are just for entertainment value.
G: 52 minutes: amount of time it took to mention bridge collapse. Wonder if they’ll let Noah Kunin talk about his apartment’s location and the importance of Aaron Landry blogging from that location while MSM took time to fly to Mpls and set up cameras. Instead DG is talking about MSM’s notions and reaction to crises. BC changes subject to “the bloggers” being more passionate about stories they cover.
G: Julio tweets: ” Enjoying Twitter and MBM reax to MNSPJ event more than actual event — I think I will sleep well tonight.” — yes! Bloggers 2, MSM: 0
E: Bob Collins: “Bloggers are way more passionate about the stories we cover than MSM is. MSM is bending over backwards to sound detached.”
E: Garrick Van Buren asks: “Is a 30 second sound bite journalism? TPM didn’t win the Polk award for 30-second soundbites.” Also, “We need to liven things up here.”
G: Oh Garrick, God Bless You! BC and DG are acting like they don’t know what he means by 30 second segments given to cover the news, which makes me nervous.
E: GVB talks of reporters on campaign buses being under pressure to file and not having the luxury of time to step back and reflect.
G: I can’t believe they changed the subject so quickly. Totally ignored Garrick’s question like they didn’t understand it. Should the WCCO guy have a chance to talk to his question?
E: Bob Moffitt asks Bob Collins about voting, gives BC the opening to talk about how awesome Polinaut is.
G: BC doesn’t vote for candidates he covers.
E: Bob Franklin: “I worked at the Strib for 39 years and DAMN they were passionate! Is it still that way?”
E: 8:00pm. Bob Collins thinks the great thing about blogs is that you know exactly what a blogger thinks about things. And calls DeRusha out for Twittering about going out for drinks before the forum.
G: Okay — here we go.
E: DeRusha talking about how he couldn’t caucus as a reporter because that would call into question his bias. Thinks it would be more damaging to his career to be caught at a caucus than at a strip club.
G: DeRusha talking about how that will be on 4 blogs right now (true, btw), and the MSM echo chamber where people look for news stories they believe in and circulate it.
8:05 p.m. — first bashing of Fox News (courtesy of Dan Gillmore)
E: David Brauer does not look like his MinnPost black-and-white cartoon. Talking about reporting on Rake discontinuing print publication. Invited Tom Bartel to leave a correction in the comments on the MinnPost story. Bob Collins asks if DB felt “liberated” going from MSM to MinnPost. DB: “Uh, not really.” Like any good blogger, DB loves the page views.
G: I can’t believe it’s 8:10 and they aren’t even close to letting Chuck talk. It’s a MSM love-fest.
E: Terry Sauer (managing editor of startribune.com): Talking about corrections. Concerned that it’s too easy to make corrections online. People view different versions online and have no way of knowing which one’s “right.” Asks if it’s a credibility hit to not be transparent with corrections. Nice softball.
G: People are talking to each other in the rows. Others are ranting on Twitter. Chuck Olsen looks like the last puppy at the pound at closing time.
E: Someone in the audience is actually nodding off.
E: Dan Gillmor — I think, I nodded off in the middle — is talking about ways to manage story versioning when making corrections.
E: Grad student in Journo/Mass Comm asks about blogging ethics. Greg ties it all together nicely with Garrick’s point that you sacrifice some quality for speed.
G: I just gave the example of Bob making a comment on our blog, it being updated immediately, and how MSM could never have reprinted, redelivered, etc. vs. not having an editor. Nobody picked up my question on at what point is it okay to relax quality standards for timeliness?
E: Noah delivers the news that folks following The Uptake’s liveblog are bored with the forum.
G: I wish the forum was like this the entire time. Finally getting energized with only 10 mintues left.
E: Chuck Olsen announces he’s from The Uptake and “we come in peace”. Thinks citizen journalism is definitely maturing. Calls for a middle ground between MSM’s and CJ’s techniques. The Uptake is trying to develop standards, asks DG for middle ground suggestions.
G: Chuck shows off his homemade press pass. He actually used the site I shared earlier to make it. Talked about live streaming from caucuses vs. MSM giving it 30 seconds. No further discussion – just back to DG again.
E: Dan Gillmor brings up Tim O’Reilly’s suggested Blogger Code of Ethics. DG says the principles of journalism are: thoroughness, accuracy, fairness, independence (aka objectivity), transparency. Standards are about putting the principles into action. Principles should stay the same, standards can vary between organizations. Most concise answer from DG yet today.
