Tuesday 28 August 2007

Bloggers are "best friends"

The Australian reports that print media have a greater chance of surviving if they embrace bloggers.
Newspapers should rely more heavily on readers to provide news coverage and ditch subscriber fees for use of their online archives.

Canadian blogger Cory Doctorow, (pictured) an award-winning science fiction novelist and champ of all things digital, says "newspapers and their journalists should welcome the vast range of opinion now available on the internet, rather than fear it."

"As consumers of information, we have more tools than ever, not fewer, to discern the bias in the way information is being presented. And bias is not a product of the internet, it has been present in all media forever."

Cory Doctorow says the biggest problem facing print media was "a complete failure to come to terms with what is happening to classified advertising on the internet, which is bizarre given that if there's anyone who really should get classified advertising, it's the daily print media who historically are masters of it".

He reckons The New York Times had failed to appreciate the financial advantages of linking bloggers and its own advertisers. "Rather than place advertising alongside their archival material, for example, and keep it free so bloggers can add billions of links to that enormous rich archive of stuff, they charge people to access yesterday's news," he says.

"They'd make more money if they had open archives. The The Boston Globe has an open archive." He says bloggers should be celebrated by newspapers.

New Zealand's biggest daily, The Herald recently introduced charges and restricted access to online archives and extra stories.

Corry Doctorow is guest at the Melbourne Writers Festival. He says readers also had a vital role to play as citizen journalists. "Look at the BBC coverage of the 2005 London bombings with photographs from cam-phones that rained in from readers."

Last week, FairFax Digital sacked award-winning blogger Jack Marx after he posted a joke article imagining what Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd got up to in a New York strip club.

Jack Marx is famed for his Walkley Awards. He said he didn’t feel the blog was controversial enough to be sacked. “Blogs should run close to the wire,” he says.
“The post was totally harmless.” Marx was sacked by the very medium he employs as the mighty weapon: Email.

NewsLtd said Marx is a brilliant writer but the article was just the latest in a "long line of indiscretions."

The questionable post on his blog described a hypothetical situation about the Opposition Leader’s feelings towards the strippers inside the now-infamous club. It has been removed. Jack is veteran journalist and author is best known for an expose of actor Russell Crowe's extraordinary attempts to manipulate journalists.

Here's the last of Jack's blog works in the Sydney Morning Herald. Some classic posts.

And here's an ABC Radio interview with Jack (and Stephen Mayne) RealMedia 28k+ or WinMedia 28k+

Bloggers are here to stay.

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