ZDNet conducts experiment in media transparency

Summary:Serendipitiously, just when big media and grass roots journalists (akabloggers) are coming under fire for a variety of transgressions incredibility, has a multimedia publish-and subscribe technology known as podcasting come to therescue, enabling journalists to broadcast new "transparency channels"that prove their credibility?

Serendipitiously, just when big media and grass roots journalists (aka bloggers) are coming under fire for a variety of transgressions in credibility, has a multimedia publish-and subscribe technology known as podcasting come to the rescue, enabling journalists to broadcast new "transparency channels" that prove their credibility?

In ZDNet's proof-of-concept of such a transparency channel, executive editor David Berlind's experiment includes a column that relies on quotes from a recorded interview and then podcasts the uncensored and unedited recording using the RSS feed that's associated with my media transparency channel (also see ZDNet's Podcasts: What they are and how best to tune into them).

In the name of offering a view of the raw materials that journalists might otherwise obscure from public view (what could be considered a form of media transparency), not only was the raw recording podcasted, the column itself contains in-line time-codes in the text that allows readers to fast foward to exact location of the quotes in the audio file (download the MP3, which also contains an explanation of the experiment). This way, readers can check them to see if the interviewee (in this case, Scott Young, CEO of Userland) was misquoted, taken out of context, or if the interview was directed in a way that forced Young into saying something he might not otherwise volunteer (some journalists are accused of pursuing an agenda).

With transparency channels like these, readers might be able to better gauge the credibility of a journalist or media outfit. For a full explanation of the experiment, see Can technology close the credibiity gap? or check out ZDNet's Special Report: Media credibility: Where podcasting meets transparency. More importantly, let us know what you think using TalkBalk below.

Topics: Tech Industry

About

David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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