Ethics and the New Journalism: Weblogs and Virginia Politics

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There was much fanfare and talk afterwards, but little results. Earlier I mentioned that, after picking up a my first copy of Virginia Quarterly Review (thanks to Waldo), I saw in the very back a Call for Papers for the University of Mary Washington’s Virginia Humanities Conference on Ethics.

I submitted a paper proposal entited “Ethics and the New Journalism: Weblogs and Virginia Politics,” and received word last week that the proposal has been accepted. The abstract is as follows:

Online journals have slowly crept into the public square in Virginia, offering commentary and insight into Virginia politics. This “new journalism” contributes to the political atmosphere with considerable range. Elected officials, candidates, activists, pseudonymous characters, and even anonymous tipsters all engage in the online community created by weblogs, and the quality of these online media outlets can range from high-quality breaking news to rank and dubious slander.

The purpose of this paper will be to explore the current range, quality, and dynamic of Virginia’s new journalism. Furthermore, this paper will contrast the older forms of journalism with the new, and will contrast the ethical standards set by older methods compared to the emerging methods being used and applied online.

I’ll be presenting my paper at Mary Washington on March 10-11, a paper which I hope will offer at least one in-depth analysis of Virginia’s blogosphere, and perhaps a road towards a solution.

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