Classifying the findings at MacLeans

March 7, 2006

Started tracking MacLean’s website last night for blog URL’s and references.  Abby and I discussed the fact that there does not seem to be very many blogging references in what we would loosely term hard news, although there are some in features, particularly business features.   Due to this we are tracking a lot of info in this preminary stage just to sketch the cyber scene so to speak.

I made up a tracking sheet that notes:  date, headline, byline, bio, URL of reference, specific subject of blogging reference, links to outside media, links to outside blogs   In addition I started to develop a way of categorizing the findings under “main type of reference.”  The types I am identifying are:

1.  Hybrid blog writing (HY) or Online column (OL).  I am NOT tracking wether or not something is an online feature exclusively or it is also in the print edition – only if it appears online framed as a blog or if it appears to be a regular news or feature piece.   Granted, this definition is loose since MacLeans uses “blog” to name both what Inkless Wells does and what Brian Bethune’s book column and notes do. 

2.  Subject matter:  Culture (CU),  Entertainment (EN),  Politics (PO), Busines (BU).   

General findings – fairly regular writing about the blogging phenomenon.  I am surprised at how much MacLean’s references American debates and media.  I see little evidence to suggest that the MacLeans bloggers and online writers are in touch with any kind of radical thought facilitiated by blogging, with the exception of the Iranian freedom of speech blogs.  

Am getting my hands on a book on indy media, grassroots journalism and blogging just published in Montreal by anti-corporate indy media community – Concordia M.A. thesis by activist.   Vinita has it, must remember to remind her to bring it. 

General note – most of the blogging referenced by mainstream media is meta commentary on journalism and politics by hybrid bloggers, no?  The kind of writing people would have been considered “indiscreet” for not so long ago?   Ex.  David Aiken on the Hill.

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