22 May 2007

"Is There a Shared Watchdog Role for the Public, the Blogs & Ombudsmen?"

That is the catchy title of an Organization of News Obmbudsmen (ONO) topic panel scheduled for the afternoon of 22 May at Harvard with Geneva Overholser of the Missouri School of Journalism; Jose Carlos Abrantes, of Diario de Noticias; and Jeff Jarvis, blogger, of Buzzflash.

Jarvis posted his notes for the panel a couple of days ago. No summary yet at the ONO site.

Hopefully a report from Jarvis and at the ONO site are forthcoming.


“Is There a Shared Watchdog Role for the Public, the Blogs & Ombudsmen?”

The consensus short answer, in the 8th session of the Organization of News Ombudsmen's 2007 Conference, was “a flat-out yes,” in the words of session moderatore Geneva Overholser of the Missouri School of Journalism and former ombudsmen of The Washington Post....

Jarvis spoke of “the ethic of the link,” saying: “If you quote me, why not link to everything else I've said? Not everybody is going to read it. But if I say I was quoted out of context, well the context is there.” ...

“There's a glorious future if we can all be partners,” Overholser concluded. “It seems to me now more than ever that the ombudsman's role is a most important role. Somebody who knows the craft, is open, and has the quality of being able to say things that are important, substantial things. That's the role the ombudsman can perform, always informed by readers.”
Please do read the whole thing.


Simon Bucks (via Jarvis):
I once argued that you wouldn’t trust a citizen journalist any more than a citizen heart surgeon. It was a paternalistic and sermonising approach that most of us shared, but it won’t do any more.
... and ...

Siobhain Butterworth (also via Jarvis):
Journalists pursuing truth incrementally rather than delivering it pre-packaged was something of a leitmotif. Jeff Jarvis told us "the architecture of news is changing and it would be better to see stories as a process and not a product. It's not finished, we can add to it."

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