Friday, September 26, 2008

Citizen Journalism

"Anonymous said...
Does this blog have a source for ANYTHING other than the Herald News?
Rehash is not 'citizen journalism.'"


I have never claimed to be a 'citizen journalist', although by my understanding of the term, what I do here would certainly qualify. I consider myself an opinionist or maybe a pundit, although I don't claim to be an expert. Without a doubt I am a blogger, someone who operates a blog and writes content for it. Sometimes I am a commentor, which is someone who leaves comments on blog posts. Being a commentor does not make you a blogger, but being a blogger often makes you a commentor.

Really there is not much difference between the blogger working late in the night by the dim glow of his monitor, to that of the pamphleteer working by the dim glow of candlelight. Those early ‘citizen journalists’, such as Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams and many more didn't report the news as much as they offered opinion. These writers often relied on stacks of books, other pamphlets and the newspapers of the day as the sources they drew from and expanded upon. Today, a blogger may draw from the wealth of information found online, as well as what can be heard on radio, seen on TV, or observed in person.

As much as I rely on the Herald News as a source, I try very hard not to ‘rehash’ the articles that I read there. I make it a point not to blog about a topic unless I truly feel I have something to add. When the Herald wrote about the quiet election season, it's true that I wrote along the same vein, but I made my observations a month before they did. My thoughts about changing the face of the council, or whether or not Mayor Correia could be challenged are both topics that I did not pull from the Herald News. Lately there have been a lot of newspaper articles written about the documentary Pawtucket Rising but my post appeared before many, if not all of them.

Because the primary focus of A View From Battleship Cove is Fall River, the Herald News is often the cited source simply because it is the paper of record. If the Washington Post were to do a better job of covering Fall River, I would certainly use it as a source far more often. Even then the source information, at least for me, is nothing more than supporting documentation. It may be what inspired the post but more often it is simply a reputable source to backup the statements I make and allow you, the reader, to verify the facts. It also gives you the opportunity to read some background information and to arrive at a conclusion independent of my own.

With the sharing of opinions and ideas, and the exchange shared with an audience, I think bloggers have more in common with radio talk show hosts than with journalists. Either way it’s the marvel of technology that allows thousands of people to share opinions and views, pictures and observations, and yes even breaking news events without the benefit of radio towers or printing presses.

It’s an exhilarating thing to be able to sit here at my keyboard and with the click of a button share a view with as many people that may find this site. At first, this exhilaration was combined with the suspense of wondering if anyone would stumble across my words. Now, there is the deep satisfaction of knowing that my words are read and that people come back to hear my views and share their own.

It’s something to see a local blogosphere developing and to sample each new blog, each with its own focus. It’s exciting to read other peoples views, to gain from other people’s perspective. And it’s absolutely amazing to see this happening here in Fall River and to search around the internet and not find a similar movement in New Bedford, or Taunton, or Brockton.

If this is 'citizen journalism' then I hope that our local blogs and bloggers follow in the best tradition of those 'citizen journalists' from long ago. May they bring attention to those things we've lost focus of, point out both the best and the worst about our community, and continue to ask questions and make people think.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Does this blog have a source for ANYTHING other than the Herald News?
Rehash is not 'citizen journalism.'"

I invite the original commentor to join this "discussion" now that Lefty has explained the purpose of his blog.

ErinB

Anonymous said...

This blog is a great resource for people to engage in a discussion of all things Fall River without fear of having their comments censored. If WSAR doesn't like what you are saying they will hang up on you. If the Herald doesn't like what you are saying they won't run your Letter to the Editor. Lefty very rarely deletes any comments and people are free to offer their comments and opinions on local politics among other issues without worry or fear that the political establishment or anyone else will try to censor them or be outraged at how independent their opinion might be. Keep up the good work Lefty!

Anonymous said...

The hurricane show is where the news is at....hate it or love it the action is there.WSAR is the place i go if i want info or dialogue

Anonymous said...

WSAR is the place to go if you want news and opinions that are thoroughly censored. I'm not interested in hearing what the Karams told Mike Herren to say on the air.

You are entitled to your opinion that it is a great station and I'm entitled to mine that it's not. Also want to thank you for stopping by to pimp for WSAR.

Anonymous said...

Herren is a hypocrite. He talks about drug dealers, welfare fraud, and other things. The Hurricocaine should look in the mirror, he has never had a job and his other troubles are well documented.

Practice what you preach, Hurricocaine.

Anonymous said...

Was the comment regarding the Herald News being the only source just an attempt at convincing us that wsar is a good source? Neither media outlet is a good source as they each have resorted to reading the blogs for their topics !! You will see it on line before you will read it in the Herald. You will also hear wsar refer to the Herald for their "news" stories and topics of the day . Pay attention to both and you will realize the truth.

Anonymous said...

lets face it the most traffic that this site sees is whem they are talking about mike herren..lets face it people are in the worstcase obsessed in the best case intrigued..by the hurricane last time i checked radio personalities were not saints.

Anonymous said...

Herren stop comming home messed up and blogging about yourself. Don't you get it? Nobody is obsessed with you. You are the city punchline. People are interested because you will always f*** everything you do up. It,s like watching a car accident, get it? You are not thought of as a favorite son, you are seen more like the village idiot. These words are not mean spirited. But after reading this guy's blog entries and that MCAD report it would seem that this Herren dude has no personal insight and at least has issues with substance abuse, probably more. Where is this man's family and friends? He obviously needs help.

