Friday, June 19, 2009

If I Only Had A Pen...

Yesterday I showed up at the PGI (Peter Gzowski Invitational’s) for Literacy at Anderson Creek Golf Course just in time to be greeted by the Guardian's crack team of media golfers, Gary MacDougall, Jim Day, Alan Holman and Publisher Don Brander who were there for this great cause.... and they couldn't help but throw a few digs at my attempt to get my credentials as a media member at the Legislature... funny thing is they had registered as "golfers" yet again a half ass "hacker" like myself took home 1st prize... maybe I should get my PGA card... and by the way I wonder what it would cost to buy that Guardian "rag" (a term commonly used in England) and maybe I could write a column if I only had a pen... as I'm sure I could find the money...
Are Bloggers “Media?” by Todd Defren a principal at SHIFT Communications
Are bloggers members of the “media?” That’s a tough question.
The blogging trend is still fairly new (in the grand scheme), and bloggers are as often considered “snarks in bunnyslippers” as they are legitimate information sources.
In a recent tweet, Paul Gillin (who has the credentials to know) made a compelling distinction: “Most bloggers know more about a topic than reporters, who switch beats all the time. Reporters are resourceful; bloggers are knowledgeable.”
Geoff Livingston agreed: “Bloggers are not media, and should be treated differently. Different goals, readership, rules.”
In other words: the question of whether bloggers are media is moot.
Bloggers are DIFFERENT from the mainstream media. They are smart, expert, passionate, independent, talented, and cantankerous. They have their own agenda, whereas journalists (while they share many of the traits listed above) are beholden to a publisher’s agenda.
More to the point: whatever else ya call them, bloggers are influential.
We’ve evolved (quickly!) from a situation in which the mainstream media complained about having their content “scavenged” by bloggers, to an era in which reporters look to the blogosphere to vet the facts, themes & memes of their own prospective stories.
A so-called “hit” in a blog is often as valuable as a “hit” in a mainstream publication. (In fact, we recently placed a client story in a national morning show AND in the Perez Hilton blog, and consumer response to the latter outstripped traffic gains from the “big” hit in the mainstream outlet!)
So – no, most bloggers are not media. (I would argue, however, that blogs like TechCrunch, Huffington Post, etc. do meet that gold standard.) But, they are just as important as media. From PR pros, bloggers deserve and require different approaches that are more creative and respectful than anything that’s gone before.
The most common area where this “bloggers as media” question comes up is at trade shows. Do you give ‘em a press badge?
Yea, you set some minimum requirements for longevity and authority, but you do give them a press badge. They have knowledge, enthusiasm, a publication (of sorts) and readers. Those characteristics alone may not make them “press” in the traditional sense, but these are untraditional times: rather than penalize someone for not fitting established norms, why not encourage their passion and creativity, which only help promote the industry and the event?
Are bloggers media? Maybe not. Maybe they’re better.
Blogging businessman denied media rights at committee
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
CBC News
Prominent P.E.I. businessman and active blogger Tim Banks was not allowed to videotape his appearance before a legislative committee Tuesday.
Banks, owner of the property development company APM, was appearing before a committee looking into the role of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. For more than a year, he has been commenting on Island issues on his blog and he asked permission to videotape the committee proceedings so he could post them.
That permission was denied, and Banks doesn't believe that's fair.
"I'm out there to send a message to Islanders, and to people that live and invest and work here, that things are happening and if you speak out somebody's going to listen," he said.
Charles MacKay, the clerk of the legislature, said only accredited media are allowed to tape proceedings. MacKay said media must make an application to the legislature and be granted security credentials.
He did not rule out bloggers getting accreditation, but he said the legislature was going to need to set some rules to define who qualifies as a member of the media and who does not.
"There's no set criteria, and that's the problem," said MacKay.
"That's exactly what we'll be required, I think the members [of the legislature] themselves. And the media, to be quite frank with you, should have a role to play in determining who is accredited media at the legislative assembly."
Banks said he does plan to apply for accreditation.


Anonymous said...

This blog is better than most of the stuff in the Guardian keep up the good work

Jevon said...

The blogger vs journalism was one of the first debates that emerged when blogging started to take off. The answer seems to be that there really is no answer and the market is deciding more and more what is important. Professional journalists often believe that there is something special about their craft, but the thing is: bloggers are just adopting those same things.

The Guardian, if I were buying them, should focus online. With rural broadband on its way, it only makes sense and for the cost of an annual subscription, The Guardian could lease subscribers a compact computer that would deliver the news every day and allow for interaction and "upselling" through more creative advertising than just printing a block graphic.

We call it "dead media",. and as much as I love the Sunday New York Times and will hate to see it go,. things like the Kindle show us that there is a way for these publishers to survive. Newspapers like The Guardian are in a prime position to take the next step due to their prominent place in the community and the importance of their reporting.

You could then take that model and start buying small-town rags all over the country, but flip them in to interactive places rather than just dead trees.

Anonymous said...

May I say you would have my vote over any of the names you mentioned. I think more and more people read bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Bloggers may not be accepted as members of the so-called current media. But take heart when TV first came out TV reporters were NOT considered members of the so called media at that time.

The fact is Tim Mainstream media does not like Bloggers because they feel they will siphon off many of their current paying customers.

The attacks by so called mainstream media of today is nothing but a feable attempt to protect their own business and kingdoms.

The simple fact is the world and the public is changing and changing dramatically and fast if mainstream media doesn't soon realize this they will be left behind in the new age dust.

Blogs and online message boards and much online information and comments will continue to shape and form public opinion in a greater ways. If the so called mainstream media of today don;t realize this very fast they will be left behind just like the Ghiz Government.

Anonymous said...

These guys should take a lesson in telling the truth and people might actually read them. We are witnessing the final days of a dinosaur and they are too arrogant to even see it.

Andrew said...

I blog sometimes but not nearly as much as I would when I first setup a blog. I'm also enrolled in Holland College's Journalism program...I guess I will be a blogging journalist someday - or unemployed.

The whole debate between blogging and journalism comes down to one factor and one factor only, the readers. People seek what they want these days, they're tired of being told what to read if they want something new every morning.

I've leaned things from your blog, Tim, but I mainly visit your blog because I enjoy your opinion. PEI is lucky to have one of its wealthiest residents sharing their opinion on almost every topic hitting our news stands. I imagine that a lot of people with money end up spending a lot of it to keep their opinions out of the media, while you just give yours away for free.

I hope you're given credentials next time, or at least once in all fairness.