PRWEEK: Put into your own words what you’re attempting to do [with the media transparency channel].
BERLIND: Established media is coming under attack as a result of some serious and unfortunate gaffes in credibility. The timing of that coincided with the uprising of an alternative source of information: the blogosphere. Leading up to the WebCred conference at Harvard [where established media and bloggers met], there was a lot of clamor about journalists needing to be more transparent. I took that to heart, and said, "Well, my credibility has not yet been called into question, but it’s probably only a matter of time that it is." A lot of people were talking about transparency, but not many were practicing it. The only way we were going to move the needle on transparency is if someone starts doing it. The best definition I could come up with for transparency was to un-obscure that which is obscured. Generally speaking, the press obscures the raw material behind the work they do. You can only trust that the editor and writer didn’t misquote or edit the interview to change the context. Every media channel has a channel where they broadcast content. Channel 42 on my cable network is CNN. Why can’t I change the channel to 41 to see all the raw material? Just to keep them honest. Maybe practicing transparency means establishing your channel where all the polished content is, and, then, establishing a parallel one where people can get at the raw material.