Friday, January 19, 2007

Swan Song

Just a few weeks ago Time Magazine reporters like Massimo Calabresi were implicitly criticizing bloggers in copies on newsstands for their lack of journalistic integrity. In "The Wizard of Odd," Calabresi characterized convicted bomber and admitted former drug dealer Brett Kimberlin as the chief representative of opponents of electronic voting machines and included his grandiose e-mail correspondence in his reporting. The article discusses the "blogosphere" several times in condescending terms: as a site for "mixing fact and fiction," a dumping ground for an "indiscriminate gush anti-e-voting material," a stage for "grandiosity" and "lack of credibility," and an "anonymous universe."

It's obviously an issue that I'm invested in in my own coverage of the intersections of technology and politics that included an investigative jaunt behind the scenes as a poll worker. I'm sure that I've gotten as many conspiratorial e-mails about e-voting as the reporter has, but it's odd that he chooses to spend so much time on a colorful character before acknowledging the academic researchers involved in publicizing vulnerabilities in voting technology. Ironically, today the magazine announced that it would be cutting hundreds of jobs to allocate more resources to Internet publishing ventures.

The North Carolina Science Blogging Conference is also getting underway, which encourages blogging in the service of publicizing results, debunking pseudo-science, and engaging the digital generation in scientific careers.



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