An exercise in Journalism 2.0

As anyone who has read my little “about me” description knows, I work for The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper based in Toronto, where I write about technology and business, primarily for globeandmail.com. We had a story come up a couple of weeks ago that has turned into an interesting exercise in what I will call (for lack of a better term) Journalism 2.0. It all started when Peter Nowak, who used to work for the Globe and is now the technology editor at the New Zealand Herald, wrote a story for us based on an interview he did with Steve Wozniak, one of the co-founders of Apple Computer.

“The other Steve,” as he is sometimes called, said some interesting things about the company. In particular, he said some things about the iPod, and about the switch to Intel processors. So far, so good. After the story was published, however, Mr. Wozniak posted some comments on a Macintosh discussion list in which he denied saying those things, and accused Peter of manipulating the interview and taking his remarks out of context (did he get a call from the other Steve? Who knows). Peter was naturally upset.

Since Pete had recorded the interview, he transcribed the questions and answers from the relevant sections of the interview and sent them to us at globeandmail.com, and he also digitized the interview and turned it into an Mp3 file. We attached his explanatory note (with a link to Mr. Wozniak’s comments) to the top of the original story, and also included links to both the Mp3 file and the transcript. Pete did the same at the New Zealand Herald. The idea was to allow readers to look at the interview and listen to it themselves, and then come to their own conclusions about who was right.

And they did exactly that. Someone posted Pete’s piece at the Herald on Digg.com, and in less than an hour it had more than 700 diggs and about 100 comments – many of which were supportive of Pete. Not all of them, of course. But even the debate itself makes for interesting reading.

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