G: DG reading out a little black book. I bet he used a “pen” to write notes on “paper” – ha! But seriously, talking about the necessity for moderation on blogs, and anytime discussion becomes uncivil, calling for a ‘halt.’ Says people should use their real names. There should be accountability in using pseudonyms.
E: Wendy Williams It’s important to have this conversation because everything a journalist (citizen or otherwise) is an ethical act. Also, can’t discount citizen obligation/engagement.
G: Phil Wilson tweets, “it official…the MPR forum can be as sleepy as too much public radio. Somebody throw something.”
G: Reporter for MinnPost (didn’t catch her name): Inverted pyramid doesn’t cut it anymore. Audience completely different than what it used to be. Now more about topics. — OH MY GOD — Check this out: “I had a story picked up by Google Alert that went to Alaska.” Seriously? I want to go home now. Jason, Erica and I are heckling.
E: Jason DeRusha is the MSM expert on bloggers, apparently. He knows what all of us are saying and thinking at all times.
G: I just laughed out loud that people assume if stuff ran on blogs DeRusha knows about it.
E: Not that the J-man isn’t down. That’s what people here keep saying.
G: DG re: standards of MSM and blogs combined: “National Inquirer’s standards moving up.”
E: The problem is that people don’t understand how blogs are consumed. Especially how blogs are consumed by people who blog. Bloggers go through a different process of reputation-building, sourcing, and vetting than MSM does. Just because you read something on a blog doesn’t make it news. Reading MSM is for lazy people.
G: I’m not really sure why they invited bloggers to this event if the two guys in the front of the room just want to talk about NYT MSM issues over and over w/o addressing audience questions/interests.
E: You wade through the glut of info by trusting people to curate for you.
G: More MinnPost people here. After hearing Joel Kramer’s take on blogging at Life After Newspapers (didn’t get it, basically), I’m not entirely sure about his writers.
E: Every time Jason DeRusha pulls out his phone, I know a great Twitter is coming.
8:40 — “The Glory Days of Newspapers!” meanwhile Erica and I are tired and giving up.
G: DG is talking about “combining human and machine intelligence to find things that are much more likely to be trustworthy about things we care about.” Comparing digg.com to supermarket tabloids but forgetting supermarket tabloids are old the second they’re printed, don’t have comments, permalinks, crowd-sourcing, etc.
Jeremy Pavleck tweets, ” Holy cow, 2 blocks from the UBS forum and the blogger egos are seeping into our loft”
G: Erica’s gearing up to ask a question!
E: DeRusha’s boss just asked DG a question that kinda stumped him and now it’s gonna be another 5 minutes before I can respond and then I’ll be totally off topic.
G: DG: “That guy from Hong Kong who..uh…”
Noah: “Jackie Chan?”
Crowd: laughs in relief. DG’s trying to talk about audience responsibility but is having trouble getting to his point.
Erica asks a question! It’s something like what she said above, plus MB can be journalism or fluff. People form their opinions, which then shapes our reputation, but reading us and deciding for themselves.
G: Forum decides not to give Erica love, but DeRusha says: Bloggers have to work 20 times harder to get credibility I get w/wcco call letters
G: Audience person asks about MSM covering the immigrant status of illegal alien who ran her car into a bus and killed children. She’s blaming right-wing talk radio for influencing all MSM’s opinion. Jason Lewis would laugh in her face. Conservative talk radio really shapes our liberal local news, lady. Yeaah. Meanwhile, does this have anything to do with “New Media”? No.
G: Dave Pyle, AP: Talking about their reasoning in including the fact that the assigned this person the status of “illegal.” Still has nothing to do with new media.
G: This illegal immigrant story has not turned up one single new media example, nobody has any on Twitter, and I sure as hell can’t think of one. NEXT TOPIC. DeRusha tells me broadcast TV stations think e-mail is new media.
Noah reports, that 100% of his live viewers don’t think media is transparent.
E: The very title of this forum implies that MSM is complaining that bloggers aren’t playing by the rules. Why can’t somebody just come out and say that? Also, it’s completely unfair to lump all bloggers together, especially those that in no way purport to be “reporting.” People that think that are just plain dumb. I guess that’s why they read the newspaper, so they don’t have to decide. I guess choosing between the PiPress and the Strib is hard enough.
G: Someone mentioned monetization and the forum suddenly ended.
E: Bob Collins announces the end of the forum. Stay after for arm-wrestling with Chuck! I think he just called Chuck a beast.
G: Upon review, this was more snarky than I anticipated. You know how bloggers are.