The session just concluded on What is Journalism? has already made this worth the trip. A great discussion on what is happening to journalism, what the role of blogging is becoming, and the many effects that are occuring because of the meeting of the two.
A couple of relevant observations. If “objectivity was the devoicing of journalism,” it would follow that blogs are bringing back voice to the process. And what that means for educators, obviously, is that it’s going to be more important than ever to teach our students how to be participating consumers of news instead of just passive readers. I found it really interesting that many people talked about their experience with blogs as readers and how they used them as filters. But I wondered how many of them have conciously thought about the changes in how they consume information now as opposed to before their use of Weblogs. We who read Weblogs as a part of our news gathering process have all become editors in some form. And more and more, people will need to employ the editing function that is lost in the blogging process, which in some way makes all of us journalists of a kind. Not an earth shattering revelation, but huge in terms of how we teach our kids to be literate.
Kind of brings me back to the Phil Wolff post that I linked to a few days ago. He asked “Should we actively promote citizen journalism?” and suggested that we start a full blown track in CJ starting in eighth grade. It’s a question worth some serious consideration, especially when looking forward as Phil does. (For more on that, scan through some of the papers presented at the recent Conference on Innovation Journalism.)