More about blogs

Like Liz, I hope this blog is not seen as a competitor to the venerable NewsLib mailing list. A blog is a different kind of communication form: part diary, part annotated bibilography, part soapbox. An email list serves the needs of professionals who post questions and requests that require an immediate, informed response from other professionals. Blog entires don’t demand such a response. This blog is a good conduit for daily conference reports, and I think it’s a good place for links to news and opinion about the news industry (as well as news research). So with that segue…

Some Net observers are saying webloggers played a role in forcing Raines and Boyd to resign their posts at the New York Times. I don’t know if that’s really true. But the idea of blogs and other Internet feedback helping to shape news events is the thesis of a future book by San Jose Mercury News tech columnist Dan Gillmor. In the Internet Age, says Gillmor, anyone can be his own news reporter/editor and this home-grown news production actually has an impact on the way traditional media outlets cover the news. His book is tentatively called “Making the News: What Happens to Journalism and Society When Every Reader Can Be a Writer (Editor, Producer, Etc.).” What’s interesting is Gillmor has invited his readers to help him research the book by sending him ideas and comments about the topic. There’s a detailed book outline which is worth reading, if you’re interested in how the Net shapes journalism.

Pete Basofin, Sacramento

More thoughts about NewsliBlog and the IRE conference

Back in DC:

Pete makes the point I’m thinking we want to make with this blog. I’ve been asked why we would do this when we already have a great communications tool in the Newslib listserv. I question that myself but I think the reason is to post the sort of things that Pete has posted: interesting and useful comments about news we can use or links we might all be interested in. Also: this forum is a bit more public: since I’ve made this a ‘private’ blog so far it isn’t showing up on Blogger’s lists but once Google finds it or people start linking to it any one will be able to find it. So this is more of a forum for news researchers to put information out there that we’d like everyone who’s interested to know about.

And, news from IRE: The Washington committee put together a terrific program. At least one researcher, Margot Williams, was one of the organizers. Examples of what researchers have been able to share in last day or two: A session this morning on using the National Archives, including a tour. I didn’t go on the tour, but maybe someone can contribute some words about that. Also, last night, a very entertaining panel on covering the war and terrorism (and discussion of the NYT’s problems) from Bob Woodward, Seymour Hersh, Judy Woodruff, and CBS’s David Martin. This panel alone was worth the price of conference registration. Today at the lunch the speaker was Ben Bradlee, who spellbound the audience with great stories, including the story of his first investigative reporting job, where he climbed out on a ledge on the 11th floor of the Willard Hotel to take notes while police talked a potential jumper down.

There have been some great panels, including a couple with Bartlett and Steele, on finding and using documents in investigative reporting. Hearing great reporters talk about documents — whether old clips or regulatory agency reports — reminds us what our work is all about.

— Liz Donovan, in DC.

Thoughts about blogs

Mucho kudos to Liz for creating this web blog for the news research/library community. Blogs are a fascinating development on the Internet. One wonders who reads all the hundreds, if not thousands of blogs out there. Librarians have their own gallaxy of blogs. Among the many, there’s—a collection of short, often interesting news items on the profession submitted by many people.

My favorite blog is Romenesko (formerly Media News). It’s the Poynter Institute’s daily news compilation on print and broadcast journalism. Jim Romenesko offers not only links to articles, but also to unpublished letters and internal company memos. He’s not shy about covering the bickering and scandals that have shaken the industry (especially now). I often trawl Romenesko for items to post on the Sacramento Bee’s newsroom intranet. (We have a spot there for the latest newspaper news.) A lot of the news execs at the Bee read the Poynter blog religiously. You can often hear them chatting about it in the morning budget meeting. Definitely worth a look.

–Pete Basofin, Sacramento Bee

IRE Annual Conference 2003

An oversight:

From IRE: I failed to mention Alice Crites, of the Washington Post, who also did a panel yesterday at IRE, on investigating white collar crime.

Some interesting panels here: last night a Showcase Panel on privacy and homeland security was replaced by a panel discussing the disturbing news from the New York Times. On the panel: Geneva Overholzer, Daniel Schorr, Ford Fessenden, Mike Getler, Tom Kunkel, Hedrick Smith, and Mark Rochester. Quite a group.

News researchers met for lunch today and had some good discussions, including some new faces from outside the news research/SLA group.

Best quote from a panel so far: Pedro Armendares, of Periodistas de Investigacion, talking about online searching (he was acutally talking about digging for public records in he said, You must treat (a database) like a source: talk to it, spend time with it, away from deadline. Seduce it. You will get more from it.

I’ve just noticed that this new version of blogger doesn’t automatically put the signature of the writer, so I’ll have to remember to sign these.

–Liz Donovan, Miami Herald, from DC.

2003 SLA Annual Conference

Some important Special Libraries Association Annual Conference links to News Division happenings:

The direct link to the 2003 SLA Annual Conference page on the News Division Web site is: It lists News Division activities and some other info about the conference. When materials from the conference begin appearing on the Web site, this page will link to those materials. (If you’d rather see the page in frames, go to and follow the Conferences link, then select the link to the 2003 SLA Annual Conference materials.)


The Wednesday, June 11, session with Gary Price and Marydee Ojala “Blogs, Mags, etc.: How to keep up to date on the ‘Net” will be Webcast live beginning at 4 pm EST from The session should last until approximately 5:30 pm EST. (A very special thanks to Carolyn Edds and our friends at IRE for providing the technology for the Webcast!)

–From Jessica, the News Division Webmaster

IRE Annual Conference 2003

Good morning from IRE:

Internet access hasn’t been easy so far but the demo room is not busy right now, so here goes:

Yesterday, the CAR day, was great for researchers. Five panels had news researchers speaking! Starting in the morning with Toby Lyles (Raleigh) and Alice Hart Wertheim (Atlana)speaking on finding people using public records, databases, etc. Then I spoke on organizing Web links, along with Derek Willis of The Scoop, who talked about XML/RSS. Next Margot Williams (Wash. Post) and Gary Price (Resource Shelf) talked about the invisible Web and supersearching. Later, Anne Mintz (Forbes) talked about determining authenticity of Websites.

The researcher panels were well attended and handouts disappeared before they were done. Handouts from all panels should be available on the IRE Website within a few days. Mine is on my site (look in left hand column under ‘presentations’).

Researchers also gathered for a brief meeting and will have a brownbag lunch today. When I can get better net access I’ll post some photos…..

— Liz Donovan, from Washington, DC.

Welcome to NewsLiBlog!

Welcome to Newslib!

This blog will contain postings from some the SLA conference in New York, starting this weekend. News Division members, who also use the NewsLib listserv, will be posting their comments, news, and observations. There will probably be some postings from the IRE conference in DC, too, where news researchers will be attending the CAR day on June 5 and subsequent conference days.

This blog is open to Newslib members to post to. You can send an email with your comments to me at my hotmail address, or if you’d like to post directly to the blog, message me and I will “invite” you to login as a poster.