Speaking of Harvard, when I was a fellow there, one of the members of our Berkman Thursday group was Rebecca MacKinnon, who was a fellow at Shorenstein Center, which was the rough equivalent of Berkman but for journalists. Previously she had been a CNN reporter from Beijing and Tokyo. Her fellowship was a turning point in her career. She went on to start Global Voices, a blogging network, among other pursuits.#
She got me together with Alex Jones, a former NYT reporter, who was then the director of Shorenstein. To say he was blog-skeptical would be an understatement. He typified all the arrogance and fear of blogging in journalism, with what I saw as false confidence, bravado, I guessed, to try to keep me, and what I represented to him, at arm's length. We probably met just twice, maybe even once. I remember a contentious somewhat friendly conversation at Henrietta's Table. #
I personally asked Jones to come to the second BloggerCon. He came. I watched him and joined in conversations with him at times. He appeared to be having the time of his life. And why shouldn't he? Here was a room full of sources, people who knew about something he was actually very interested in, and they didn't have to be coerced into talking about it. There was a ton of enthusiasm in the room. They were exploding with ideas, because of the huge potential of this space in 2004.#
But after the BloggerCon we went back to our corners, staring at each other, unsure of how to communicate. By now Jones has retired, his replacement is a former famous blogger, the guy who did the blogging at the Dean campaign in 2004, really breakthrough stuff, and yet nothing has changed. Shorenstein is still a bastion of professional journalism, and ideas from blogging don't penetrate. #
We should all be working together. I said it then, keep pounding the table, beating the drum. No reason to stop. #
Last update: Sunday January 12, 2020; 11:54 AM EST.
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