Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gaffing attribution: Who's news do you trust?

The New York Times tattles on the L.A. Times' killing of Patrick Goldstein's column on July 24...Which was then "leaked" to the L.A.Observed newsblog (oddly, not comments on L.A.O.)..and attributes a comment to former blogger Steven den Beste on Instapundit....

So I looked up the Instapundit post which notes that den Beste no longer blogs. Further, the emailed comment from den Beste echoes another comment by Mickey Kaus. Strange how the NYTimes was more willing to attribute the entire quote to someone who's no longer actively blogging, while not attributing some of it to the actively blogging (although on Slate) Kaus, who sez "That's my quote, buddy..." Kaus also notes that the error could have occurred due to editors needs to save word space....

There's more to it though--when it comes to blog related stories in the NYTimes, and other MSM outlets however, I've observed that mis-attributes, mis-quotes, and mis-representations of the blogosphere by reporters *and* editors can come from a mis-understanding of the world and culture out here in the blogosphere. Hence, Steve Garfield doesn't get credit for being one of the first bloggers (and corrects), and something I wrote about community and blogs gets misinterpreted in the editorial process as "message board" (these are just two examples...I'm sure there are many, many more--I'm just not cataloguing everything.)

Meanwhile Steve Outing takes a look at social news site NewsTrust:
In beta now and due out in early 2008, Newstrust will not only be a stand-alone site where consumers can come to find the best journalism as ranked by an army of volunteer media reviewers, but more importantly it will (we can hope) be deployed over all manner of online news sources so that readers will on any news-related website see an objective rating of that site's quality and of specific news content.
Outing notes that Newstrust founder Fabrice Florin is involved in the ranking, thus involved in his own community (as is Rory O'Connor)! Fabrice (who I met at We Media) is passionate about people helping people find the best coverage--not just commentary--out there today.

and another thing yesterday, in a conversation with my friend and fellow blogger Debi Jones about coverage on the war in Iraq, we bespoke the musical question: "what the heck's going on with all the commentary and no real news??" When all we're getting on Iraq is the bloviating of expersts (read: former 'sperts) it's not a really long leap to feeling that we should *all* be commenting on the paltry little pieces of reportage we're getting here and there. And it's not a long leap to thinking that perhaps the more honest commentary will come from people who don't have to kow-tow to corporate sponsors (note: journalism cannot serve two masters....may have had something to do with killing Goldstein's piece in the first place)

just a few thoughts...

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