Truth in journalism

Feb 18, 2005

Journalist/blogger Cyrus Farivar posted earlier this month about an exchange he’d had with Dave Winer:

Winer challenged me over lunch at 2nd Ave. Deli (which is amazing—and thanks again, Dave) to provide more journalistic transparency, by displaying my notes online.

Dave’s post about that same exchange:

Between wisecracks from the waiter, I pitched him on posting complete notes on his articles and pointers to the blogs of people he interviewed, and he agreed, subject to the approval of his editors.

Cyrus ended up posting his notes for an interview, and I’ve been thinking about that since. Last week, when I was interviewed by the local media about the Triangle Bloggers Conference, I found myself considering the corollary of the post-a-reporter’s-notes suggestion—that is, people interviewed by journalists should similarly post notes and recordings of themselves being interviewed. From now on, I’ll record myelf whenever I’m interviewed.

It works both ways.

This morning I was interviewing a librarian at N.C. State University, and she echoed the “I’ve been misquoted many times” line. As I walked back across campus, I thought, why not record all future interviews, and at the outset ask the person for permission to post the recording to my weblog. “It will keep me honest, and be a way to compare my article to what you actually say,” I’d tell the person.

Justin has another idea to clear up some of the misconceptions about journalism:

“i think we could actually benefit from knowing more about what journalists do. i’m envisioning a book entitled ‘journalism for bloggers’ in my head. i think this would help. at least i would find it interesting because i believe it’s along the lines of what i would like to do more of.”

Anton Zuiker

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