Blogging, Journalism and Credibility

Spent time yesterday listening in to a conference at Harvard on Blogging, Journalism and Credibility. I’m going to have to go back and read the transcripts to check up, but one area that I found strange was the discussion about links and their use in blog posts. There seemed to be a feeling that all links need to be credible, to be validated somehow, and if you link to an unvalidated post, then, somehow, that damages your credbility. One argument for me is that ‘credible’ news organisations, either print or media, don’t always do this anyway, why should bloggers, whether amateur or professional do it any different?

With blogs, with it being a slightly more permament media, allowing you to interact for a far longet time than a newscast or a paper, then surely half the pleasure is linking to things that are dubious, or not fully verified; often linking can be to comment on the quality of the posting/news; or you can go back later and confirm stuff.

Blogs, in fact all web media, is a pull rather than a push media. I choose what I want to see on there, I seek out content far more than I do on TV. It gives me far more opportunity to explore AND make up my own mind about things than a 2 minute story on the news or an article in the paper. The choice stays with me.

After all that rambling, there’s a point in there somewhere. Maybe I’ll come back later and try again.

BTW, loved the sharing aspect of this conference – being able to listen in whilst lurking ont he irc channel reading the asides was a far better experience than just reading the stuff.

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2 thoughts on “Blogging, Journalism and Credibility

  1. Rachel,

    I was the one who raised the question about links on Saturday. And I explicitly clarified the question, after it was batted around, that I was concerned not with values but with value. If a reader places has an interest in sources of rarity or exceptional truth, then the publisher should put in the extra time to ensure that they are meeting those standards that their readers expect.

    and BTW, I’m delighted that people have posted about what they got out of the conference– this will help the attendees communicate with you, and perhaps help the major news reports paint a more complete picture of what transpired.

    Jon Garfunkel

  2. I was waiting to read the transcript before I commented back; but can’t find the link yet.

    An interesting thing came out of your comment – I was reading the irc chat channel at the same time as listening in. and the written word stuck far more in my mind than the verbal remarks!

    I agree, it’s driven by the value; what I, as a reader, value in links or what the writer values. If I want to read a large variety of internet tales, I go to snopes – or rea d the Sun newspaper ;-). If I want more serious/valued information, I go to somewhere I have established a trust in.

    And I guess those sites may occasionally make a mistake, may link through to something that later looses credibility. The original site, to me anyway, retains its credibility if it acknowledges the mistake. Hopefully in a more visible manner than is often seen in newspapers, which can have huge page 1 stores, later retracted with a 2 liner buried on page 20. – or it may be different in the US?