ProJo’s Broad anti-Blog Brush
In “The blogosphere bog,” the ProJo editors use the recent controversy about Katie Couric’s ghostwritten blog as a jumping off point to damn the entire ‘sphere. Much of what they say is true:
[T]he Internet, with its fluidity, lack of sourcing, misleading sourcing, problematic (or nonexistent) dating and vulnerability to manipulation is a veritable Great Dismal Swamp of error, lies and self-promotion that make the National Inquirer read like a corporate-earnings page in The Wall Street Journal.
That may be one reason why as all the world threatens to get “wired,” the knowledge quotient of mankind can’t outrun the misinformation supply. Anyway, as for blogs, don’t think that they’re necessarily written by whoever’s name runs over them.
First, I’ll set aside the irony that the negative example supplied is that of an MSM “professional” journalist behaving badly–not an amateur blogger or website. Their argument may have been more effective if they would have headed over to Wikipedia looking for bad entries.
Nonetheless, why the “a few bad apples ruin the whole bushel” approach by the editors?
Apparently, it’s because they want to make sure that we remember that “the bulk of news still comes from…those dusty old things called newspapers.” That’s debatable. Their own allusion to Couric serves to bring TV into the picture as a hefty source of the “news.” The Internet, too–liveblogging and Internet-only news sources such as Drudge, Breitbart and PajamasMedia–deliver original and usually accurate content. Yes, there is a lot of chaff out there on the Internet and in the blogosphere, but not all are alike. Just like, to use the ProJo equation, the ProJo doesn’t equal STAR.
Look, most blogs do what we at Anchor Rising do–use MSM content as a conversation starter. So, yes, bloggers do need “the papers”–and by extension the rest of the MSM like the ProJo or (ahem) CBS–to provide us with content for our insightful commentary. [Tangentially, I wonder how many newspapers have enjoyed an increase in (albeit non-paying) readership thanks to inbound links from blogs?] Anyway, the newspaper–well, their online editions–are important to us bloggers. That is why I’ve made the point in the past that we need a strong ProJo for the overall health of the news business in this market.
Maybe they should focus a little more on their own content and reportage and less on taking over-broad potshots at us amateurs toiling in the wilds of the ‘sphere.
And by the way, ProJo, thanks for the content that enabled another blog post.