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Tuesday, 16 Mar 2004
When sources become media
He starts off the post, “The best thing about a blog… is that I get to respond to the media.” And then he proceeds to compare an email exchange between him and Blackistone, with the column that ultimately got written. His analysis: “The sad part of all of this is that despite his disregard for the facts, Blackistone is one of the better columnists. That speaks volumes about his profession.” Ouch.
At last week’s MediaMorphosis conference, San Jose Mercury News technology columnist and weblogger Dan Gillmor talked about how he expects his sources to post their version of an interview. Cuban has done the same thing. Publish the evidence and let others decide.
As JD Lasica once wrote, “Part of the attraction of blogging is its transparency. By posting transcripts, exchanges with reporters and private emails, people get a much closer look at the guts of the research, writing and reporting that makes up the journalism process.”
This will make some in the industry very uncomfortable. But ultimately, this will lead to more transparency in the reporting process, which is good for everyone — journalists, sources and the audience.
However, we wish Mark Cuban had done one thing: open his blog to comments from the public. Without comments, the audience is forced to send emails directly to Cuban (a filter), Blackistone (a filter), or place our feedback elsewhere on the blogosphere (distributed feedback). All of those options are fine, but wouldn’t it be more honest, and in a sense transparent, for Cuban to capture and display feedback publicly?
Last thought: Why did Cuban choose to join Jason Calacanis weblog network? Certainly a man of his financial means doesn’t need Calacanis’ help to launch a blog. Rumor is Calacanis is going to launch more celeb blogs soon. We’re looking forward to others joining the fray.
• Jeff Jarvis makes a similar point about transparency : “...when you are not transparent, people will assume their definition of the worst. If you are transparent, you show the effort you put behind trying to serve them and you also give them the respect to include them in the process. That is a moral of weblogs. It’s a moral the news business needs to figure out.”