September 2, 2009

Blogger: Is's reliance on unpaid writers how news units will survive?'s reliance on community bloggers fascinates Gina Chen, who posts in her own Save the Media blog and expands her opinion about the future of journalism over on the Nieman Journalism Lab.

She explains the four things she sees working on
  • Getting the community involved
  • Mixing news and features
  • Local, local, local
  • Bloggers and journalists
and suggests improvements such as more video and photographs; more aggregation, more topics and more use of social media.

Perhaps the most interesting parts come from her conversations with Ed Vielmetti, blogging leader of That leads Gina to write "A reporter may be assigned to flesh out the idea — so in that sense, the community bloggers become a herd of highly invested tipsters even as she acknowledges not liking journalists being laid off.

Ed's role comes up again. He does not consider himself a journalist - pointed out by Gina and argued about in a comment. But his years of curiosity of how government, community and media work and practical knowledge in using the Freedom of Information Act might let you see why he certainly is a first-class citizen journalist.

(By the way, the site now lists all of the bloggers with staff online.)

Also, Gina is the first female to join the Nieman Journalism Lab, a "collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age. The announcement in August led me to ask her if it was sexist to say I was glad that Nieman finally added a female voice? We both agreed it was overdue and hope that more women will get selected for the team. She's hoping to make looking at whether the blogosphere opened up voice for women or is it just a new medium with the same old rules as part of her efforts to earn a Ph.D. at Syracuse University's Newhouse School.

That reminds me that the lack of women presenting at technology conferences continues to get attention. Cathy Brooks challenged women to step up in a guest post on PR. 2. She suggested that women need to:
  • Don't wait to be asked
  • Say yes when asked
  • Answer the call for presentations
But she did more then point her index finger" She set up a Ning site - Speaking4women, A resource of female speakers - because separate is not equal. - and plans to keep hammering the need for women to become proactive. There were 30 women signed up by 1 a.m.

I've written about Gina before, including:

I've written about Ed before, including:
More telling would be a look at my shares of their posts, drafts of posts here, bookmarks in delicious and elsewhere and conversations via Twitter or Facebook.

I've written about the site
many times.

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