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Australia: Social Media Freelance Journalism



My presentation slides to Freelance Journalists Group (80 or so) last night – you can flick through the slides by clicking.

As I mentioned earlier, I was invited to talk to The Sydney Freelance Journalists Group (MEAA)
Basically the slides focus on blogs as content, facebook/digg as distribution, twitter as sources of stories and widgets/rss as advertising. Plus the need to blog to develop protection – from having ideas stolen and from editors wanting a writer/journo/blogger with an inbuilt readership/profile/acclaim.

  • blogs being like Citizen Journalist articles. Depth of content, one to many, open distribution, ripple effect of connecting to low volume readers but if one is highly connected
  • distribution networks like Digg and Facebook. You don’t sit and read articles on those sites but you use the recommended links to go off and read. Digg – Vote on articles to publish – Citizen Editor if you like. Facebook has powerful viral touch points that act as media delivery mechanisms.
  • Implications of companies using facebook for CRM
  • Social ads (advertising to profiles) is more powerful than contextual ads (google keywords)
  • Twitter is awesome for journalists to connect to leading thinkers, find breaking news and stay connected
  • Newspapers are down in revenue:

    Murdoch says he loves news itself, he doesn’t care how it’s delivered. He notes that the average newspaper in the U.S. is down 25% to 30% in revenue, though they’ve made every economy possible in production. Now, they’re turning to making cuts in journalism, which is a huge opportunity for a paper like the Journal to fill in the gap.

    ..yet Google is selling a shedload of advertising. where is it? in the long tail – hundreds of million blogs and social network sites delivering ads. how secure does that make traditional media companies feel? (slide 48)

  • If Salesforce, Amazon and eBay are delivering more through Open APIs and the New York Times etc are happy to use Citizen blogger and Facebook users as Citizen Advertisers for their newspapers, why is AP banning bloggers from quoting their articles? Discussed the cone of silence placed on them by Techcrunch followers (here’s our new policy on AP articles: they’re banned) Bloggers in turn act as distributors and advertisers of traditional media content.

I really tried to make the point that a blogger works hard to gain an audience, by research and ideas and learning how to communicate. Already editors look to bloggers to bring an inbuilt readership to traditional media (I’m thinking Bargain Queen and TV, or those entrepreneurial bloggers doing the group blog Start Up for umm was it News.com?). Blogs are being moved onto the front page of the online news.

If you want to be heard in the future, start blogging to gain a name now – in the blogosphere. It was hard for some of the older journo’s to hear – they already had a name! *sighs* unfortunately, the blogosphere usually makes people gain reputation all over again – as much as we love linking to trad media journos (We The MediaWhores) – you don’t get your stripes till you’ve connected with the hierarchy online: no, not all bloggers are created equal.

I was told that some writers approach an editor about a story, are told “no” and then see it in print the next week with someone else’s name on it. If that happens here online, there is an outcry, We are very strict about hat tipping and no plagiarising, please. Of course, if you are not read, it’s hard to be heard – “that was my blog post” is cried into the wilderness. But after a while, after making connctions, it is possible to create a ripple effect so that an echo is heard. Such as the bloggers calling plagiarism plagues down on Ars Technica.

It’s better to be in the community with some standing as a good writer and social networker than outside with no profile except some old stuff that got printed ages ago on paper never to be seen again.

And let’s face it, what journalist isn’t a good writer and knows how to network for sources and information, hmmmm?

It was a good night. Alan Parker and Daniel Young were also there. I survived showing some tough choices to a besieged industry sector. And met lovely people. This is what I live for. Heh.

EDIT: I forgot Ten ways journalists can use LinkedIn. Soz.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

37 thoughts on “Australia: Social Media Freelance Journalism

  1. The presentation looks great.
    Wish I saw it.

    Let me know when you do another one, so I can come watch.

