Sallah Sounds Off, Sort Of
Miami Herald Investigations Editor Michael Sallah gives an interview to PRWeek (thanks Romenesko). It's not exactly a stellar Q & A; in fact, it's short and pretty lame, especially when Sallah -- who is undoubtedly a great journalistic talent -- gives a nod to "savvy PR pros" (which I suppose was an obligation considering the publication). A good percentage of it, oddly, is about blogs:
PRWeek: What sort of impact do you think the Internet and blogging is going to have on the future of investigative reporting? Sallah: Hopefully it will be good. I think sometimes it gets muddied a little bit. What is really first-rate investigative journalism isn't always found in the bloggers and isn't always in people who are putting out their own web sites, because they don't take the time to carry out journalism in a professional manner. I mean, there is a real process of refining and experience that goes into our work. There are too many people, in the wrong hands, [who] pervert it and they bend it and they twist it so it really isn't investigative journalism. I think that what they end up doing is really feeding off the good work that is done by good journalists. And in some ways [that] helps. We get a lot of our stories out there by bloggers. They end up actually picking up our stuff and then linking to it. That is good for us. If it's good work and it holds up, you don't mind if the bloggers get a hold of it because they can actually help advance it out there on the Web for you.
PRWeek: Are there a lot of blogs that you read? Sallah: No, not really. I do get a lot of them sent to me. I should read them more often, but I just don't have enough time. Whatever research I do on the internet and time I spend is typically for my work. You are limited on the amount of time you can spend on this kind of this stuff. So I don't spend a lot of time. So much of it is just rantings, and it is things that are personalized. That is good for some people, but I think that if you are in the trenches as investigative journalist blogging is not a priority with you. It is really about getting to the heart of news and information. Many times it doesn't involve blogging. It's not to say that good stuff isn't out there, but I think it is still in its infancy. I think the jury is still out on what kind of impact this is going to have on American journalism.
Sallah is right that blogging is still in its infancy and that most of it isn't professional investigative journalism (including this one, though it's done by a professional investigative reporter). But couldn't he have at least admitted that he reads the Pulp every now and again? Cuz you know he does.
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