Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Community Post: Video Blogging and Citizen Journalism

Possibly for the first time in local sociopolitical blogging, videos have been embedded into the posting, debuted by the Indy Media Blog post about the News-Press employees demonstration held last Friday.

Notwithstanding the horizontal trumpeteer and the hiccups, Drew Mackie recorded video snips and added them to his blog posting. Currently, 28 videos about the News-Press tragedy are on the web. Which video appears first is somewhat related to the number of historic hits for that particular one.

The best and most consistent way to find all these is to search Google Video (not Web, but Video; look carefully at the top of the search box at Search on the obvious phrase: "Santa Barbara News-Press" (just "news-press" too often gets the newspaper in Florida with the same name).

Searching Google Video also picks up YouTube, which is now owned and operated by Google and gradually is absorbing all of YouTube. This link should work to reveal the current search results.

Currently with such a search, 28 total videos about the local News-Press so far are there, posted by Bob Guiliano ("BobbyLuigi"), David Pritchett ("David Pritchett"), and Drew Mackie ("kidicarus222"). These videos on the right of the screen usually also include a text description with links to other coverage.

Are such "Citizen Journalists" (or even nonresident alien journalists) and their words and videos going to add even more impetus for the accelerated demise of the News-Press and/or other print newspapers?


Anonymous Valerio said...

Of course, we should not forget all the YouTube videos started a few weeks ago by Edhat. He had several per day during the film festival.

His first one was a clicker counter counting all the bell chimes at the Mission. One out of Four Stars for that dramatic effort.

2/10/2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Blogs are still young, but they will help bring about the death of the newspaper as we know it. RIP!

2/10/2007 5:58 PM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

Unfortunately, I think they will be the death of newspapers --- "unfortunately" because I love newspapers, well, those that have investigatory reporters and a library for the staff to fact check.

That's the problem with blogs: they are all opinions, including the choice of videos, etc. etc.

Btw, how are those videos done: are they video'ed from the TV and then transferred to QT and then youTube? Or are they downloaded directly from KEYT, for instance? And then uploaded to youTube?

Blogabarbara seems to me an exception in the ego trips that are most blogs, in that it is open to so many different points of view. THANKS, SARA! (That's intentionally shouting!)

2/10/2007 8:23 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I hope you saw Valerio that I mentioned EdHat's work in the post below -- they had some good stuff!

Thanks City Watcher -- we have plenty of ego trips here but at least they are all out on the table....even mine :0

2/11/2007 12:20 AM  
Anonymous billy said...

The decentralization of media is inevitable. It seems to be accelerated here in S.B. as those of us who are fed up with the NP turn to alternative sources who are telling the stories they aren't.

In the process we are finding the interactive compenent of blogging intriguing and realize that we are able to share opinions with others about the news and interact with it rather than simply read it.

I predict the rise of uberbloggers who will become the dominant voices of "niche" media. Too many other bloggers can't write for beans.

2/11/2007 12:44 AM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

Sara: "we have plenty of ego trips here "

True, Sara --- but what I meant is that I appreciate that it isn't all about you, but about all of us, that it is the range of opinions that is interesting, although it would be more interesting if there were some depth, some explanation rather than a nyah, nyah, nyah.

Edhat is a good example. It's an excellent source of info --- but what makes it so good are the links to "real" journalism, that is, to the various area newspapers and TV reports. The "Citizen News" for the most part are bits of fluff - and that's fine! but not journalism, not (responding to your posted question) to take the place of the N-P, as it was, at least.

To do that kind of digging, that Josh Molina, for instance, did, one has to be paid - or be the rare independently wealthy (of which there are certainly many in this area, but do they care enough for the public good? I'd doubt it.)

So, yes, I think the potential is there for the citizen journalist blogs to take the place --- but they are not there yet, nor do I think that the other part of the equation, the readers, are there yet. You, however, would know more about the readership, in terms of how many independent views/day you get.

2/11/2007 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most local newspapers are boring and a blog that is primarily about the dysfunction of a local newspaper is even more so.

2/11/2007 3:31 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

A reminder that this was a community post written by someone else...I wouldn't pretend to do as good of a job as a Josh Molina or a Tom Schultz. Paid reporters will always do better because people like me have to work outside the blogosphere -- and I don't see advertising working here at all.

I don't see blogs taking the place of newspapers at all BUT if a daily newspaper followed The Independent model of blog and news, they could be the uberblog as is the promise and possibility for The Indy. It's one of the things the NP could have done with their web site even a year ago if they weren't such a closed system.

2/11/2007 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as the future of media and newspapers, check out what Doc Searls put together at UCSB:

"When a newspaper goes loco"

2/11/2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, you're correct, the NP could have done lots of things with its website during the past year. It hasn't, others have, and for the NP the electronic media train has left the station.

2/11/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very curious here. Have any "citizen journalists" discovered any background material on Ms. McCaw? What is her history before her marriage?

