The Cyberbrains

Research and contemplation in new media

Learning to practice what I research

The unlikely bloggers – the guys like Ronny Abrovitz and Josh Marshall – have fascinated new hans mugme for a long time. I’ve often wondered what motivates someone like them to go out on a limb and what it’s like to become a minor celebrity for it.

At this year’s AEJMC convention, I might have found those answers. Bill Moyers’ keynote address inspired me enough to record some to share here, and I fear I might become an unlikely Internet celebrity after sleeping through a panel discussion that CSPAN was broadcasting.

I’ve long been a fan of Moyers’ documentary work, so I was excited to hear him speak, excited enough to stand through the entire hour-long talk in the back of the packed auditorium. I wanted to cheer when he took journalists to task for cowtowing to those in power. I nearly cried when he told the story of the long-time Orange County Register reporter who took a buyout when the Register’s parent company, Freedom Communications, announced cutbacks. I chose to work for Freedom initially because of their family ownership and commitment to quality. I left when family pressures forced the company to accept outside investments and quality began to suffer.

More than anything, I was moved when he related story after story after story that demonstrated that journalism still matters, whether in print or online. That’s the clip I’ve included here. It’s only 3 minutes long, and the editing is a little rough, but I plan to listen to it anytime I ever get discouraged.

I’m not alone in sharing AEJMC insights (see my colleagues posts on this page as well as these listings on YouTube), but I still felt a little bit like the people I research. No, this short clip probably won’t topple a CNN producer or vex an attorney general and an presidential administration, but at least it’s out there. I hope others gain the same inspiration from it I do.

If this clip isn’t my path to Internet celebrity, I always have another option. After presenting my own research at 8:15 in the morning, I attended a presentation on the future of news. I was hoping to gain insight from Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, and Scott Bosely, executive director of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, but, and I apologize for this, I couldn’t stay awake. In my most lucid moments, I saw the TV cameras in the room, but I thought they were just with the conference. I didn’t learn later that they were from CSPAN and the channel was planning to broadcast the proceeding later.

I’m not sure how silly I looked, but I’ve been scouring YouTube for clips of the chubby guy sleeping on CSPAN (those are my exact search terms). I haven’t found anything yet, but I just want to make sure I don’t end up like Mrs. Aminrazavi. If I do, I hope I handle it as well.

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August 14, 2007 - Posted by | Hans Meyer

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