Overview of blogs and the blogosphere Prague, November 22 2007
Examples: bloggers vs trad media • Trent Lott (2002) • Rathergate (2004) • Eason Jordan, Chief News Executive, CNN/Davos (“blog-mob”) (2005) • Ben Domenech/WP/plagiarism (2006) • 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict photographs controversies (2006)
The Streisand Effect Barbara Streisand's house photos Digg's “the number” MediaDefender's emails The Pirate Bay Allofmp3
Streisand Effect The "Streisand effect" is a term used to describe aphenomenon on the Internet where an attempt to censor or remove (in particular, by the means of cease-and-desist letters) a certain piece of information (for example, a photograph, file, or even a whole website) backfires and the information receives extensive publicity on the Internet, often widely mirrored, or distributed on file-sharing networks in a short period of time Wikipedia
“Journalism that bloggers do”/Jay Rosen I August, 2004. Chris Allbritton goes to Najaf. Reporting for his reader-supported blog Back-to-Iraq.com during the major fighting around the Imam Ali Shrine, Allbritton manages to get inside to interview members of the Mahdi army and report what's happening. He's then arrested by the Najaf police under live fire but lives to write about it.June, 2007. Pet-food scandal ignites blogosphere. Pet owners frustrated with the limitations of the news media self-organize into a national network of sites and share news about tainted foods that may have killed thousands of pets across the country.March, 2007. Firedoglake at the Libby Trial. Popular lefty political blog provides the only blow-by-blow coverage of the trial by splitting the work among six contributors who bring big knowledge to bear for a committed-to-the-case readership. Reporters come to rely on the blog for its updates and its accuracy in live-blogging and analysis.2003 to present. Groklaw becomes the go-to source for coverage of SCO vs. IBM. Law blog -- one obsessive blogger, plus readers -- takes on saturation coverage of key lawsuit involving open-source software, becomes an authoritative source of knowledge for the case's participants, who have never seen anything like it.September 2004. Joseph Newcomer provides comprehensive examination of disputed Killian memos in CBS report. A computer typesetting expert, he uses his knowledge to cast serious doubt on the authenticity of documents "60 Minutes" relied on in its story on President Bush's Air National Guard service.February, 2006. NASA political appointee resigns. Graduate student and science blogger Nick Anthis finds out that 24-year-old George Deutsch, a political appointee accused of trying to silence NASA climate scientists, lied on his resume about having a college degree. Deutsch resigns.2007 to present. Blogger Michael Yon reports from Iraq. Supported primarily by donations from readers, independent journalist Michael Yon -- a former Green Beret -- is spending 2007 embedded with soldiers whose courage and sacrifice he admires, and whose stories he tells, mostly recently from Anbar province.
“Journalism that bloggers do”Jay Rosen II December 2006-April 2007. Talking Points Memo drives the U.S. Attorneys firings into the national spotlight. Mixing old-fashioned legwork with perseverance and lots of help from readers over several months, Josh Marshall and his TPM Media empire accumulate evidence "from around the country on who the axed prosecutors were, and why politics might be behind the firings."December 2006. DallasFood.org investigates Noka Chocolate. Gourmet food blog provides the only in-depth investigation into "world's most expensive" chocolatier's deceptive marketing practices.August, 2005. Unbossed.com does a series on toll roads as a business with a track record. Among the findings: "Local governments in Colorado have agreed to deliberately impede traffic on existing highways near a toll road in order to protect the toll roads' investors."June, 2007. EdCone.com scoops News & Record on its own layoffs. As the paper clams up, its staffers, ex-staffers and readers use blog comments and e-mail to create the only detailed public account of layoffs at the daily newspaper in Skube's backyard.February 2006. EPluribusMedia investigates the politics of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. In a three-part series pulling together a lot of scattered information, the citizen journalism site details the impact of politics on the funding, diagnosis and treatment of Iraq war veterans suffering from PTSD.2005 to present. Citizens construct Katrina timeline. Members of the ePluribus Media community create a detailed timeline of key events before, during and after the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane made landfall at New Orleans, with over 500 events, fact-checked and sourced. It continues to be updated as the story stretches onward.August, 2006. Porkbusters, the Sunlight Foundation and TPM Muckraker expose congressional earmarks and the senator who placed a secret hold on a bill to put information about federal fund recipients online.