Rebooting the News #93

In Podcast on May 9, 2011 by Jay Rosen

Dave’s report on traveling to Amsterdam for the Next Web conference.

Mike Arrington: “These people, the tech press, just disgust me.”

Kara Swisher of The Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital site (and conference) on Twitter… The biggest difference between Arrington and me “is that he is simply not a journalist.”

Journalist or not a journalist? That’s the wrong question., says Dave. It’s really insiders vs. outsiders.

Insiders vs. outsiders! McClatchy proved the value of the “outside-in” approach during the build-up to the war in Iraq. See this speech from John Walcott, Washington bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers, upon accepting the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from the Nieman Foundation in 2008.

Why, in a nutshell, was our reporting different from so much other reporting? One important reason was that we sought out the dissidents, and we listened to them, instead of serving as stenographers to high-ranking officials and Iraqi exiles. I’m afraid that much the same thing may have happened on Wall Street. Power and money and celebrity, in other words, can blind you. Somehow, the idea has taken hold in Washington journalism that the value of a source is directly proportional to his or her rank, when in my experience the relationship is more often inverse.

Is there an outside-in approach possible in tech journalism? Jay: I think there is. Dave: I’d almost given up all hope for that.

One reference point for it: Consumer Reports on the iPhone antenna problems.

And how’s about pay-to-speak at tech conferences, which is just part of a larger problem with the tech industry.

Tom Evslin: “If we’re going to pay papers for online access, we should expect good online practice to be followed.” Like: link to what you are talking about.

Felix Salmon: The hermetic and arrogant New York Times.

Here’s the show; we hope you like it. Feel free to comment.

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