Remember the NYU professor who banned blogging about class, after one of her students wrote a piece for PBS's MediaShift blog criticizing the class and the journalism program? Now PBS's ombudsman (they have one?!) has chimed in negatively about the piece: "I have serious problems with the episode that unfolded recently in which a journalism student at New York University, Alana Taylor, authored a Sept. 5 posting as an 'embedded' blogger on MediaShift, writing critically about her class content and professor at NYU without informing either the teacher or her classmates about what she was doing." Um, he wrote over 2,000 more hand-wringing words on the subject.
"But the issue here for me is that Taylor was not just an undergrad posting her observations on her own blog about her journalism class, called "Reporting Gen Y." Rather she was hired — although not for money, according to Glaser — by Glaser as an "embed" to write for MediaShift. So Taylor's post did not simply join millions of other postings in the blogosphere by individuals that may or may not have many readers... Glaser.. assigned this NYU junior 'to go undercover in one of her classes to blog about her impressions for PBS.' That is more straightforward language in this case than "embedded," but it sounds right to me.""Embedded." Delusions of grandeur, PBS—it's a freaking undergrad class, not a war zone. "First-person essay" or "opinion piece" would be more accurate, much less pretentious, and probably less subject to the various rules and strictures you cite. The idea of "going undercover" in one's own class is absurd. The old-media types are just confused because this was published on the web instead of on paper. PWNED! [via Romenesko]