I’m listening

I was at the WeMedia conference where Suw was an online curator. Our friend Kevin Marks thought her role was, “pointing out the old media dinosaurs in the museum”.

As Ian Forrester points out, my position here is pretty tricky and slightly dangerous. As I have said, I work for the BBC. I am on the BBC’s blog steering committee as one of the ‘bloggers’ who doesn’t represent one of the major divisions in the corporation. I don’t say that to say, look at how important I am. This is about telling you where I’m coming from. Transparency, which as Dan Gillmor told some folks at an internal BBC briefing, journalists need to do more often.

I’m also a journalist and have been in one way or another for more than 10 years now. I think that journalism is important in a Jeffersonian sense of the functioning of a democracy, but I don’t confuse the importance of what I do with any outsized sense of self-importance.

Dan said that while he wasn’t at WeMedia last Wednesday that his impression was that it was: “Journalists vs. Bloggers conversation No. 7396”. I’m going to stick my professional neck out and say that is the impression I also got from a lot of participants, including Rebecca MacKinnon and Dorian Benkoil, here at Corante.

Bloggers are bored with this false dichotomy, and as for this journalist, I am too. There are lots of opportunities for colloboration, and as for the bloggers that I know and work with, I’ve never found bloggers to be bullies. I found that my relationship with bloggers, citizen journalists and DIY, participatory media folk of all stripes is just like any relationship: Treat people with respect and professionalism and you get the same back in spades.

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