The 2nd day of the Blogging Indaba opened with a cracker session, We The Media, featuring some heavy hitters like Matt Buckland, publisher of the Mail & Guardian online; Tom Johnson, professor emeritus of journalism at San Francisco State University and co-founder of the Institute for Analytic Journalism; and Peter Verweij, senior lecturer at the School for Journalism at Utrecht the Netherlands. Matthew Buckland is a veteran in the online arena, previously acting as editor of the M&G online, the first online newspaper in South Africa, since 1994. He spoke very directly and straightforwardly about the M&G’s blogging service, blogmark. It’s a system locally developed and M&G is still trying to get the right mix of freedom, and regulation to prevent law suits.
Peter Verweij was also very entertaining in his talk because he didn’t use any Powerpoint and he faced the audience directly. He seems like one of the old school academic journalists and made some good points on how to bridge the gap between journalists and bloggers, who are contributing to news stories i.e. bloggers who are breaking news stories or normal, every day people who took the photos from the Tsunami. Tom Johnson’s presentation was the best of the morning because he advocated complete freedom and open approach to the Internet.
Download my 2nd podcast interview with Tom Johnson.