I’m really humbled by the number of people who’ve written so clearly about this, and I’m angered more deeply, every time someone does write clearly about it, at the imbalance and insolence being projected by the Plain Dealer people who’ve spoken or written publicly about the demise of the Wide Open political blog.
The latest iteration is by Jeff Jarvis in his post, “Cleveland’s Burning River of Bloggers.”
Why am I humbled and angered?
Because there are amazing reporters there, amazing writers, and amazing editors.
How could they be okay with what has transpired – these descendants or at least kin of the pamphleteers? How can they not want a mulligan, a phrase Susan Goldberg used more than once on WCPN this week, in regard to how it all came down?
How can they sit there in that brick and mortar edifice and not place a call (or four) and say, we need to talk about this. This is not what we imagined – we did not do this the right way. How do we do this? Help us do this – which, by the way, was how online editors Jean Dubail and Chris Jindra, talked to the four bloggers – collaboratively, as a learning experience, for us to learn from one another, not for him to tell us what it had to be, not once – he always sounded very uncomfortable when he had to do anything like that.
Don’t worry – I’m not waiting around for any of those calls or questions to come.
But that doesn’t alter that I know that there are PD people who are sick about what’s going on. They need to act like bloggers – and speak up, for goodness sakes.
While one of the issues is about the standard itself – can people paid by a newspaper be involved in any possibly political activity and still cover any issue or person connected to that involvement – there are several other issues that also exist and are as if not more important:
-why only Jeff and not the rest of us?
-why only Jeff and not at least me?
-why not before they sent us any contracts?
-why not call all of us, or call of us in, to explain what they hadn’t even realized needed to be explained? How can they expect that we would think of it, if they didn’t even think of it? Please.
-why only once Ohio Congressman, Steve LaTourette brought it to their attention? What if he hadn’t? Then what?
There’s a lot to learn from this. But there don’t seem to be a lot of voices from the PD indicating that they have any interest in learning anything.
Amy Gahran of Poynter (new comments there on her post about Wide Open) presented a session on blogger ethics at BlogWorld today. I look forward to hearing more. There are posts about how the panel went here and here.
Last night, SPJ hosted an event that covered backpack and citizen journalism, among other new media/old media concepts. My understanding is that video of it will be available here in a few days. Jean Dubail, the Wide Open editor, was one of the panelists.
Fascinating comments can be found on this Eric Mansfield thread and this previous Jeff Jarvis thread, this thread on Matt Dickman’s techno/marketer blog and this one on KSU assoc. professor in PR Bill Sledzik’s blog.
Finally, the Carnival of Ohio Politics #90 offers links to other previously highlighted stories about the story.