    Well done.
    Josh

  2. From today’s Sydney Morning Herald

    Death of media companies is greatly exaggerated – SMH June 19, 2008

    THE BigPond boss Justin Milne says the potential for user-generated content has been overcooked. It has a role, he says, but predictions that professional filmmakers and journalists were headed for the trash are plain wrong.

    “User generated content was a really big deal six months ago but it’s doesn’t seem to knock people crazy,” he says. “The idea six months ago was that the days of newspapers and journalists had ended and that this was the age of user empowerment and everything was going to be built around blogs and so on. Wrong.

    “It turns out people appreciate expertise, which is what journalists are about, and they appreciate editing. We appreciate filmmakers’ skills, which are incredibly difficult, and we want someone to tell a story the right way. Seeing a whole bunch of crappy home movies that people have made is not the same as seeing a well-made documentary.”

    Paul McIntyre

  3. Please tell Justin Milne that the rest of us can only tell the difference between traditional media and user generated if one of them has interruptive advertising.

    Are TED Talks ‘well made documentaries’? Definitely better than anything that BigPond has on site, and it’s usually just a camera pointed at a speaker on a stage. Yet each one is empowering and life changing….

    If Justin Milne doesn’t like the user generated content he is watching, he should change friends. After all, educated, articulate and well connected friends (like mine!) send great stuff through. Crap friends send crap. And we rely on our social network to distribute media to us now, right? 😛

  4. The so-called divide between bloggers and professional journalists is quite simply a false dichotomy.

    I’m fond of blogs myself. But I mostly turn to blogs for short, fast snippets of news, typically just as when they’re breaking.

    However, for in-depth analysis – I’ll turn somewhere else, usually to traditional media.

  5. @Anonymous hmmm i was trying to bridge the divide by showing traditional journalists why they should blog. And explain that bloggers are looking for a symbiotic relationship with traditional media, not competitive. Not sure why you thought I was saying one excluded the other?

    But I do do the opposite – I look for shallow coverage from traditional media. The most read magazines in Australia are New Idea and it’s ilk. I love them. And I, like most people watch the 1-2 minutes of News on evening TV. TV is still the most common source of News in Australia. But if I want in depth coverage, with breadth of argument, I go online. I get a debate thrown in too! 🙂

    I particularly like scientists that blog, academics, and authors. I can read it like a traditional article, yet straight from the horses mouth (not filtered by a journalist OR other blogger) and maybe have a chat with them. Freakonomics authors comes to mind as a great example.

  6. I don’t understand the comment: “the rest of us can only tell the difference between traditional media and user generated if one of them has interruptive advertising”.

    There are many differences. They are basic and obvious – which is why I can only assume I have not understood what you were trying to say. These differences include form, content and (as we’re now encouraged to call it) branding.

    TED’s talks do not fall within the category of documentaries. Neither have they anything to do with the “crappy home movies” to which Justin Milne refers. They are the result of a carefully organised annual conference – a bank of filmed speeches given by individuals with serious expertise behind them.

    They are available to share online, and the organisers understand the differences between bloggers and journalists, and that some journalists may opt to blog.

    Anyone can blog but few will attract an audience. Bloggers who are read and taken seriously (as opposed to those who have an audience because they are conduits for gossip, file-sharing or products, for example) are individuals with credibility.

    An example would be experienced journalists who have used their careers to establish themselves as a “name”.

    People such as this group who choose to blog can attract the kind of audience that advertisers would love to follow.

    Some journalists already paid to blog. Others, who have had blogs suggested to them by their employers, have yet to be convinced that it is worth their while spending their time on it.

    Some are happy to blog under their own steam but when journalists write for free it smacks of desperation so I can only assume those individuals have worked other ways of making it worth their while.

    There is a lot of hype around this. Anyone can be a blogger. Not anyone can be a journalist.

    Journalism costs money. Journalism attracts different kinds of audiences. Audiences attract advertising. Advertisers tend to pay the most for independent, credible media. That is what journalists provide.

