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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Journalism and Psychology

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Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Bloggers vs. Journalists: It's a Psychological Thing

    by Lisa Williams and Jay Rosen

    I wrote my essay, Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over, in 2005. And it should be over. After all, lots of journalists happily blog, lots of bloggers journalize and everyone is trying to figure out what's sustainable online. But there's something else going on, and I think I've figured out a piece of it: these two Internet types, amateur bloggers and pro journalists, are actually each other's ideal "other."

    A big reason they keep struggling with each other lies at the level of psychology, not in the particulars of the disputes and flare-ups that we continue to see online. The relationship is essentially neurotic, on both sides. Bloggers can't let go of Big Daddy media— the towering figure of the MSM — and still be bloggers. Pro journalists, meanwhile, project fears about the Internet and loss of authority onto the figure of the pajama-wearing blogger. This is a construction of their own and a key part of a whole architecture of denial that has weakened in recent years, but far too slowly.

    The only way we can finally kill this meme--bloggers vs. journalists--and proceed into a brighter and pro-am future for interactive journalism is to go right at the psychological element in it: the denial, the projection, the neuroses, the narcissism, the grandiosity, the rage, the fears of annihilation: the monsters of the id in the newsroom, and the fantasy of toppling the MSM in the blogosphere. That is what my solo presentation will be about: a tale of the Internet, told through types.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol A-D, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

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