2/11/2007 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google reveals very little about the past history of Wendy McCaw (nee Petrak). The only nugget I was able to find was from someone claiming to be her former roomate at Stanford in England during the 1970s. This person said that even then, it was obvious The Wendy was after Craig McCaw's money, and she made him fly her to Spain and other destinations in Europe to buy her expensive things. This person also said that The Wendy was an extremely inconsiderate roomate, clicking-in on high heels at late hours and waking up her housemates by noisily wrapping and unwrapping things while they slept.

The Seattle papers have written quite a bit about her methods during her divorce from Craig McCaw. One highlight is how she hired a room full of lawyers to comb through thousands of documents to justify her claim to half of McCaw's assets. There was a quote from her that she had "earned every penny." She also tried to subpoena some of Craig McCaw's prominent friends, such as Bill Gates.

The rest is history.

2/12/2007 6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Indy model is a good start but we need a quality daily newspaper in this town. Maybe the Daily Sound will develop into that, with a Web site to match that is open to all (that is, to Macs as well as PCs).

Or maybe, stranger things have happened - who could have imagined last year at this time the NP "mess" - Ampersand Corp will see that it is to its benefit to produce a quality paper with quality staff, including some of those who've left.

As some of those who quit/were fired are apparently willing to return, so, I think, the community would be willing to forgive, if not forget.

The present situation benefits no one, the buidling up of walls are anger - and is incomprehensible. It's hard to believe that Ms McCaw enjoys the hostile looks or thoughts she gets whenever she ventures into public — at the Farmers' Market and Lazy Acres, with the "Baron" trailing behind, she looks as though she wishes she were invisible. 3 or 4 years ago, she went to the film festival with her friend JdV; didn't see her this year; wonder if she has any local friends willing to stand out with her while the
"mess" is on-going.

Actually, it would be great if we had two quality daily papers. Certainly, there's enough news to go around and competition is always great for newspapers --- and advertisers, too.

2/12/2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

One of the problems in journalism is that rich people can purchase a publication and call themselves publishers without any expertise or ability whatsoever. Journalism is a profession, not a hobby. Ms. McCaw is an extreme example of this phenomenon, but I've worked for some other very rich, very unqualified "publishers" who had no idea of what they were doing, but their money gave them power to pretend. Having enough money to buy a newspaper of magazine does not qualify an individual to become a publisher. Similarly, having access to a computer and an ability to type does not make a citizen a journalist. The highly opinionated posts are great to read, and they serve as a community forum of a range of ideas, but cannot be considered journalism, at least in the traditional sense, unless the profession has suddenly become redefined and standards obsolete. Attributes including training, experience, point-of-view, insight and institutional knowledge all matter--and in the sad implosion of the NP we're beginning to realize how much.

2/12/2007 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order for Wendy to be forgiven and accepted, I believe she would have to drop her vengeance lawsuits. What kind of a person pursues a $25,000,000 lawsuit against a former much loved employee fighting cancer? That is just disgusting.

2/12/2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Citizen Journalism. I heard that someone from the Carpinteria City Council is trying to get the 101 widened. What can we do to stop that from happening?

2/12/2007 6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly agree about bloggers not being journalists or not necessarily being journalists.

But it's not like traversing an eye of a needle: a rich person who wants to do so can be a very capable publisher. I had a friend who decided what he wanted to do was own a newspaper --- he bought a small weekly in a New England town - and then after a couple of years another and after that, etc. He worked his butt off making the papers excellent ... and then after more than 20 years, wearying of the hard work, sold them at a substantial profit --- to a newspaper chain which basically saw them as advertising vehicles and let them languish as interesting newspapers with points of view. His former staffers still honor him and hold parties, publisher and journalists and shop operators together.

So, a rich person without expertise can acquire same - if he/she wants to. And of course journalism is a profession, not a hobby - but it is open to all who want to participate. There must have been at some point that Wendy McCaw genuinely wanted to have a quality newspaper. Certainly seemed so initially. I wonder what happened.

2/12/2007 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I just found this link over on EdHat - an editorial today from the Monterey Herald:

Would love to see a few more of these.

2/12/2007 9:27 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:46 et al -- I'm feeling uncomfortable about where that part of the thread of this discussion is going. Please do your opposition research about McCaw on your own time or write up an investigative post with sources for me to consider for publication. I just denied a comment related to it which wasn't out of line necessarily but I'd just rather not go there.

I care more about what is happening now than what happened years ago. Most of us wouldn't want people looking at what we did or said in college -- would we? Please let it be -- the present is proof enough for people to make up their own minds about The Mess.

2/12/2007 10:56 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

I think Emily made some good points. But re: "One of the problems in journalism is that rich people can purchase a publication and call themselves publishers without any expertise or ability whatsoever." The flip side of that is: One of the great things about this country is that anybody--not just rich folk--can start up a publication with or without any expertise or ability. Look at what the Daily Sound's Jeramy Gordon has been able to accomplish at the tender age of 23. He had some newspaper experience but at that age how much experience can you have? (OK, more than McCaw & Nipper, but still...) Now if he can just get to where he's able to hire an experienced editor so he can focus on being publisher, I'd be willing to bet his paper will become a real alternative to the moribund N-P. I hope to see that happen soon.

2/12/2007 10:58 PM  

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