J-School Weblog Panel Discussion Online

Just finished titling and encoding Weblogs — Challenging Mass Media and Society in QuickTime format for our Darwin Streaming Server. Posted both Sorenson3 and MPEG-4 versions (but no modem-friendly version, sorry).

We’re sort of testing the waters with MPEG-4 here, so let me know how the viewing experience is for you. Was kind of suprised not to get better filesize savings with MPEG over Sorenson. For example, the 2nd segment is 43 minutes long, at 320×240, 15fps, keyframe every 12, QualComm Purevoice 22kHz 16-bit mono. The Sorenson is 181MBs, the MPEG is 140MBs. I had hoped for something like a 50% size reduction. Hmmm…

11 Replies to “J-School Weblog Panel Discussion Online”

  1. Looked great from here, very fast, nice quality. 640×480 would have been cool, though. I don’t have time to watch the entire thing… but it sounds interesting. Why aren’t you on that panel? You’re a journalist, an accomplished one, and you have maintained a blog for 2 years. What’s the dilio?

  2. By “real” journalists standards, I’m not a journalist – I’ve written columns and books, but haven’t worked on a daily news beat. Thus I’m not qualified to be on the panel. I’m not one of the “A-list” bloggers, either.

  3. And I’ve found from home that this stream doesn’t play at 384kbps, so I’m going to have to do a further downsampled version tomorrow, something at 240×180.

  4. Hmm, well. There’s always shit like that in every profession. Lame. I haven’t watched the entire video, but I suspect most of them are of the opinion that blogs are important (mostly) pieces of writing, that have some merit. If that is journalism, shouldn’t the writer be a journalist? Maybe they address that.

  5. I don’t think it’s lame at all – I mostly agree with the assessment. I’ve long contemplated going full-bore into journalism, but never have. I’ve bordered on it, or something like it.

    I’d say that about 1% of blogs are journalistic (involved in actual research and reporting, not just commenting briefly on links or farting around). What’s at question is the kind of stuff I did for ZDNet and Byte – product reviews, how-tos, commentary, and tons of it… but very little “actual” journalism.

    Like anything, the term can be read in a number of ways, and a lot of people would say that what I did was journalism, but I can sure appreciate the purist’s perspective – the person who has been out there “on the beat” for years looking at what I did as … something less than pure journalism. Not mother’s milk, anyway.

  6. Sadly, this morning in Germany, my DSL connection isn’t enough. MPEG4 works better, but still. Probably everybody waking up and clogging the network over here ;) I might try later but have to leave for the UK in a bit over an hour.

  7. Well, you can see yourself however you like, but if I started my blog and was collecting, filtering, and publishing information to the world, that is journalism and I would consider myself (if I wanted to, and took myself seriously), a journalist. If you want to get tied down to the “purist” sense of the word “journalism”, or journalism, go check out a dictionary. It will say something along the lines of:

    1. The collecting, writing, editing, and presenting of news or news articles in newspapers and magazines and in radio and television broadcasts.
    2. Material written for publication in a newspaper or magazine or broadcast.

    Blogs don’t fit either of those definitions?

    And then there are a few more definitions, one of which states that you present facts and information without analysis. Clearly, blogs don’t lack analysis and certainly not personal opinion, but neither does the news you see every night or read everyday.

    Simply having this “purist” view of journalism, or indeed a purist view of any profession, is perhaps evidence that you want to be in this “club” but don’t feel worthy yet (in my experience, a purist view almost anything is sign of envy). You should take your work more seriously than that. And I’m not going to argue for you beyond that, but shit, man.

    No jounalist begins their jounalism career by never writing a piece and then getting a gig at a big newspaper. You begin by writing opinion pieces, by writing reviews and articles on things that matter to YOU. Journalists go out and write about what matters to them. Bloggers write about what matters to them, and like journalists they will be biased. This is still journalism. These blogs are, for some, the roots of their journalism careers, and I say they are journalists. And furthermore, they are the ones pushing journalism in a new direction.

  8. And another thing. I have a lot of respect for some of these journalists “out there” risking their lives to get the real story. Nic Roberston comes to mind. National gegraphic has great journalists. I also have tremendous respect for those who cover wars. They are, without a doubt, earning their journalistic whatever-you-wanna-call-it by being out there risking their neck.

  9. Shit, I wanted to make a point there. My point is, though, that they (journalists who risk their lives) aren’t any more journalists than Dan Gilmour who sits behind a desk and writes pieces in the comfort of his office. So why should bloggers who take themselves seriously be inferior?

  10. Actually, I think Scot is being far too modest here about whether he’s a “real journalist” or not. And whatever label we attach, he was certainly qualified to be on the panel.

    The reason he wasn’t is simple – I wanted to bring people in from outside the J-School to serve on the panel, largely because it was part of a class that Scot, John Battelle and I are teaching, and the students in that class are already hearing plenty from the three of us. So John wasn’t on the panel either, and I only served as moderator because I was the one who had lined up the panel members.

    So Scot is certainly qualified, and, in my opinion, could lay claim to the title of “journalist” if he wanted to. Whether that’s advisable in the current climate is another matter.

    Paul Grabowicz

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