Rules for Journalists, revisited

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Yo, Oregonian! Listen up - this one's for you!

Two years ago, I wrote a post called Rules for Journalists. At the time, we took some of our friends in journalism to task for failing to give credit where credit is due.

We're well aware that here at BlueOregon, those of you employed in "dead-tree journalism" (ok, we couldn't resist) like to cruise over here and see what's happening, troll for leads, and generally check out the yadda yadda. We're happy to oblige.

All we ask is that if you're gonna mention something you picked up here, give us a little credit. Four little words... "As seen on" or even the minimalist "See".

Now, most of the time, y'all give BlueOregon the hat tip when it's due. Cool. Thanks.

But let's not pretend that there aren't other blogs 'round these parts. If you're going to mention "liberal bloggers" that are breaking stories and otherwise keeping the heat turned up, it'd be nice to mention 'em by name.

This just doesn't cut it:

More recently, liberal bloggers have been writing that Republican committee members have a personal stake in Measure 37.

An interested reader might reasonably ask - "What liberal bloggers?"

Do the right thing. Name the blog. The "Golly gee, a bunch of Republicans have Measure 37 conflicts-of-interest" story is almost entirely a creation of Loaded Orygun - and they deserve huge props for doing a bunch of tough investigative journalism. Here and here, for starters.

So, give 'em some credit, eh? It's probably too much to ask for y'all to put links in your newsprint (or god forbid, in your web edition) but at least give your readers a hint. Say the name.

After all, we do the same whenever we talk about one of your stories.

Share the love.

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    Half citing your source like the O did there, had the effect of marginalizing all bloggers, even though the writer was actually citing Loaded Orygun--who did, in fact, offer real reporting. It's the journalistic equivalent of saying "the Democrat Party." The O wouldn't dream of not citing another news source, and this half measure seems like a way of driving home their disdain. It's petty and unprofessional.

  • Richard (unverified)

    Ok, but there has been liberals blogging over at NWRepublican discussing the same thing. So perhaps the journalist was meaning "liberal bloggers" as liberals posting on blogs and not the blog hosts themselves. If not, then you are still being hyper-sensitive, petty and just a little self obsorbed. Perhaps you should try avoid your self annointing as so special ans stop wearing that special on your sleeve.

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    Richard, you may be right, the Oregonian may have confused "liberal bloggers" with "commenters on right-wing blogs".

    That's actually one of the first and biggest mistakes deadtree journalists make about the blogosphere -- confusing bloggers with their commenters.

    At BlueOregon, I'm one of the bloggers. You're one of the commenters. People who only comment on blogs are not bloggers. To be a blogger is to have a blog.

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    The O wouldn't dream of not citing another news source...

    Actually, they do it sometimes to the WW, Tribune, and Mercury, too. Not always, but often enough.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    "Loaded Orygun - and they deserve huge props for doing a bunch of tough investigative journalism."

    Yeah, they're a regular Woodward and Bernstein over there. Sad when many folks can no longer discern objective fact-based journalism from agenda driven propaganda, or even worse, when they no longer care.

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    Sad when many folks can no longer discern objective fact-based journalism from agenda driven propaganda,

    I think the point is to distinguish between offering opinion and doing investigative journalism. You may find it biased journalism, but the activity of digging around and putting new information into the world is different than offering opinion. The O, which should know better, seems not to make that distinction, either, when it's a blogger in question.

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    Joe12 -- Yeah, it's certainly true that Loaded (and Blue) are "agenda-driven". I like to say "activist", but whatever. So what?

    It doesn't change the FACT that the families of Senator Larry George, Senator Bruce Starr, and House Minority Leader Wayne Scott all have pending Measure 37 claims.

    In any case, this isn't the place to debate that stuff. Take it over to Loaded. It's their story, and they deserve the comment traffic.

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    Thanks for the mention, BlueO guys. If it's no skin off Kari's nose, y'all can feel free to chat about it here, too.

    To be clear, then:

    Roger Beyer, as general manager of Beyer Tree Farms, has a Measure 37 claim. He is a member of the Joint Land Use Committee that will handle most M37 issues this session. His (brother? cousin?) Roy also has a personal claim; he is the authorized representative of Beyer Farms.

    Larry George and Patti Smith have immediate family claims on M37, and are ALSO members of the JLUC. Ordinarily family members aren't necessarily relevant to the behavior of a legislator, but in the case of M37, where immediate family are eligible to make claims on property purchased by immediate family, I think it is relevant.

    Wayne Scott and his wife made two claims we know of, one has been denied and one is pending but looks cleared for approval.

    Bruce Starr's parents (dad Charles was a longtime Senator who lost the GOP primary to Larry George in 2006) have a claim in Hillsboro.

    Gary George is Larry's father; he and his wife have a claim.

    Those are the ones we have confirmed. Jackie Winters may have a family claim as well; if you know the names of her sons, email us at loadedorygun-at-gmail. Also email us if you know of any other personal or familial claims by legislators--House or Senate, Republican, Democrat or Independent.

    Carla and I feel it's fundamentally wrong to allow members with claims to vote on the measure, but current rules appear to preclude their abstention from the process--the OC says all members must always vote if they are present. Onward Oregon stands with us, as did multiple testifiers at the first cmte hearings Tuesday evening.

  • lisaloving (unverified)

    The O actually does a fine job much of the time --- which is why it's frustrating when the loose ends jump out at you. What burns my toast lately is that our whole region -- jeez, the whole country in fact -- is inflamed by anti-war demonstrations, but not one single one of our Big Three newspapers (O, Trib, Willy) has the slightest idea how to cover a political demonstration. So they avoid it completely unless someone pepper-sprays a baby -- at which point the whole issue morphs into police accountability, and the reporters DO know how to cover THAT.

    But as far as garden-variety demonstrations: One clue here, reporter friends --- It's not really about the number of bodies in the street. There is ALWAYS a bigger picture -- go find it. Okay?

    I went to journalism skool, and one of the first things we learned is that we are the FOURTH ESTATE, meaning that we are, like, almost part of government itself -- and somehow BETTER THAN THE GREAT UNWASHED. That 'tude is a problem (just like the "tude about "agenda driven propaganda" from Mister 12 Pack -- a cheap'n'easy shot, Packer, looks like you've been around the block a whole buncha times without ever getting the point of what a blog can really do).

    And that's where the blogger non-references are coming from and the crappy demo coverage -- journalists are trained to "remain uninvolved." As an old news editor said to me once: Never glom on to a cause. But a blog is like a cause too -- it's like real people looked around and saw the holes in the information age and stepped up to fill in the blanks.

    An excellent book came out on this stuff a few years ago -- "Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press." Most of the contributors worked for network television news. A must-read.

    <h2>But, again, to be fair --- The O has many times credited bloggers for stuff, they are blogger WANNABEs. And as bloggers take on more and more of the role of journalists, y'all are gonna find that JOURNALISTS DO THIS SAME THING TO EACH OTHER, i.e. not crediting the other reporter who first broke whatever. Maybe it's a sign that your blogger community of passionate journalists is actually coming of age -- the daily newspaper stole your scoop! DIG IT!!!</h2>

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