Anonymous said...

Nobody was talking about mike herren. Anon 7:13 and Anon 3:23 tried to hijack the blog desperate to make it about herren. That is sad.

Anonymous said...

lets face it the most traffic that this site sees is whem they are talking about mike herren..lets face it people are in the worstcase obsessed in the best case intrigued..by the hurricane last time i checked radio personalities were not saints.

Obviously this person is delusional or drunk. There are many important topics covered on this blog and this should not be one.

Lefty has already provided the guidelines above and if you can't follow them move on, we are having a discussion here.

Lefty said...

Thanks anon 11:05!

As for the rest....

Please don't compare what I do here, or any other local blog to the professional media. I have talked with several of our local bloggers and none of them are making money of their blogs. This is a hobby or a labor of love. We don't have the resources and luxuries of WSAR or the Herald and the comparison is apples and oranges.

Why has Mike Herren come up in this thread? I get that people don't like him (however I also get that there are people who do). If that's the case don't listen to his show. Don't trash him here in an unrelated post. Does talking about him generate blog traffic? Maybe, but I'm not that concerned about blog traffic. I'd rather have the conversation stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

Lefty,

Herren is putting himself in the middle of blogs not related to himself or his show. He tries to hijack the blog by promoting his show ie: Anon 7:13 and Anon 3:23. Nobody had said a word about him prior to his crashing the blog. He is very transparent.

Anonymous said...

Agreed so let's just ignore his posts going forward and get back to the topics lefty posts!

Anonymous said...

I think this forum is picking up at a vital time. Our school department is bleeding from every orafice, yes graphic but true. Our new mayor/goosesteppers style of shoot now ask questions later has not had the kickass impact that I am sure he was going for. Some of our city counselor's are running their own personal agenda's when voting...(how can I benefit myself Lund). I could go on all day...but I won't. My point is that local blogs can serve to energize and unify people who are as pissed off as I am about the status quo. I will be voting accordingly. I hope Eric Poulin is planning on throwing his hat in a race. I will personally bang signs all day, it's the Fall River way!

Anonymous said...

Poulin is not running for Mayor in 2009, sorry buddy, I asked him that question at the last event I saw him at and he said no. It looks like people that say that they are pissed off with the status quo like you say you are need to find someone else to vote for in 2009.

Anonymous said...

I said throw his hat in a race, I did not specify the mayor's race. He would not have the financial backing for the mayor's race. I would love to see him run for city council.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Poulin would have the financial backing for the mayor's race either, but I wouldn't state that as a fact like you did, how do you know he wouldn't, are you an insider just here to throw his name out? If he can't get the money together to run for mayor what makes you think that he can do it for city council? You mentioned Mike Lund in a negative way but he was very successful in getting in because he could raise money, think it was something like 20 grand or more.

You are free to route for whoever you want but if your people can't raise money they aren't going anywhere. Hate to break it to you. Be pissed off all you want about the status quo as you say you are but being pissed off doesn't get people elected, the low voter turnout in 2009 will favor all the existing incumbents and those that cater to the people with money instead of the pissed off people with no money are going to win plain and simple.

It's always been about keeping certain folks happy in Fall River, where have you been? Keep those with money happy and you get money which you can put toward slick advertising to convince the other 2people who come out to vote that they should vote for you.

Anonymous said...

It is going to take much more money to get correia out of the mayor's office. The city council will not require as much money since there are 6 councilor currently a pretty good bet to be removed and that is at least a start.

Anonymous said...

Does this blog have a source for ANYTHING other than the Herald News?
Rehash is not 'citizen journalism.'"

Hmm, Lefty asked this question
15 days ago:
Saturday, September 13, 2008
SHAKEUP - Who could challenge in the 2009 City Council race?

and on 9/28 the Herald News asked this question:

Alves thinks he's done with politics
By Michael Holtzman
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 06:42 PM


It sounds more like the this blog is the reference for the Herald News !!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that story too, here's the link:

http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x1424434400/Alves-thinks-hes-done-with-politics

Alves, Kilby, Poulin and Sullivan all basically say they will not run for mayor in 2009 against Correia. Interesting! I know there was a posting discussing this topic before the story but maybe in light of this article and the confirmed information another one should be started. Who will run against Bob in 2009 if anyone? Who will run for City Council? Do we need any changes on the School Committee?

Anonymous said...

Lefty - You need to stop justifying yourself to these bozos. A Blog is simply an opinion. (I know I don't need to tell you this)... And to convey an opinion intelligently, on a specific subject, one needs to verify facts. If your subject is Fall River, then there's nothing wrong with the Herald News as a resource. Op/Ed pieces are generally based on what's going on in the news at the time, and you can bet Maureen Down gets her facts straight - no one has a problem with that. I have a blog on this same site, so I empathize... Keep doing what you do - it seems to insight reaction... Not a bad thing!

Faye Musselman said...

Lefty, I agree with anon about you need not justify yourself - you write an interesting, articulate and fair blog. I visit it often to get a pulse on vox populi of FR issues.

You could write your own column for the FRHN as far as I'm concerned. And it would be a good thing, come to think of it, providing impetus for readers think out of the box and consider different viewpoints than the pablum they usually serve up. That being said, you'll never get the gig. LOL!

Lefty said...

Anon & Faye,

Thanks for the compliments and support.

I viewed this more as a chance to share some thoughts on blogging than a need to justify myself. What I was originally going to summarize in a comment became the genesis of a blog post. That's not a bad thing!