  7. There are a couple of issues. Can a blogger be as *good* (read: highbrow or literate) as a journalist, without training? Surely yes, and they are learning to get better. A good example is Riverbend: her book -sorry, blog – on life in Iraq was nominated for a Samuel Johnson literature prize.

    Can a blogger be as *good* as a journalist in terms of popular content? – after all, most News is consumed from TV (yuck) and the most popular magazines purchased in Australia are New Idea and Woman’s Weekly. Yes of course. We can write popular crap as well as anyone.

    Journalism costs money Citizen Journalism costs nothing. Journalism attracts diminishing audiences, Citizen Journalism is growing. Audiences attract advertising, hence the decrease in traditional media advertising and the increase in citizen (Google) ads). Advertisers tend to pay the most for independent, credible media. Actually, no, Advertisers will pay for any old crap – user generated or otherwise – that hits their target demographic. Which if you want the highbrow audience, that would be Crikey.com. Advertisers will align themselves with a suitable relevant brand that is used.

    One man’s crap is another man’s’ gold. Justin should know, he made enough bad TV ads in his day – I was in one of ’em. Heh. Anyway, was he saying that less people were watching user generated content and moving back to content portals?? I can’t believe that – not with NineMSN portal doing so poorly.

  8. @anonymous

    Welcome to the internet. If you’re not familiar with online reputation and identity, I recommend reading Laurel’s posts, in the Identity category: http://laurelpapworth.com/category/identity/

  9. You don’t seem to know what journalists do but you sound super-keen to get in on the action.

    Every now and again an amazing story will shine through. This happened long before blogging began – eg Anne Frank’s diary. In book form, these memoirs go through the hands of experienced professionals before they hit the public.

    The term “citizen journalism” is a strange one. Journalists get paid for what they do. “Citizen journalists” generally do not.

    “Citizen journalism” is not free. It is funded by the “citizen journalist”. To media companies it’s free content, though. Fantastic. Before anything like that goes online under an established media banner it should go through the hands of experienced journalists.

    In terms of information gathering, “citizen journalism” can be a useful tool for journalists and media outlets. If the quality’s good, opinions and information are worth a broader audience, so media professionals will use it. Carefully.

    Credibility’s a problem. Media staffing levels need to be high enough to weed out pranksters. In the UK, there’s a lot of that – people pretending to be in the heart of disasters (one bloke got himself transmitted on TV and online worldwide after a Heathrow incident), and sending in funny, photo-shopped images to news websites.

    Re New Idea: Whether you enjoy or approve of what the mag does or not, the reason for its success is that it is put together by a team of highly skilled, experienced journalists. The same is true of all successful publications worldwide.

    If you’re not trained, or worth training, you won’t last long in one of those places.

    Newspapers have long had a spot for what many bloggers do. It’s called the opinion pages. Good opinion-makers are paid.

    Journalists are paid professionals. Journalist bloggers are often paid. Blogging’s a medium, not an end in itself. It looks great for marketing. I’m sure a range of professionals use it to promote their wares.

    Justin Milne was pointing out something he’d come to realise as boss of Bigpond. It’s good news for journalists – he’s saying his experience in charge of a major online portal has made him realise that what journalists do is very valuable.

    His comments are not necessarily bad news for bloggers. Unless they’re feeling rather insecure …

  10. Helen I don’t know who you are. You have no Profile. Therefore you have no Identity. If you have no Identity then you’ve had no oppportunity to build a Reputation – no Reputation, no Trust. You must be feeling frustrated – how will you have your name heard on the Internet – the medium that humanity has turned to for information – when you don’t engage, or build reputation or trust?

