Blogosphere project update

September 4, 2006

Hi – just an update from our project.   With the end of the summer this research phase has officially ended after slowing down the past few weeks.  However, since as far as we know this blog is the most complete listing of blogs by journalists, dailies and other mainstream media in Canada I’m going to keep that going on updating the blogroll as I have time and as I find them –  but not religiously any more!   I’ll keep posting stories or links but only sporadically. 

Dr. Goodrum is working on a preliminary paper that will be presented at a conference in Australia toward the end of August.  Also, she’s hoping to continue the research and to develop the research into a fuller peer-reviewed publishable piece. I’ll pass onto Dr. Goodrum the names of people who have requested copies of the research based on the survey of blogging journalists and a content analysis of Canadian j-blogs.  If you would like to be kept in the loop please get in touch with her or you could contact me through the blog.  The email access for me through this is still valid. 

Thanks for your interest. 

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Norm Spector on YouTube

September 4, 2006

Just found an American paper, “How Journalists See the Blogosphere” by Marci McCoy Roth (U Penn) while trying to find an index in Canada that could list journalistic blogs.  Theoretical framework is public sphere empowerment / Habermas discussion;  shares results of survey conducted of American journalists regarding what blogs they read; sent 3800 – 4000 emails and received 57 responses; identifies top blogs read by American journalists.  This is a different study than the U Chicago study that focussed on blog reading habits of American media elites.

The website for the CNA has a hyperlinked listing of online papers in Canada (June 06 updated).  I also found a helpful guide to newspaper ownership and an interesting profile report on young newspaper readers.  I’m using the ownershp guide for cross-listing data to see any correlationships between blog content online, content sharing and paper ownership. 

A thoughtful piece by Nicholas Lemann from the New Yorker takes another stab at the blogging / journalism divide (as pointed to from Crawford Killian’s blog). 

Of interest to me is that the writer brings a historical contextualization to bear upon our current situation – bloggers are likened to the pamphleteers of other generations, and this comparison suggests that the press has always operated in dialectical relationship with other modes of communication.

A more bizarre claim — and ahistorical — is the assertion that  “[r]eporting—meaning the tradition by which a member of a distinct occupational category gets to cross the usual bounds of geography and class, to go where important things are happening, to ask powerful people blunt and impertinent questions, and to report back, reliably and in plain language, to a general audience—is a distinctive, fairly recent invention.”

I don’t think the early HBC traders or the Étienne Brulés of the world would have agreed with that.  

Since the earliest colonial expansion days people have been dispatched for precisely that purpose in service of mercantalist interests – but it seems that often that part of the equation is denied in theory, even if in practice journalists have to content with that historical memory when reporting in communities that have borne the weight of colonialism.  It’s that kind of denial of the larger historical context of “dispatching” and its relationship to interests and cumulative privilege, I think, that bothers so many bloggers.  

This is the first time I’ve ever seen an editor intervene to calm down rude blogging responses and defend a j-blogger online.  See this posting at Michel Vastel’s blog at L’Actualité

Word error on survey

July 27, 2006

This week I realised that we had written “renumerate” in the survey instead of “remunerate.”  I read the correct word in the newspaper, thought that was a typo, looked it up, and knew immediately I had missed this error in proofing the survey.  I never knew the correct word was the latter (neither did 3 other test readers, or perhaps it’s just easy to skim past) although in hindsight it makes sense that “numerate” would be a terrible way to name being paid. Somehow it slipped by because the association with numbers.   

If it helps at all, I am getting my ears checked today because I have been hard of hearing lately…!

I thought this was an exceptional spread through the Ottawa Citizen, that I actually found via the Windsor Star through CanWest content sharing — reporter Chris Lackner’s road trip discovery of the Underground Railroad.  A blog is part of the feature, but it seems they’ve really got some neat design ideas on the go and they’ve gotten very creative with the presentation and narratiion  narration. I actually didn’t find it by the keyword blog; I saw the link to the feature on the railroad and had a hunch it would use a blog, blogs being a good medium for travel writing.   Again – goes to show that we may be missing all kinds of blogs because they aren’t indexed that way. 

Blogger sues after employer says ‘au revoir.’

I’ve NOT sent the invitation to people keeping blogs on MSM websites who are clearly framed NOT as journalists but as civilians doing interesting things keeping a blog.  If it is ambiguous whether or not the person is a journalist, I am sending the survey.  One individual has already written back to ask if s/he should complete the survey because s/he does not self-identify as a journalist.