The word “blog” is short for web-log, a nodback to the first functions of blogs as a personalweb-logs, or online diaries.They were sometime one or two-page affairswhere users posted thoughts, dream logs, familypictures and resumes, for professional purposes.Users also mused on the news of the day.They weren’t called blogs, at first… justpersonal webpages.
the first bloggerAccording to Wire Magazine Jorn Barger was the first to use theterm “blog” on December 17, 1997 to describe his collection ofonline chronicles.
• After that, users became known as“bloggers.”• The space they occupied became the “blogosphere.”• Many bloggers began to fancy themselves citizen journalists.• Bloggers were not initially beholden to basic tenets of journalism i.e. fact-checking.• Blogosphere became a toilet of rants.• Bloggers were marginalized and vilified by the MSM, who already looked upon the Internet largely as a repository of pornography and propaganda.
Bloggers began to see the benefit of fact-checking and “shoe-leather” reporting.
What’s the farmer say about the horse?
How’s that horse doing?
How goes it?
The Smoking Gun.com
The Drudge Report.com
• In the early part of this century, Bloggers began taking political postures, and pushing back against conventional mainstream news-think.• They learned to use the Freedom of Information Act, local public records and other research tools of the Internet to debunk mainstream news hokum.• Still mainly seen by the MSM as entertainment and gossip-driven snark.• RatherGate changed news media forever.
On the CBS program 60 Minutes veteran newsman Dan Ratherdid a segment on President George Bush questioning his militaryservice, based largely upon his acquisition of what came to becalled the Killian Documents, after the colonel who allegedlysigned off on them.
One of the alleged “Killian Documents”
• Skeptical bloggers immediately researched the documents: everything from the typeface to the signatures involved and proved them to be forgeries.• CBS apologized.• Dan Rather resigned behind the scandal.• Public doesn’t trust the media much.
Journalist Jayson Blair was forced to resign from the New York Times after he wascaught plagiarizing and fabricating elements of his stories.Post Jason Blair,--2003--the public doesn’t trust the mainstream to get the facts right.
• Before RatherGate, bloggers were perceived as a bunch of right-wing gun-hobbyists, with an occasional hipster thrown in.• After RatherGate, bloggers became respected.• The media learned that all kinds of people blog.• More people started blogging, and learning basic HTML code and blogging evolved.• Bloggers became reporters: They have rules, however loose, that mirror conventional rules of reporting.
• Not only had blogging become respectable, but more and more it became the place people turned to for news.• The public latch onto bloggers with similar worldviews and sensibilities.• Bloggers use links to select news stories, research and other notation to prop up and butress their worldview.
• Initially blogs, like the Internet were not viewed as a threat to print media.• Print tried to minimize the hit by charging for web content.• Forced to rethink the conventional business model.• Print, forced to give away content, sees decline.
• Newspapers decide to blog.• Staff become bloggers, no extra pay typically.• Tricky business, as blogging is worldview (opinion)-driven and newspapers broker in facts and figures.• By and large, newspaper blogs have failed to capture the attention of the public.• Readers don’t care what professional reporters, analysis and pinheads think.• They care what their butcher thinks.
Journalist credentials• jimi izrael is an award-winning reporter and culture-critic from East Cleveland, Ohio. His work appears in the Los Angeles Times, Salon.com, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The American Spectator, The Plain Dealer, The Milwaukee Sentinel and many other newspapers and popular media. He maintained a regular column for AOLBlackvoices.com for 7 years, until 2005 when he took a job with the editorial board of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Kentucky. Known as progenitor of “the hip-hop opinion, and by his credo (it’s hard but it’s fair) he is chair of the Hip-Hop Journalism Association. He’s a sought-after pundit and culture critic appearing on talk radio and television news panels internationally and from coast to coast, including CSPAN, Foxs Hannity and Colmes, The OReilly Factor, The Larry Elder Show, XM Radio and he’s a regular voice on various shows on National Public Radio, including Day to Day, News and Notes, Talk of the Nation and WHYY’s Radio Times. Media blog Gawker named izrael a “talking head to watch,” and his mother brags about that all the time. Really.• jimi izrael speaks on college campuses like Temple University, Case Western Reserve University, Rollins College, Cleveland State University and Winston Salem University on topics ranging from alternative journalism, opinion, the hip-hop narrative in media and editorial writing to popular music, film, pop culture, the hip-hop aesthetic and politics. He has a BA in communications from Cleveland State University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Spalding University. Currently, he’s writing a memoir slated for release on St. Martin’s Press in Fall of 2009, blogging for TVOne Online, the Washington Post’s The Root.com and hosting a weekly segment for National Public Radio’s show Tell Me More with Michel Martin. He muses often at www.jimiizrael.com.