    And that’s the issue isn’t it? You don’t understand the blogosphere – we don’t believe some guy cos he says he was in the thick of the action. But we do believe those bloggers that have proved themselves to have a strong background in research, excellent writing skills and thought provoking points of view, and a good participatory readership network. Not all bloggers are created equal. And if mainstream media had a better understanding of the ripple effect of UGC rather than the broadcast model, they wouldn’t have got caught with ‘fakes’. The blogosphere spots them before the pixel ink is dry… get connected, get engaged, and random psychos will be identified instantly. Just ask on Twitter…

    We don’t trust Mainstream Media – the numbers show it. Media Bias
    A large 85% (down 1% since September 2004) of Australians believe that Newspaper journalists are often
    biased, 74% (up 1%) believe TV reporters are often biased and 69% (down 6%) believe that Talk-back
    radio announcers are often biased.
    The only form of mainstream media to escape the condemnation of the majority (and only just) is the
    Internet – 49% (up 8%) of Australians believe Internet sites are often biased.
    Roy Morgan

    Michael Arrington of TechCrunch was able to get the interviews that traditional media didn’t – with each election candidate (Barack Obama etc) to see what their technology platform will be for the election. A coup and one that other technology journalists could not deliver. We know Michael, his reputaton, trust value, and he has a far greater readership than any technology journalist in mainstream – 778k of newsfeeds, many more visit each day, and his ripple/media impressions/links are probably 40 or 50 million. Know of a traditional journalist that doesn’t blog, with that kind of daily reach?

    Yes: I know he’s moved out of strictly blogging, into Media Proprietor 2.0 (employing bloggers, substantial monetisation and extension of brand). *shrugs*

    I’m glad Media Proprietors such as Justin Milne has belatedly respected his content creators. If he had done so before there was another game in town, perhaps media would’ve evolved into something more than the same four items of news on each station, each night. Perhaps those well trained (by other journalists) would’ve been able to create something other than pap in monthly magazines.

    Keep believing that journalists were created by the hand of God, combined with 3 years of Uni and the loving guidance of an editor. But don’t look behind you, bloggers are improving in leaps and bounds…

    “He notes that the average newspaper in the U.S. is down 25% to 30% in revenue, though they’ve made every economy possible in production. Now, they’re turning to making cuts in journalism… ” (He being Citizen Murdoch).

    Helen you really should take up blogging – or link to it in your profile if you already are. You obviously have something to say, and enjoy participating. Why are you spending your social currency on my blog when you could be building your own? *puzzled*

  11. When MSM journalist wankers claim that they are more credible and professional, it’s vain elitism.

    Blogosphere is anti-hierarchy, an relatively level playing field. Blogs get massive SEO power, due to fresh frequent relevant content.

    MSM news sites still rarely link to external, unassociated sites: they still must think “sticky” is better than “viral”. They’re antiquated.

    I don’t argue with MSM trolls.

    Just say “Dan Rather” and move on.

  12. My name, face and the work I’ve allowed to stream are already all over the Internet. My work’s available internationally in other forms, too. If it looks like I need a blog, I’ll start one.

    You ask why I (or anyone I guess) should bother commenting on your blog? Funny question. I was intrigued to see what you’d say.

    I’ve never worked for msn, nor met Justin Milne but I do find it rather sad when things dissolve into abuse (not you, another commenter above me). Maybe that’s part of the nature of blogging. People shouting at the same time. Ignoring questions. Changing the subject.

    Your idea that I may think journalists arrive fully formed is another funny one. Also that going to uni necessarily has anything to do with becoming a journalist (many of us did not and we’re doing just fine).

    Journalists and bloggers aren’t in competition, when it comes down to it. There’s no big war. Life’s too short and journalists, generally, are much too busy.

    Speaking of which, I guess I’d better resume my true identity.

    A 3,000-word article deadline is snapping at my heels and, now the overseas interview I’ve been waiting for (for several days) is in the bag, I’ll be concentrating on the paid job in hand. Yes, on a Saturday. Sad but true …

    PS Don’t worry (I can feel that you were about from here). I won’t work too hard.

  13. Journalists have expertise beyond that of bloggers? Since when? I’ve seen a lot of errors and bias in MSM journalism, use of “unnamed sources”, and other spurious devices.

