Berkman@10 – New Media Friday

May 16, 2008

I’ll be in Cambridge, MA today attending a conference at the Harvard Law School.

While there are some topics that are fascinating, I’m there also trying to ferret out a story for a column or article. Seth and Amar have been kind enough to make room for me as a freelancer at the last minute and I have to give them proper thanks.

It’s too often that organizations don’t understand the reach and influence and power of writers when they bar access to us. The most significant recent event I can recall that was undercovered because of this policy was IFFBoston.

The film festival is packed with outstanding content and vibrant, young talent from all over the world. I’ve attended once as a member of the audience and once as a member of the media. This year I asked again for media access and was denied.

I’m not supposing that even had I attended that the April event would have been featured more prominently in local and regional press, but it couldn’t have hurt.

Regardless, I kept my eyes open for stories featuring the show and saw nothing. And I’m a professional journalist who reads all the publications religiously.

Maybe it’s just another indicator of how the value of good writing and perceptive reporting is being discounted. Keep your fingers crossed that we bounce back.

Otherwise readers might never find out about anything unless they’re at the event.

Keep reading…I mean it.