Thursday, March 24, 2005

More on blogs

There is an interesting article at the Nation from a week ago about a conference on blogging held at Harvard in January. It seems to be more of the same: hysteria and overstatement. I know how easy it is to challenge and prove false what logicians called 'A' statements ("All x's are y's") because I have taken so much philosophy, and there seems to be a particular amount of unchallenged analysis about blogs floating around. If all birds are not crows, then I am not going to let you get away with saying "All birds are crows": it's just not true. I am going to break some of this article down by sentence to show how ridiculous some of these claims are, and how they presuppose some sort of journalistic consensus that never existed.

"We are entering an era in which professionals have lost their monopoly over information--not just the reporting of it, but also the framing of what's important for the public to know."

Thus, the era we are leaving was an era in which professionals had a monop0ly over information?

"Areas that once were under the domain of the journalist are now not exclusively under the domain of the journalist. You are not the boss anymore. What you say is not the law."

When exactly was the journalist the boss? The boss of what?

"Objectivity as an ethical touchstone, as one of my sources said, is faltering in mainstream journalism."

Objectivity is faltering? As far as I know, there has never been a consensus about what objectivity is. The way I read the New York Times in the post-blogging era is the same way I have always read it.

I would like to think that blogs simply empower citizens to get a little bit more information and share a little bit more information than they used to. Sure, and the NYT and USA Today and CBS News will have to adapt, but when did business ever not have to adapt? Lighten up.


At 3:36 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

And from the perspective of those of us who never liked or trusted Harvard or CNN or NYT or CBS or FOX in the first place, blogging can't f--- up the information we're fed any more than Dan Rather did, so who cares? I'm glad to see the intelligensia so ruffled by a little interference and influential criticism. I think it's about time they, in their infinite wisdom, stopped deciding what I am and am not too stupid to comprehend and which views I ought to take on things.

And thanks for not letting them call sparrows crows.


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