    Look at the credibility problems of Fox News and the New York Times.

    Look at the rampant speculations and just plain being wrong of political pundits on cable news TV programs.

    Anonymous “Helen”, if you accuse me of “abuse”, you’re really a sad case. It’s called democratic debate, my challenges and fact reporting on this topic.

    You should not attempt to argue and troll a blog, until you learn how blog debate is conducted. You need to out yourself, your famous, elitist, journalist self, and quit hiding in cowardice and unaccountability.

    Again, all I need to say to you is “Dan Rather”.

  14. You’re funny. I did actually read Laurel’s rules of engagement before I started posting. I understood them, too.

    Toodles!

  15. @SES err we’re in Australia, sure, Dan Rather is known for Rathergate but not much else. We say “Cash for Comments”. Or “Murdoch vs Rabbitohs”. Or “food media and free lunch kickbacks”. Or … well we have a few issues in Australia 🙂

    @Helen enjoy your working weekend. 🙂 I’ve just finished teaching two days of professional courses at The Australian Film, Television and Radio School to writers, directors and producers how to engage with social media. Next week I’m working with the Gov. I do work hard to bridge the divide between paid for journos and unpaid honest! I’m just not that sure that there is a much of divide anymore…

    *goes back to reading business plans for young Social News sites*

  16. I’ve been a journalist and I am a blogger. I don’t understand why my content would be valuable when I charged for it but worthless when I gave it away.

    While I, too, have written 3,000-word pieces, conducted international interviews and written to deadlines, I wouldn’t think it necessary to mention. If I did, I would think it would say more about my insecurity than add to the conversation.

    “Helen” is giving her opinion away here. Is it worthless? It’s certainly smug and delivered behind a veil of anonymity. The blogging tool and online world generally allows for anonymity but it’s still the equivalent of the cowardly anonymous note under a windscreen wiper.

    Good writing is good writing, good journalism is good journalism and denial is denial.

  17. Yes…I’ve had stories nicked several times. leaves a bad taste in the mouth when you contact mainstream media with a story and then see it on Google with no attribution. I’ve also submitted stories to the (increasingly trashy) Sydney Morning Herald, been totally ignored – not even a “thank you for your submission” – even though I used to contribute to their Radar blog, and then I see them run a similar story weeks or months later – way Off the Pace. Quite frankly I’d bee happy to see some of these rags crash and burn. You see the headlines The Herald is touting these days? What was it the other day? “No Worries Bruce” – some beat-up about Elle McPherson’s lovelife as “leaked” by a male model who once shagged her years ago.

    lambe, Paris “Welcome to Wallyworld” blog.

  18. as far as I can tell, only Helen is making sense here. No one should have to resort to this kind of psychobabble: “You have no Profile. Therefore you have no Identity. If you have no Identity then you’ve had no oppportunity to build a Reputation – no Reputation, no Trust. You must be feeling frustrated – how will you have your name heard on the Internet – the medium that humanity has turned to for information – when you don’t engage, or build reputation or trust?”

  19. Aye, I always think ‘Anonymous’ is either poorly educated, has something bad to hide in their past, or under 15 years of age. Anyone else understands the value of standing proudly with one’s beliefs. Even in the real world, we have no trust in anonymous letters, and engage only with those who introduce themselves, build context before defending their views.

    for example, I have a lot of contextual history with @knowledge is everything on Twitter and in blogs, and have an understanding of scientaestubique’s views.

    BTW Helen/anonymous/whoever if you start blogging now, in a couple of months when you say you are top journo or writer or communicator, we’ll be able to follow your link back and verify your background/back story. Instead I’d probably think you are a frustrated English teacher looking to stir up a discussion, or a low ranking PR person wanting to push Justin Milne’s tripe onto the blogosphere for linkbaiting.

