Did the media get these stories right? This panel discussion is asking whether or not bloggers should be held to the same journalistic standards as journalists.
3:14PM Panelists introduce themselves. Tom Joyner, Eric Deggans, Father Pfleger, Michel Martin, Jimi Izrael.
Martin: The game hasn’t changed. The gatekeeping model hasn’t changed. Radio is 24 hours and the way information is filtered is the same. She gives the example of Shaquanda Cotton. She argues that the vehicle for organizing has changed.
Izrael: The problem with the blogospere is that the message get muddy. The story gets repeated, and the important facts get distorted.
Joyner: Everyone got it wrong. It’s the power of black radio. Black radio is the source where people turn to for information about the community. In the civil rights era Dr. King got thousands of people to march from Selma to Montgommery. He did it with the radio. Radio got all the people to Jena Louisiana. When people want to know what is going on in the black community, “We got your black.”
Moderator: The blogoshere has given rise to new voices.
Joyner: Before Jena 6 was discussed in blogs, it started in black radio. The power of black radio is still there. Black radio is taken for granted.
Deggans: The blogosphere helps get the mainstream attention that mainstream radio often does not.
Phleger: I’ve certainly learned the power of youtube, and white people who watch youtube. In major media networks there is an agenda, and we have to acknowledge there’s an agenda. People are making judgements about that. There needs to be accountablitiy.
Moderator: Question how do you consider the source when YouTube videos are used?
Deggans: The great thing about YouTube, it’s wide open. When ABC aired Rev. Wright’s comments you could go to YouTube and see the entire videos in context, and I wrote about that on my blog.
Deggans: There were people who said you need to see the entire context of the video. The problem is the huge megaphones of mainstream media were not as quick to get the point.
3:33PM Martin: The blogosphere and mainstream media do different jobs. The blogosphere is an organizing tool.
Izrael: The blogosphere is a toilet of rants. These people come with these agendas, and they fortify their opinions, then they ride.
Moderator: All there filters?
Deggans: Your track record is your filter. If you like the Huffington Post or my blog or Jimi’s you know where we stand. There are no gatekeepers.
Joyner: There are more out there than just me. I blazed the path, I opened the door. Like Baisden, he played the whole thing. I do 8 million, mostly African American. Question to Deggans: How many people hit your blog. Deggans: Not that many. Joyner: Our people come to us when they want to know what’s going on.
Pfleger: People turn to you because they want to know about the information that comes to you. I’m amazed that Sean Hannity who I don’t think has any journalism background shapes journalism. How the hell does Bill O’Reily or Sean Hannity shape news?
Joyner: I’m not concerned about the news business and mainstream media. Everyone who’s gotten in trouble for stickin up for Obama has gotten in trouble. Jessie, Wright, You, Bernie Mack… I expect mainstream media to do what they do. They are in the business to serve mainstream America.
Deggans: It’s my job to be that bridge and explain things to people who don’t understand what’s going on in Black America. I love what you do (Joyner).
Martin: Father Pfleger and I spoke about this. We want our voices heard, and that is the challenge. How do we be that bridge that gets the Some bloggers are fine journalists, but not all are.
Izrael: I couldn’t get past the fact that you have Jesse and Al on and they don’t always get it right. You’re trying to dictate what people think. I’ve heard some radio talk show hosts saying you need to do this that and the third.
Martin: I think people knew the story.
Izrael: I want people to think for themselves. We have to encourage people to think for ourselves. When Jesse says jump people say, “How high” and that’s a problem.
Deggans: The problem is that the mainstream media only listens when Al or Jackson speak up. As much as we like having those guys around, it would be nice to have another voice.
4:14PM Q&A Session