News Sources of the Year Awards for 2005

Each year I recognize the most newsworthy standards organizations and the news services that did the best job covering that news. This year, I'm also recognizing the best individual journalists, bloggers and community sites as well.

Earlier today I sent out the January issue of the Consortium Standards Bulletin to it’s 6,000 or so subscribers, and want to share a few things from it with those of you that haven’t yet signed up (even though it’s free, for Pete’s sake). You can see the index and the full issue here

Each issue of the CSB is themed, and this one is the annual Year in Review issue, describing and editorializing on what I thought were the major stories of the year just ended that were relevant to Open Standards and Open Source. The Review issue also includes one of the articles that I most enjoy writing each year � my annual recognition of the individuals and news services that I found to be the most knowledgeable over the past twelve months, to whom I give the Standards News Sources of the Year Awards. (Yes, I know, I need to come up with a better name � suggestions are most welcome.)

The full details and all of the awards are in the story, but I’d like to include in full here the text of the two Special Recognition Awards that I made this year. And here they are:

Best Columnist/Blogger (Commercial)

Online journalism has become increasing brief and stylized, with attendant loss of value. Not only are most on-line stories limited to one to two screens of text (using whatever space is left between the advertising), but prevailing rules of journalism dictate that a good deal of what space is available will be spent in a very predictable way: headline, subtitle, opening sentences, expansion of theme, quote from source consistent with story line, statement of counter position, closing quote from source counter to story line or “good closing quote”.

The result is that while print journals abound with longer, more analytical pieces, in-depth on-line analysis is increasingly becoming the province of bloggers and those specialty sites that place fewer constraints on their authors.

It will be no surprise to many that as the recipient of this first award I have selected:

David Berlind – Between the Lines (

David has previously been honored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which presented him with its Presidents Award for Journalism in 2003. Unlike most journalists, he was an IT professional before becoming a professional writer. His Between the Lines blog (a venue shared with co-author Dan Farber) has consistently covered not only open standards and open source, but more recently the interplay, and sometimes clash, between those two disciplines. I haven’t agreed with David on every position that he has taken (the opposite is also true), but his commitment and passion for covering open standards and open source is unquestioned, as has been his contribution towards bringing important issues to light and into public dialogue.

Best Community Site or Blog (Non-Profit)

Blogs and community sites that focus on particular domains or issues have become an increasingly important route by which news can reach the public that would otherwise be neglected by, or unknown to, the formal media. In addition, many provide skilled analysis, as well as an opportunity for additional facts and opinion to be aggregated and consolidated.

It will (again) be no surprise to many that I would like to honor, as the recipient of the first award in this category:

Pamela Jones –

Almost immediately following her first posting on May 16, 2003, Pamela has had an enormous and loyal following. Her ongoing dedication to investigative journalism in defense of Free and Open Source Software is well known to friend and foe (most notably, SCO) alike. More recently she has supported a variety of open standards-related causes as well, including by championing the efforts of Peter Quinn and the Information Technology Division of Massachusetts to mandate use of the OpenDocument format by the Executive Agencies of the Commonwealth for archival purposes. Pamela’s indefatigable work at Groklaw – and her less visible but equally tireless and substantial efforts behind the scenes to marshal data, develop sources and influence outcomes – have earned her the well-deserved respect and trust of the entire open source community.


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If by some chance you aren’t a regular reader of David and Pamela, you should be – go check them out. And if you want a free subscription to the CSB, that’s what that link at the bottom of every one of my blog entries is for.

See it? It’s right down there.


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