My Dan Froomkin notes as promised.
Froomkin first threw out the idea of blogs as vehicle, correlating nicely with Keefer’s take on format agnosticism. Like all media vehicles, blogs have their benefits which he was quick to share:
- Addictive quality (especially with RSS)
- Interactive (bigger emotional connect)
- Their persistent nature lends towards a closer follow up of stories
He also talked about the divergence between the blogosphere and your editor-next-door: the former values passion, the latter espouses dry objectivity. Froomkin pushed that “passion is a good thing,” as long as it was not partisan directed and was instead passion for a topic coupled with meticulous accuracy. A warning for those who would take his advice, however: Froomkin noted that he was pushed out of news for his zealotry in taking to task the White House press conferences (which are still his bread and butter).
Online tools he recommended utilizing:
- Breaking news updates
- Narrative photo galleries
- Explanations, in the form of:
- Live discussions with reporters
- Deeper Background
- Feel the current of reader feedback.
- Try and do something that matters.
- Don't sweat the small stuff.
- Tell the real, underlying stories of college life.
- Tell stories of race and class.
- Write about relationships, their changing forms and roles.
- People profiles.
- Ask the big questions.
- Question the unquestioned:
- What do people earn? Does their earning match their work?
- Endowment:What's it at? Why don't we use more of it for immediate needs? Is it simply a comparison point for other schools?
- Question admissions policies
- Is there an athletic culture of privilege and power?
- Stories of privilege, guilt, and responsibility