Bloggers and journalists working together

In today's podcast I am the interviewee, and New Hampshire Public Radio's executive editor Jon Greenberg is the interviewer. He'd seen my screencast about the recent flooding in Keene, and wanted to find out more about how and why I made it.

The 20-minute interview that I've uploaded as today's podcast turned into this three-minute piece that aired today on NHPR. Jon Greenberg was a bit surprised when I asked him for permission to record and publish the entire interview, but only a bit -- he's met me before. We appeared together at a seminar on local newsgathering, on a panel which included TV, radio, and newspaper folks along with me, the token blogger. The audience was a group of community leaders.

At the seminar I was delighted that Greenberg spoke first about blogging, because he was a known quantity to that audience and I wasn't. When several folks in the audience pushed back, arguing that unofficial sources like blogs could not be trusted, Greenberg said two remarkable things. (I'm paraphrasing from memory.) First: "I hope you don't trust us [conventional media] to get you the complete story either." He cited the Enron scandal as an example of how Old Media had missed the boat. Second: "I would hope that when you have important perspectives on issues that affect your families and your communities, you'll feel both empowered, and even obliged, to publish your views so that everyone can read them, and so that we in the media can tell more complete stories." Of course I then jumped in to amplify the point: bloggers and journalists need not be competitors. Ideally they are collaborators.

The interplay between my podcast and NHPR's edited piece is a great example of that collaboration. Greenberg's story about my ongoing experiments with map-enhanced online services will bring that message to an audience I never would have reached. What most of that audience needs to understand is the idea, not the details. Those who do want more detail can find it on my blog, which he refers to in his audio piece and links to from its companion web page.

Conversely, folks in my audience who might have only caught the podcast can now find the edited version at NHPR. Some will enjoy hearing Greenberg's broader perspective on the topic. Others will enjoy comparing the raw interview with the professionally-produced radio spot.

I should mention, by the way, that although I recorded the interview for my podcast, the setup was such that the best version was the one that Greenberg captured. So he sent me the MP3 file that I'm using here. Very classy and, as I said, a wonderful illustration of how bloggers and journalists can and should work together.

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