Committing Journalism

I’ve been asked to lead the Journalism session at BlogNashville, a
daunting task. At an unconference, where the people assembling are
participants, not an audience, the session leader has little but the most vague
sense of who will take part or the interests and needs of those attending.

where to start? I’m determined to avoid journalism vs. blogging as a frame. Been there, done that. Don’t want the t-shirt.
and blogging — that’s a different story. Let’s start
with the headline for an article I wrote for OJR after BloggerCon III: "
Journos and Bloggers: Can Both Survive?" The
words were in the wrong order: Both can survive.

Next point: Blogging and
journalism are not mutually exclusive — they can overlap, they can be
practiced as separate activities by the same person, they can occupy the same
space at the same time. Journalists and bloggers are self-defined — no
licenses (in the U.S.), no pre-reqs, no qualifying course. To quote from that
OJR article: "I define the former as someone who trained to be a
journalist and/or someone who makes his or her living as a journalist.
(Personally, I prefer to think that anyone who claims to be a journalist is
also opting to adhere to generally accepted journalism ethics and standard
journalistic practice. Otherwise, why call yourself a journalist?)"

all of that in mind, my hope is that we will spend our time talking about committing journalism via blogs, podcasts, vlogs, etc. What does journalism mean in the
here and now, in the near future? What does being a journalist mean? What makes
journalism bloggers different from bloggers who don’t see themselves as
journalists? And how can all of us do what we want to do better?


can use the following bullet points from Scott Rosenberg’s session at
BloggerCon III as a foundation:


journalists can learn from bloggers:

you can blur the line between the personal and professional without corrupting
the process;

you can learn to improvise in real time;

how to have a conversation with their readers;

to be humble – you don’t know everything.


can learn from journalists:

the value of leg work;

the nature of accountability;

that editing is a good thing;

to be humble – you don’t know everything.


which I’ll add as the beginning of another list:

committing journalism for a living or as an avocation should:

Let’s get this party started …

You don’t have to be headed to BlogNashville to be part of the conversation.


  1. BlogNashville

    Food for Thought Dinners – SIGN UP NOW!

    The Food For Thought dinners are a way to continue discussions raised during sessions earlier in the day in a more informal, personal setting. All dinners will begin at 8pm on Saturday. All tables will be reserved under the name…

  2. Mark

    I was confirmed for another Food for Thought dinner whose discussion leader is now not going to be able to be there (I’ll leave the announcement of that to the discussion leader, of course), but they all look great to me so perhaps I’ll be able to sidle into yours or someone else’s.
    Just glad that you’re going to be here in Nashville contributing, even if I’m unable to say hello and/or attend your dinner (or session – I have some Saturday conflicts).
    Either way, glad you’re coming and looking forward to it.
    Hat tip: Rex.

  3. Winds of Change.NET


    I consider it Good News that blogging has opened new ways for us to share information and create a dialogue and debate over important issues. So I encourage you ALL to participate in BlogNashville next…

  4. hyku | blog

    BlogNashville: Staci Kramer -Committing Journalism

    As usual, I am live-blogging so notes will be rough 🙂 Staci’s blog Discussion specific page. This is not a discussion journalism vs. blogging. This is not a discussion about what’s wrong with media or blogging. What this is…

  5. Nashville Is Talking

    Like You Care

    This Committing Journalism discussion is great! Dave Winer is here and John Jay Hooker, even. I’m eager to talk more about it. We’re about to wrap up, so I’ll try to post between sessions….

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