let's get the seven lines. (bookshop) wrote,

Updates From the World of Journalism + a Clarification

Hi, LJ / DW!

I am so very remiss in letting you guys know where I've been and what I've been writing, but I do have a couple of quick updates for you:

  • AfterElton has asked me to be one of their 5 new "slash experts" for their brand-new column on slash fandom, The Shipping News! I'm so excited, omg! And I have to thank the Daily Dot for letting me be a part of this. Our first column is up right this way, and if you're in the mood for a discussion about RPF, there's a heated one going on in comments, so grab popcorn and dive in! :D

  • This is not a journalism update but omg Fandomspotting!! We've done 3 eps so far and it's so much fun! Last week we spotlighted YULETIDE and it was awesome. This week we're hosting our first fandom-specific ep, and it's all about DOCTOR WHO! So join us for this weekend's livecast if you can, or check out the podcast if you can't! :)

  • I keep being asked to provide links to my fandom coverage at the Dot, and I've been failing, but so far you can read everything I've posted either at my Daily Dot byline or over at my Tumblr tag!

  • I've received a lot of feedback saying that I misrepresented podfic fandom in my recent article on podfic for the Daily Dot. Ordinarily I prefer to let my journalism speak for itself, or make a correction when I make a mistake--but in this case things aren't that simple. I don't want anyone's trust in me as a journalist to suffer because of this, so if I may, I want to say a few things--primarily that I did not take my interpretation of what happened from FFA. I am a professional journalist with 11 years of experience. I do not take the word of an anon meme as a source.


    The sources I used for this article came from three interviews (cited in the article) and the Fanlore talk page and revision history. The point of contention is over one sentence in which I described changes made to the Fanlore entry for the fic "This Never Happened." Paraka's original version of the entry links the fanfic as "based on" in the right sidebar, without identifying it as a fic. There is no description of the story itself in the main entry text, and the summary/review are both in reference to the podfic, not the fic.

    AgentStarbucks' changes to the page rephrased the opening sentence from "This Never Happened is a Frank Iero/Gerard Way podfic by klb (3:05:31)" to "This Never Happened is a Frank Iero/Gerard Way fanfic originally written by bexless, of which klb made a podfic (3:05:31)." Paraka described this change on the Wiki Talk entry as "This is an entry about a *podfic* and the slight changes made, make this into an entry about a *fic*....they're still *separate* fanworks that should have separate entries on fanlore."

    As a journalist attempting to sum all of this up, I had to combine both of these ideas--editing the entries to talk about fanfic and the issue of separate entries--into one sentence. Thus my one-sentence summary became:
      "Paraka took issue when another fan on Fanlore attempted to edit an entry she had made on a podfic to include (emphasis mine) the fanfiction that it was based on, combining both the podfic and the original story under the same URL."
    Since there was no inclusion of the fanfiction in the general text of the entry beforehand, by using the word "include" instead of "emphasize," I don't feel that I am misrepresenting podfic fandom. "Emphasize" is speculation as to why AgentStarbucks made the change, and therefore subjective. Paraka has already explained how she felt about the change in the comments to the article.

    I went on in my article to describe how Paraka's original request got taken out of context by the meme and others to be about whether podfic deserved its own entry. I also explicitly clarified that whether podfics should have their own entries was never up for debate among the Fanlore wiki committee. So I don't feel that I misrepresented the original argument.

    Because of the unhappiness within podfic fandom, however, I did discuss this with my editor. After explaining to him the way the podfic was linked versus the way the changes were made, my editor felt that while both "include" and "emphasize" are technically accurate, include seems to be more precise and objective in this instance, and that no correction to the article itself is needed.

    I very humbly ask that anyone who feels I have misrepresented podfic fandom please read the rest of the article. As a journalist first and as a longtime podficcer myself second, I have no possible vested interest in wanting to hurt or anger anyone in this debate. And I believe I have represented the issue and your feelings fairly.

    You guys are always welcome to call me out on anything you're unhappy with, at any time. The comments to my articles are always open, and we recently updated our commenting system so now (thank god) you don't have to log in through Facebook!
  • Tags: adventures in journalism
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