    Identity is everything. Start working on it now, ask your paper for a profile page that you can link back to from blogspot etc. Or run the risk of being ‘disrespected’ for not having your professional qualifications accepted as truth. There is a supreme irony to suggest you don’t have to develop an identity and reputation on the ‘net and then want us to accept your word on your profession on your say-so.

  20. I don’t know about yous but I’m a Hollywood star earning upwards of $20 million/picture.

  21. before I start, and after reading these posts, let me get my Identity out of the way. My name is Keith Austin, I am a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald and have been for 13 years. I also live with the ‘Helen’ who has been posting so you may of course believe me to be biased. Hopefully you won’t because I don’t intend to get into the whole blogger/journo debate. what I will do is list these:

    “If Justin Milne doesn’t like the user generated content he is watching, he should change friends … Crap friends send crap…”

    “Helen …You have no Profile. Therefore you have no Identity. If you have no Identity … no Reputation, no Trust.”

    “MSM journalist wankers”

    “it’s vain elitism.”

    “I don’t argue with MSM trolls.”

    Anonymous “Helen” … you’re really a sad case.”

    “You need to out yourself, your famous, elitist, journalist self, and quit hiding in cowardice”

    “it would say more about my insecurity than add to the conversation.”

    “Helen” is … smug … it’s the equivalent of the cowardly anonymous note under a windscreen wiper.”

    “I always think ‘Anonymous’ is either poorly educated, has something bad to hide in their past, or under 15 years of age.”

    “Instead I’d probably think you are a frustrated English teacher looking to stir up a discussion, or a low ranking PR person wanting to push Justin Milne’s tripe”

    Phew. That’ll do for now, I think. My point is simple: listen to yourselves! don’t agree with someone? abuse them. someone turns up who doesn’t completely understand the etiquette of blogging? abuse them. surely even ‘anonymous’ is entitled to an opinion. nope. abuse him/her.
    I am not trying to protect helen because she is more than capable of that herself. I am just interested in the reactions as it a phenomenon that i have experienced myself online and find it quite fascinating. And I will come up as ‘anonymous’ because it’s easier than all that Google/blogger, Open ID, Name/URL stuff which merely confuses me.
    I await your abuse…
    Keith Austin (kaustin@smh.com.au)

  22. Oh no abuse from me just a gentle smile that you show so clearly the journalist aptitude for taking other peoples’ discussions, lifting the parts that prove your point, tack on a disclaimer to prove objectivity and completely miss the irony that you are contributing to user generated crap err content.

    Bloggers choose not to passively consume content as filtered through journalism, but seek out original/multiple sources and filter it through their social network. We don’t pretend to be objective but nor do we pretend to have the only discussion in town.

    For example, I have my news brought to me by my friends who Twitter, blog, facebook, digg or otherwise inform me of intelligent discussions on media and publishing. Justin Milne can only find crappy home videos? Time he upgraded his social network. You, Keith, filtered that as if I was saying he has crappy friends, which I didn’t. If all your friends ever talk about is football, and you like theatre, change your friends.

    Context is everything. Quotes out of context simply show the writer’s bias…

  23. Keith Austin:
    fair enough. or maybe it could be that your original post was ambiguous? always a possibility, wouldn’t you say? I suspect if I wrote that here at the Herald the lawyers would be biting me on the arse and saying that i’m implying the man has crappy friends.
    but let’s say you’re right and i’m wrong in that instance. what about the rest of the comments I pulled out? would you not agree that there was a lot of fairly unfounded abuse?

  24. Oh, I dunno. Everytime a media proprietor, a portal manager or a journalist disses ‘user generated content’, I wonder who they think they are writing about? Some alien race? Or the readers who buy their newspapers and use their services. Try calling it ‘Reader Generated Crap’, in print a few times, and see how abusive the response can be!

    And bringing Justin Milne’s dismissal of ‘user generated content’ as ‘crap’ to a popular Australian blog was sheer suicide. These people were pretty mild under the circumstances.

