Friday, February 24, 2006

Here's a link to another HOLY S#%T moment for me in regards to my place in the new frontier of blogging journalists:

I can't say I'm surprised that journos get fired for putting things on their blogs, and that they have been for years, but it still makes me uneasy.
In my relatively narrow opinion, it seems like news organizations want to have their cake and eat it too when it comes to blogs and and their reporters blogging. They want the notoriety and "cool factor" that a blogging reporter can bring to their paper or TV station or whatever, yet they don't want to allow the full intellectual freedom that blogging can be.
Unfortunately, this intellectual freedom often leads to moronic behavior or, as my girlfriend so astutely put it, "mental masturbation." (Case in point, see earlier post on the reporter in Delaware.)
It does not take a genius to see how public statements (which is basically what blogging is) can affect your career as a (relatively) public figure in journalism.
I agree that we should be held accountable for what we say and do in the public realm as the supposed eyes, ears and conscious of society. But blogging and the internet has since its inception blurred the public/private line.I am mostly made nervous by the lack of a clear defining line between what is a fireable blog entry and what is just goodhearted fun. Hence why we have been so reserved on this blog, (save for FEMA criticism).
In retrospect, it makes me a little bit nervous about my salty toungue on this blog. Yeah, that kind of language is not what I use in the newsroom or in my reporting, unless the source starts it, but it is what I use in the day to day, thanks to my Jerzey upbringing. Mike cautioned me against using the language, saying it meant that I was, well, dumb because I couldn't think of a better, non-profane way to say it. I disagreed and do still disagree of course, as I think cursing adds honest, unrepressed emotion to things like blogs.
But now I am nervous that the same bosses who gave me permission to do this blog so long as I wasn't working may take offense to something like my sometimes nasty language and perhaps do to me what they did to that guy in Houston and that kid in Delaware.
Or, maybe I'm worrying too much and over analysing the whole thing.
Ah, fuck it.


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8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Josh,

Your stories were very good. The amount of information gathering is amazing, I enjoyed the whole thing. I tried to "follow you" in my mind for a few days as you put this story together. If only I could video journal my thoughts and visions and compare them to what you were really up to on those weeks leading up to these stories! It would be interesting. I know you were very busy. You're a very good writer and you make me smile. My cousin has been a Miami Sun Herald man for 15 years or so, (Laird) not a journalist though, but an important job nonetheless. I'm glad things are working out for you.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh, thanks for keepin' it real. If I wanted the "stuffy," edited version, I would read the paper (and I do). This medium, though, does give it a person edge and that's refreshing. I watched the news about Katrina, no doubt. THIS is where I came for the nitty-gritty, though. I wish this way of journalism would rival the traditional method. New trends and technology affect changes for the good. Kudos to your paper for being pioneers. They should hang on to you with both fists.


4:27 AM  
Anonymous sara said...

Stop analyzing. I won't admit this to you at work, and will act like you're one big crazy if you even so much as mention it to me in the newsroom, but I like the blog and check it every once in a while from home.

But geez, Josh (and Mike). Use the return key and clean up your paragraphs every once in a while. Makes ya look sloppy.



7:56 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Hi Josh,

I'm still studying all your postings and stories during Katrina: Week 1, but I like to check in to your blog to see what's new.

This most recent post is exactly what I'm trying to get a grasp of in some of my research. What's curious is that other reporters are harder to study - I expected everyone to kind of use blogs the same way you and Mike did. Turns out other reporter/newsroom blogs have anonymous postings, news from citizens, regular news stories posted in blog form, etc. Not everyone has used blogs to be so transparent about not only their professional, but also personal lives.

The latter, no doubt, is a concern for many news people.

Erin @ the University of Missouri

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