My “top 10″ 2007 blogging moments: #2

My #2 moment has everything to do with the highs and lows of blogging…

Back on May 11th I wrote this post about a major anti-abortion rally where the rally organizers main banners had the Government of Canada trademark logo on them. My post was fairly apolitical – I considered it merely interesting that the banners were using the logo (which requires Treasury Board’s consent) and so wondering if the Government was either directly funding or endorsing the march (5 Conservative Ministers did participate in the rally).

Several anti-abortion sites started linking to my site and numerous comments were posted outlining the legality of the logo’s use (thank you Tina P.) As a result of the growing online debate the Canadian Press wrote a story about it which the Globe and Mail picked up on and published. This in turn caused Treasury Board  to launch an investigation into the use of the logo which has so far resulted in the Campaign Life Coalition having to put the banners in the closet.

So the cool part about this story is that a humble blog post can end up being picked up the blogosphere, and then by a newswire, which can then land the story in the national newspaper. Hardly a new event, but cool when you are the instigator.

But here is the frustrating part. The Canadian Press story and the Globe and Mail story (now hidden by the G&M’s silly firewall) both reference anonymous “bloggers” in their stories. The Globe and Mail ran this version:

A photo of the banner has been circulating on the Internet since last week, with bloggers using it to suggest that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Tories appeared to be funding anti-abortion groups when they’ve cut funding for women’s equality programs.

In this version bloggers are made to be part of the story, not its source. While some bloggers were part of the story it was a blogger who picked up the story. If what I’d written had been on the Vancouver Sun’s webpage then journalism etiquette would have dictated that the Globe reference the source. Somehow however, when a blogger is the source, this etiquette goes out the window. One can’t help but infer that this choice springs from traditional media’s contempt for new media in general and bloggers in particular.

So the cool part – the post generated some interesting press.

The uncool part – Canada’s traditional media still doesn’t understand the internet. While they accuse bloggers of being leechers of their content – they do the reverse as well, leeching ideas and discoveries of those who blog without referencing the source. At least (good) bloggers hyperlink to the articles and sources in their posts.

However, for both reasons it was a cool moment for me in blogging – a window into the problems and opportunities of new media in an old media world – which is why it makes number 2 on the list.

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