Saturday, October 04, 2003

BloggerCon 2003 III

Interview with a Blogger: Dan Gillmor, Doc Searls, and Dave Winer

Dan Gillmor works as a technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News. Doc Searls is a senior editor for Linux Journal and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto. And Dave Winer is a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at the Harvard Law School. Here is a rough transcript of their discussion:

Dave Winer: The media industry is extremely important and we need to get more media people blogging. Candidates raise money so they can place ads in the media. Is there any conflict of interest with media covering political campaigns? Yes. Is there any transparency looking into that process? No. Dan, what is your policy about this?

Dan Gillmor: It's not a single line. It's like any institution. I work for them. I do not think it is my role to expose to the world the workings of the organizations I work for. The blogging part, the exposing to the world, is more about making the world transparent as a journalist, not making my organization transparent. You want me to tell all.

Winer: I don't want you to tell all. I want to understand what I'm reading. The Mercury News deleted all of Dan's archived. I'd been linking to his archives. Links break because they break, but removing archives is an editorial decision. In the matter of a John Robb, it's a very delicate issue. I have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders of the company. I also need to follow the laws of California. Employment agreements are very clear. There's an industry out there that we have no visibility into because they control the news.

Doc Searls: There's more transparency in the media industry than there've ever been before. I have the sense that the Greensboro paper is more transparent because Ed's out there talking about it. It may not be that the boiler rooms of decision making are fully exposed all the time, but there are people blogging and participating on the outside.

Winer: Are there any scandals about campaigns and the media that we're not aware of?

Searls: I'm sure there is.

Dan Bricklin: If you're an insider, what's your responsibility as an insider?

Winer: The Cluetrain Manifesto gives a clue to that: You're supposed to tell the truth.

Searls: You're supposed to talk.

Winer: People have to expect to be told what's going on.

Gillmor: You have the view that the media has a responsibility to be more transparent than other industries.

Winer: No. I don't think the media is as transparent as other industries.

Gillmor: The media needs to be more relentless about covering other media.

Winer: Bloggers need to be more relentless. Would you take on the New York Times?

Gillmor: If I had something particularly juicy, I like to think that I'd be able to.

No comments: