micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
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Monday, September 23, 2002
Today's New York Times features an interesting article by David F. Gallagher on problems, and, to a lesser extent, the benefit of journalists who have web logs.
It is a good story but it would have been nice if Gallagher has talked with people like Ken Layne and Matt Welch, who I believe have actually gained additional jouranlism work as a result of their blogs. Hopefully those two will comment on their blogs.
The final paragraph of Gallagher's piece reads:
Sheila Lennon, a producer at the Web site of The Providence Journal, believes she has found a way to maintain the line between her professional and personal Web log. She publishes a blog on the paper's site and maintains a personal Web log at lennon2.com. Even on the personal site, Ms. Lennon steers clear of anything that might compromise her objectivity. "I don't belong to a political party," she said. "And I don't publish every thought I have on my personal Web log."For the record, there are plenty of interesting thoughts in my head and compelling web pages that I run across that I don't link to. Most of this is just self-editing as part of an attempt to not spend my entire life blogging. (One of the few things that I find interesting about instapundit.com is just how much time Glenn Reynolds spends blogging and how his blogging appears to be throughly integrated into his life.)
As far as objectivity goes, I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me feels that objectivity can not really be achieved and that it is best to be open about that. At the same time good journalism, much like good essay writing (which may or may not be journalism), IMHO requires a refusal to ignore facts and a commitment to turn a critical eye to everything. In other words, a good journalist, no matter how opinionated, recognizes and is critical of all information. The point is try to find the truth and not present the world, or the details of the particular story, to be more specific, as neither any more nor any less complicated than they actually are. A failure to do this is as likely to show up in an AP report or a Reuters story as it is in the pages of The Nation or The Weekly Standard.