Blogging Credentials www.jimiizrael.com “The Hardline” for the WASHINGTON POST-backed The Root.com “Primary Colors” for TV ONE Online Moderates “The Barbershop for NPR’s Tell Me More w/ Michel MartinMiddle-class black male with common American narrative, uncommon candor. Dominating principle: “it’s hard but it’s fair
• Corporate media bloggers are sometimes fired for blogging… this is called being “DOOCED”
Heather Armnstrong aka “Dooce”Fired from her dot-com job in 2000for writing about her job on herpersonal blog.
Rishawn BiddleBiddle was fired from his job as blogger and editorialwriter at the Indianapolis Star for comments andcharacterizations he made about local politicos on thecompany’s blog.
Bloggers get Book Dealswww.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com got a six figure book-deal
Other Blogger Book-Deals• •Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq by the pseudonymous Riverbend, a twentysomething Iraqi (in stores). The book contains a years worth of blog entries (riverbendblog.blogspot.com) about living in war-torn Baghdad.• •Anonymous Lawyer (tentative title) by Jeremy Blachman (fall 2006). The Harvard Law students fictional blog (anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com) is the basis for a novel in blog form about life inside a law firm where a senior partner commits an indiscretion that gets blown out of proportion.• •Im Not the New Me: A Memoir by Wendy McClure (April 26). The book covers the same territory as McClures Web site (Poundy.com): her struggles with weight and body image.• •My War by Colby Buzzell (fall). In the memoir, the U.S. Army soldier, whose blog entries (cbftw.blogspot.com) depict the Iraq war from the G.I. point of view, will expand on his front-line reports.• •Straight Up & Dirty: A Memoir by Stephanie Klein (April 2006). Kleins book, like her Sex and the City-like blog (stephanieklein.blogs.com), will recount her life as a divorcée in New York.
Ways Blogs make money• Click-through ads• Sponsored posts
• Celebrity Gossip Blog• Protest Blog• Political Blog• Entertainment Blog• Music Blog• Vanity Blog• Corporate Media News Blog• Everyone has a blog
• Editorial writers• Sports reporters• Feature writers• Columnists• Editorial cartoonists… this are the job positions most impacted by blogging• Newspapers are being forced to downsize. USAToday’s regionality will become the new business model for daily journalism• With the cost of production vs. profit, print as we know it can not survive.• There will always be reporter, but the newspaper we know today may not always be around
Professional Bloggers• Journalism background• Good writing skills• Emblematic• Have a number of cosigners• Cultural touchstones
• Today blogging is a viable vocation• Blogs are sold to companies for millions of dollars because of the number and kinds of eyes they garner.• Blogs with a certain worldview capture a certain market share, and that makes shilling to that demographic easier• Now that corporate America sees there is a profit to be made, there are many types of blogs today.
• Journalists and reporter of tomorrow will have to be trained with two lenses:• One objective and dissected• One subjective and personal• Blogging has encouraged a new intimacy of discourse and conversation. Readers want to know what and how you think
How can I be a Blogger?• Be a good writer• Develop a critical mind• Hone and own a unique point of view• Report• Know the marketplace… have a goal and objective• Learn the technology• Be multimedia, all day• Blogging is a contact sport--be ready to show and prove, stand and defend your worldview
How To Write for A Blog• Brevity is important• Ability to make and sustain an argument• Most if not all points backed by links• Creativity is appreciated• Relevancy is key• Forthrightness and moral conviction: right or wrong, are you ready to be challenged?
Blog WarWorldview vs. WorldviewBloggers use rhetorical skill and the ability to make and sustain arguments.Commenters take sides and coronate a winner.CON: Terribly subjective, easily manipulated. Get very personal, very quicklyPRO: Fun to watch, great way to develop rhetorical skillA lot like a break-dance battle: The two breakers are the bloggers, and the audience isthe commenters.
“You have freedom of speech…. But watch what you say.” ICE T