What I didn’t say at Bloggforum

Nils Öhman, Maja Aase, Jonathan Lundqvist and me. Missing in this pic is Oivvio Polite and the moderator Jonas Söderström

(I need categories for this blog. Here’s another post about the blogging world, and with categorisation that wouldn’t be a problem, you could simply skip the parts you’re not interested in. Well, now you know and now you’re free to skip it if you’re not interested in meta discussions.)

Today I participated in Bloggforum 2.0, in the panel discussion about traditional media vs. blogging. It was an interesting discussion at times, but some of the things I would have wanted to say there simply wasn’t time or space for. So I’ll get into that here instead.

The event was held at my old academic institution, JMK. It was good to be back. A lot looked the same, though some things had changed.
The old smoking room where I spent a couple of night sleeping on the couch after late night chat sessions and homepage making in the computer room has been turned into a seminar room.
My old locker had “666” written all over it.

Unfortunately one thing that seems to be the same is the Journalism program. I would have thought that in ten years it would have developed, and adapted to the new media situation. But no. There is still little or no information or workshops about interactive media.
In the panel debate I was a part of, blogs were sometimes made up to be a threat to traditional media. I don’t believe in that for one second. I see blogs as an opportunity for traditional media to get closer to it’s readers, and to get examined more carefully. It’s a chance to get better, as you cannot write faulty information and get away with it. Bloggers are keeping an eye on you, and with a growing blogosphere people will read what these bloggers have to say and it will influence their views about the traditional media. So the media has to be correct.
That is a good thing.

It seems to me that a lot of Swedish bloggers perceive traditional media, which is just starting out blogging itself, as a threat to their blogging. I wish they wouldn’t look at it that way. Even if Expressen’s or even Aftonbladet’s blogs are not the best blogs out there, what they are doing is bringing blogs to a wider audience. From there people who have never before visited a blog will find other blogs (especially from Helle’s since she’s quickly taken the step out into the blogging community, something I wish more media bloggers would do). Traditional media is doing all the other blogs a favour. Don’t worry if they state they are bigger. Of course they are. But you can be better, and there’s the chalenge.

Where am I getting. Ah, yes. Blogs as perceived threats to traditional media. I mentioned I don’t believe it to be true. But then I realise what tomorrow’s journalists will know of the web, of interactive media, and I realise that it will be a struggle to develop the future’s mass media if what we are getting from schools like JMK are yesterday’s journalists. Mark Comerford is the exception at JMK, and it was his doing that Bloggforum was held there. But he more or less seems like the institution’s alibi when it comes to new media, and that just isn’t enough. It used to be a merit to have studied there. Today I wonder if students from Södertörn’s media program don’t know more about media reality. It’s a real shame.


Web veteran, journalist, blogger since 1998, loves creativity and originality, photography and her family. [More]

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