    *pats her commenters on the head* Sit. Stay. Don’t bite the nice journalist err man. 😛

    Why is “Helen …You have no Profile. Therefore you have no Identity. If you have no Identity … no Reputation, no Trust.” abusive? I really want to know.

    If someone blogs regularly, whether a journo or not, links to me, and we quote and discuss each others posts, we have a relationship, we know each other’s blog identity and we know what reputation/trust metric we would use on the information being presented by that blogger. If he or she left an inflammatory comment on my blog that seemed out of character, I have a few quick and easy channels to approach them and ask for clarification. And/or inflame a heated debate. Heh.

    A journalist with the SMH for 13 years will be believed over a junr trying to prove a point, right? The Sydney Morning Herald brings the masthead to the table, which the local rag and propaganda mags don’t. So profile and identity go a long way towards building reputation and trust offline, no?

    So why am I, as a blogger, being abusive in asking for links to establish profile and identity? Surely it’s a fundamental part of human discussion to look for context and relationships? E.g. “Papworth, lecturer at the University of blah blah, said today that blah blah”. Name, context/authority and comment.

    Ah well, just promise me one thing, (crappy commentary and abusive comments aside). The first time an editor leans across the table, yet doesn’t quite meet your eyes, and says you don’t happen to know a blogger with a good readership I could contact about this subject, do you? – you’ll let us know, won’t you??

  25. Something a bit more generic than the pissing contest this is degenerating into …

    The people or organisations I listen to and pay attention to are the ones that have proven they know what they’re talking about. This is NOT based on the last weeks ratings or ABC figures; its based on your reputation (i.e. do other people quote you or your writing, what impact you or your writing have on stories and news etc) over several years.

    For example, neither ‘Helen’ nor ‘Keith Austin’ are people who’s work I am familar with. If you were claiming to be (I’ll use Australian context here) Ross Gittins, Miranda Devine, Doug Anderson, Roy Masters (all SMH writers), or Janet Albrechtsen, Glenn Milne and Dennis Shanahan, I would be able to put your words and message here into context with your previous writings. In a sense, that’s one example of what identity (online or not) does for the audience.

    I would (already have, in many cases) follow people like these into other medium. Not because they are ‘names’ in the world of journalism, but because they are names I can TRUST.

    Note that I don’t necessarily agree with them, but I do know they are consistent in their biases, AND I know what these biases are. One can almost say I know the authors IDENTITY.

  26. Interesting comments, here’s a few thoughts:

    “User generated content was a really big deal six months ago but it’s doesn’t seem to knock people crazy,” he says. “The idea six months ago was that the days of newspapers and journalists had ended and that this was the age of user empowerment and everything was going to be built around blogs and so on. Wrong.

    “It turns out people appreciate expertise, which is what journalists are about, and they appreciate editing. We appreciate filmmakers’ skills, which are incredibly difficult, and we want someone to tell a story the right way. Seeing a whole bunch of crappy home movies that people have made is not the same as seeing a well-made documentary.”

    Sorry but that entire passage is completely rooted in a fear of the unknown. I don’t read a man confident in his profession, I read a man scared to death that a buncha unpaid content creators are going to steal his audience away from him.

    Secondly, Helen says this:

    “Anyone can blog but few will attract an audience.”

    Then later adds this:

    “Anyone can be a blogger. Not anyone can be a journalist. “

    IOW, anyone can blog, but few are good at it. Sounds like you could say the same thing about journalism.

    Then she says this:

    “Advertisers tend to pay the most for independent, credible media. That is what journalists provide.”

    This is where Helen completely went off the road, IMO.

    First, to make a blanket statement that journalists provide INDEPENDENT and CREDIBLE media is beyond absurd. That is no doubt what someone in journalism would like to claim, but those reading the media that journalists create, know far better.

    Second, advertisers tend to pay the most for content that gives them the most sales. Period.

    BTW Helen if you do indeed have an impressive body of work, starting a blog to showcase it, as well as interact with any fans you might have, could be a very smart move indeed. It’s at least worth learning more about, methinks.

