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The hard-line opinions of journalists are no substitute for the patient fact-finding of bloggers

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Michael Skube is having a fit about the demise of what sounds like beautiful, beeeaaauuudiful journalism in Blogs: All the noise that fits.

The more important the story, the more incidental our opinions become. Something larger is needed: the patient sifting of fact, the acknowledgment that assertion is not evidence and, as the best writers understand, the depiction of real life. Reasoned argument, as well as top-of-the-head comment on the blogosphere, will follow soon enough, and it should. But what lodges in the memory, and sometimes knifes us in the heart, is the fidelity with which a writer observes and tells. The word has lost its luster, but we once called that reporting.

Who’d have guessed that he’s describing journalism in the above?! Skube reads like an old journalist pro (and I use that word in the loosest possible sense) who bemoans the fact that his hard-earned ‘right’ to be published is being trampled upon by the barbaric hordes of bloggers. Well, the Big Editor in the Sky is no longer, there is just the internet with the online equivalent of printing press. With distribution bundled in. The bargain of the millennium. But the likes of Skube want to convince the world (or what’s left of those who haven’t taken to blogging) that this is bad for the luxury brands of MSM. We already know that, Michael. The real luxury is not having someone like you misrepresent what people are, do and mean by your selective ‘fact-sifting’, out of context quoting, and sloppy reporting. I am not accusing Michael Skube of such practices here, I’ll leave that to Ed Cone, I am targeting the entire profession here. I am an equal opportunity ranter.

It always amuses me – right after it annoys me – how his type (Andrew Keen et al) only trawl through the bad stuff online and construct their argument around the worst they can find. Granted, nowadays they find a parenthesis or two to reluctantly admit that bloggers have some influence.. but no matter, if things continue this way, we are all dooomed. DOOOOMED! Well, yeah, dude.

Instead of supporting their arguments about the plebeian nature of the blogosphere and the rubbish we are all inundated with, they merely demonstrate their lack of skill in navigating blogs and finding the daily gems. So Jay Rosen of PressThink put together a blowback that’s worth bookmarking – a collective effort of many to list examples of a blogger doing a journalist’s job. It has also been published in LA Times. For the record.

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2 Responses to “The hard-line opinions of journalists are no substitute for the patient fact-finding of bloggers”


  1. alan herrell - the head lemur
    on Aug 25th, 2007
    @ 15:47 pm

    speaking of those barbaric hoards of bloggers…
    http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/2005_02.html


  2. One Man & His Blog
    on Aug 30th, 2007
    @ 8:00 am

    Blogging is Good for Journalism. Honest….

    Reading pieces like this reminds me of my long-held opinion that blogging isn’t bad for journalism, as seems to be the received wisdom in some circles. No, it’s good for it. Very good for it. Mind you, a pack of……

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