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Hypergene MediaBlog » Memogate, Rathergate: Round 2
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Memogate, Rathergate: Round 2

On Monday, we posted our favorite quotes from all the articles about particpatory journalism’s impact on Memo/Rathergate. It’s truly amazing, the amount of recognition that weblogs are getting, and to think that Dan Rather and CBS started it all. Wow.…

Anywho, the articles and choice quotes just keep on coming. So many, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of it all. Here’s a few more from the last three days, and if you read any of these stories, start with Dan Gillmor’s piece. We are continually impressed with his ability to fairly see both sides of the media coin. Jay Rosen’s reflections are pretty damn good too. Hell, read them all, if you have the time.

Media, Blogs, Truth and Consequences
by Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News

"Regardless of what one thinks of the bloggers’ politics, they advanced the memo story. And they did it fast—no doubt more quickly than the mass media would have done. ...

Journalists have demanded more transparency of others. Now, thanks to the ability of large numbers of people to dissect our work in public and in something close to real time, they’re demanding more of us. We’d better get used to it."

Stark Message for the Legacy Media
by Jay Rosen, PressThink

"Like the airlines, the legacy media is still around, and still important. But legacy costs, which new competitors do not bear, coupled with the complacency of being longtime big shots, endanger the beast’s survival. When Reynolds and others call it the legacy media, then, they mean it is a backward pointing force in media history, always referring to its legacy rather than battling out in the open for its future, for its view."

Admitting errors
by Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit

"When you’re a news anchor, you’re not just putting your arguments on the line—you’re putting yourself on the line. Dan Rather has a problem with that. For journalists of his generation, admitting an error means admitting that you’ve violated people’s trust. For bloggers, admitting an error means you’ve missed something, and now you’re going to set it right.

What people in the legacy media need to ask themselves is, which approach is more likely to retain credibility over time? I think I know the answer. I think Dan Rather does, too."

What it isn’t
by Doc Searls

"Blogging isn’t cable TV. We don’t have to fill otherwise empty pipes with “content,” and we don’t have to hold eyeballs still while our customers stab them with advertising messages. Most of all, we don’t have to join the ranks of the professionally opinionated, or the choirs of voices raised in righteous rage against political enemies.

We’re free-range writers. If you don’t like what we say or don’t say, there are plenty of other potential sources of what you want, all gathered in a place that would never exist if it were up to the major media, the entertainment industry, the publishing industry, and the lawmakers and regulators who protect them all."

The Blogosphere’s First President: George W. Bush
by Chris Nolan, Politics from Left to Right

"Any one reading this site doesn’t need me to tell them about the power of the net, the rising authority of “blogging” or the sad, sad state of the nation’s media. Political coverage has devolved into the easiest two things to cover: Gotcha journalism (of which the memos are a fine example) and horse race coverage, or polls. These are easy stories to do. That’s why there are so many of them. That’s why they constitute the bulk of our political coverage.

Blogs and bloggers have grown up in reaction to this state of affairs. Tired of dumbed-down celebrity coverage, sick of “who’s on first” political snapshots, able to get on-line and stay there for very little money, lots of folks have, in frustration, taken to the web. And they – we – are changing the business. its heart, Rathergate as it will come to be known is about the economics – or lack thereof – of American journalism."

Smart guys ‘in pajamas’ give CBS a black eye
by Kathleen Parker, The (New Hampshire) Union Leader

"The CBS mess variously known as “Forgerygate” or “Rathergate” is by any other name a seminal moment in the blogosphere that holds promise not only for revolutionizing journalism, but also perhaps for problem-solving on a global scale.

...All of which brings me to my premise that the blogosphere isn’t just a challenge to journalism in its currently stagnant state, but a potential boon to problem-solving of a higher order. The beauty of the blogosphere is that it is self-igniting, self-propelling and self-selecting, a sort of intellectual ecosystem wherein the best specimens from various disciplines descend from the ethers, converge on an issue and apply their unique talents."

"Dewey’s ‘a kind of newspaper government’"
by Terry Heaton, The POMO blog

"This, to me, is what Dan Rather’s current discomfort exposes — the beginning of the end of the hierarchical press establishment.… Citizen’s media, in the form of bloggers and their blogs, have proven themselves more than capable of the watchdog role that defines the Fourth Estate. More importantly, they’ve proven through this dreadful and unfortunate (but inevitable) incident that they are also capable of exploiting basic investigative reporting tactics in order to also watchdog Dewey’s not-to-be-trusted ‘newspaper government.’"

Blessing or Curse? Editors Examine Blogs’ Role in ‘60 Minutes’ Uproar
by Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher

"Some pundits, including columnists who write for newspapers, have claimed this week that the blog uprising over the CBS documents signals the end of “old media” dominance. But James O’Shea, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, believes “that’s a lot of baloney. Wait until people start relying on THEIR information and getting burned.” He said newspapers need to closely examine who the bloggers are, their expertise and motivation, and “the phenomenon” in general.

“It is an increasing burden,” said Dennis Ryerson, editor of The Indianapolis Star, who admits daily papers are feeling the impact of bloggers. “It hurts because now anyone can publish on the Web. You have people who are politically aligned raising questions about our standards, but there is no attention given to their standards.”

Added Phil Bronstein, editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, “blogging is the current hot thing and there may be something else in six months. It may be just a passing phase. And once everyone has a blog, it will become much harder to follow them all."

Goodbye to All That: Dan Rather goes the way of the dinosaurs.
by Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online

"I love the CBS News forged-document story. To paraphrase the abominable snowman from the Bugs Bunny cartoons, I want to hug it and squeeze it and name it George. Okay, I don’t want to name it George, but you get my drift. If this story were hot fudge, I would smear it all over my body and then roll around in nougat.’s clear that Dan Rather doesn’t understand what’s going on any more than those poor last dinosaurs understood why the tasty green fronds became so hard to find when it got cloudy. As an icon of the old world of big media, his self-inflicted extinction will surely be recognized as the end of not merely Dan Rather, but the age of Dan Rathers."

Posted on Sep 15, 2004 | 6:39 pm EST

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Great collection of links, and some very interesting perspectives. Am I the only one sick of Rathergate now?

(It inspired me to write Reality may be fake, bloggers warn, maybe you’ll enjoy it.)

Posted by: Ross Thomas on Sep 21, 04 | 1:40 pm EST

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"What did God know, and when did he know it?”

Excellent blog, Ross.

Posted by: chris on Oct 01, 04 | 1:07 am EST

Hey, thanks :)

Posted by: Ross Thomas on Oct 01, 04 | 11:05 pm EST


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