  27. Keith Austin:
    aaah, i give in Laurel. if ‘MSM journalist wankers, vain elitism, MSM trolls, you’re really a sad case, elitist, and accusations of cowardice’ et al are defended by yourself and seen as mild and acceptable because someone has had the temerity to post something with which your fellow bloggers don’t agree then we will forever remain at an impasse.
    and martin, i am not trying to get into a pissing contest. over what? i don’t care if you know my work or not. i’m just interested – no, fascinated – by the level of insult that people regularly believe they can get away with online. and do!

  28. While we’re lifting quotations…

    “When journalists write for free it smacks of desperation.”

    “Advertisers tend to pay the most for independent, credible media. That is what journalists provide.”

    “A 3,000-word article deadline is snapping at my heels and, now the overseas interview I’ve been waiting for (for several days) is in the bag, I’ll be concentrating on the paid job in hand. Yes, on a Saturday. Sad but true …”

    “Toodles”

    Was it really “abusive” of me to observe that “Helen” is smug?

    Almost any profile piece in MSM will have some negative remark about the subject. Do we call those pieces “abusive”? I suppose not, as the abuse is judiciously meted out by experienced journalists, not desperate bloggers giving away their work for free.

    “Helen” dropped into a blog, pretty much said outright that bloggers can’t hold a candle to “experienced journalists” (count how many times she used the phrase), and you are now getting precious about the response.

    I’m picturing a blogger walking into your newsroom, your forum, and declaring, “The public wants independent, credible media. They don’t trust MSM these days. Bloggers provide that independent, credible voice.” I wouldn’t hear the word “wanker”? I wouldn’t receive a frank volley from the journalist side?

    Who knew journalists were so delicate.

  29. let me say that all these pro-blogging mob are just so way up themselves. But to mention, intellectually anaemic, incoherent and just plain silly.

  30. @dear brave Anonymous:

    A man is known by the blogs he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives. . . .” Ralph Waldo Emerson 1830. More or less.

    Welcome to this blog. Make yourself at home.

  31. *laughs* classic post trail that shifted for from the trad-media equivalent of ABC Four Corners to Late Night Talkback on radio. Gets the blood pumping, doesnt it? 😉

  32. If you ever need an(other) example of an ‘old media’ person who’s doing great stuff with new media, you might want to follow Jim Long / @newmediajim on twitter:

    https://twitter.com/newmediajim

    He’s an NBC camera man who follows the president around for a living; as he says “the coolest job in the world”. Turns out, knowing what the most powerful man in the world is doing each day makes a great twitter feed 😉

    Met him at SxSW and he’s also a genuinely great guy, which definitely helps on the ‘authenticity’ part — which I think is still the main thing that differentiates great new media people from many old media people.

    As someone smarter than me said, “bloggers write about the things they’re interested in, journalists write about the things other people are interested in”. When you read the best new media content, that’s really the only difference that stands out: passion.

    So maybe we should say, “jaded journos who look down on the general public will be out of a job; the rest will move to reporting about things they’re passionate about, in whatever medium is best to tell the story”

    But it’s probably harder to make that into a headline 😉

  33. Keith,
    Sorry if I misinterpreted your contributions (and Helen’s contributions, while I’m there :))

    In both cases, there appeared to be rather shrill defense of ‘Professional Journalism’. And some of the language used in defense of ‘the blogger’was a bit rude, as well. We can’t debate these issues if we send one side or the other away by being rude.

    You said “i don’t care if you know my work or not.”.

    You should …. If I don’t know (therefore can’t trust, because I have no background) your work, why would I read (online or offline) anything you wrote ? If enough people fall into that category, then either you or the paper fail.

    Of course, I may be a demographic you (or your editor) don’t care about, but its the eyeballs that pay the $1.30 for the SMH each day, or read it online, that you DO need to care about.

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