I get emails or calls once or twice a week from journalists and researchers asking for comments or asking me do I know anyone who is willing to comment on x or y or do I know experts on w and q who could help with their article/radio slot. I do my best to help.
Dave Winer recently gave out that journalists are using the same old tried and tested people when doing stories on politics or tech. He considers it an incestuous relationship. One of his solutions is to document who quotes who how often:
a simple project would be to build a network model for who gets quoted by which reporters at which publications
I think that’s a fair point and we get the same here. Remember the days of the Late Late when the same wrinkled faces were on nonstop talking about whatever was topical at the time? In defense of journalists and researchers, most are commissioned to write about certain subjects that they don’t know much about and unless you’re a full-timer in a paper with a specialist area it is quite hard to cover certain subjects within a 6 hour deadline. I feel sorrier for radio researchers who have to go and find panelists on subjects that the current news cycles deems important and making sure that the person won’t freeze up on-air.
Would having a group made shared list of names/bloggers work for both bloggers and journalists? It decreases the same old faces in articles and voices on radio and pays more attention to genuine experts who were not getting coverage up to now due to time restraints of journalists. Is it win win? Or is it just encouraging lazy journalism?
The list would be on a webpage and contain categories of expertise and the names of bloggers and links to their blogs. Being able to read their blog archives would be a way for the researcher to see that the blogger is not a grade 16 cat lady. (Each grade = no. of cats you own.) The table/list would also contain a list of publications or radio shows that the blogger has been quoted in or participated in. Naturally such a list is opt-in and it would not be sending journalists to bloggers who do not want to be contacted.
What are your thoughts on this?