Are you serious?

Horst put his blogtalk paper online. Unfortunately it is written in some Word-like Wordprocessor but the content makes it up as it is interesting to read.

I’m most likely more affected by my daughter’s new boyfriend, my cat’s illness, or if my computer acts up than by the dath of some head of state in soem foreign county.

Written a short time before the austrian president died. The mass media freaked out about that “news” The local radio station broadcasted phone calls from people that phoned in and started to cry on the radio. Thousands of people wrote into online condolence books here and here.
Even though most people did not have any contact with him and even though they did not like him when he was alive. Strange country.
So yes I admit it, I would be more affected by the fact that a cat of someone on my blogroll died.

If you think of it, the contents of people’s weblogs give a considerably sharper picture of what really concerns people, of what they are dealing with in their everyday lives and of what these lives look like than any newspaper, TV show or whatever ‘old media’ format i can think of.

What I am missing here (probably because it is a bit offtopic for BlogTalk or because i missed most of the journalists vs. weblogs debate), is the role of journalism in the future. In the first part Horst stressed the importance of seriousness of journalism compared to weblogs, while later kind of redefines seriousness for weblogs as the “news” that matters. Does the journalist’s news matter? Do they only exist, because people believe that they write about important stuff?

2 thoughts on “Are you serious?”

  1. Three points:
    1. Since you seem to be unhappy with the “Word-like word processor” that I used, I am open to suggestions for what kind of non-geek tool I should have used instead.
    2. The coincidence with President Klestil’s death was most unfortunate. I completely forgot about rephrasing that bit when I was rewriting the paper for publication on my site. Even though I was writing about a foreign head of state, it sounds most inappropriate.
    3. I am not sure whether journalism really needs to change. As I said during the Q&A after my presentation, I see weblogs as a complement to journalism, I don’t really see much of a competition, I don’t even want competition, and I am quite happy about the current situation that gives us both of these worlds, because it has expanded our horizon rather than merely reshaping it. So if anything really needs to change, it’s that each medium focus more strongly at the things it’s really good at rather than trying to be everything at the same time.
    (N.B. notice the difference between journalism and publishing – not everything that’s published in a newspaper or broadcast on TV is journalism. Journalism is to some degree fairly media-independent.)

  2. ad 1. “non-geek” tool? Sorry, for non-geeks a Word processor is probably the best solution. I have been reading too many LaTeX Papers.
    ad 3 Well you wrote “of course weblogs are not journalism” and now “Journalism is to some degree fairly media-independent”. So it is possible to write a journalism weblog?
    With the impact of Weblogs constantly increasing, I am seeing that traditional media is influenced by the Weblog-writing-style (e.g. the Guardin weblogs) as Journalist and Webloggers are writing about the same topics (“news that matter”).

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