Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rethinking the role of news ombudsman: "aggregate, curate, debate" (which would mean linking to sites like AYR)

Journalist and author Dan Gillmor, in What a 21st Century News Ombudsman Should Do: Aggregate, Curate, Debate, responds to the Times's "Truth Vigilante" dust-up and a Washington Post column by commenting:
These pieces highlighted how strange the ombudsman’s job has become, and why I think it needs to be updated in this networked age. Here’s how I’d change it, and I hope both of these men will consider at least adding some of these ideas to their portfolio. There would be two main approaches: aggregation and conversation.

The best media criticism of every news organization is being done outside its walls. I would stop writing my own critiques, and then:
  • Make it a core part of my role to aggregate every responsible critique of the organization’s work that I could find;
  • Call bullshit when the critics are wrong; and thank them when they are right;
  • Encourage the best critics cross-post on my page.
  • Strongly encourage newsroom staff to participate in these debates. UPDATE: Brisbane got a reply from the Times’ editor, Jill Abramson, and replied to that; good to see…
  • Ask readers to flag mistakes of fact and analysis, and put the corrections (easier with facts) into a database with or without the cooperation of the newsroom
  • Create a robust, open forum about the organization’s work.
Sure, I think that's a wise idea. After all, it could mean that someone inside the building takes seriously critiques like the one I posted of the Times's bizarro decision to fold in coverage of the lawsuit against BUILD into an article about a promotion for the Nets.

No comments:

Post a Comment