Nick Coleman: Blogged down in Web fantasy (via Blogads blog)
A writer in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has it all figured out.
Even David Broder, the Washington Post’s dean of media, is worried. He says, “News organizations on which people should be able to depend have been diverted into chasing sham events.”
Yes, David. But one of the shams we’re chasing is the supposed threat of the blogs, who are to journalism what ticks are to elephants. Ticks may make the elephants nuts, but that doesn’t mean they will replace them. You can’t ride a tick.
But, of course, the ticks will survive in places and times that elephants cannot manage. Maybe I’m wrong.
Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world.
Hmm. I don’t recall any stories of police scanner listeners breaking open big cases and getting the police departments to take notice. Maybe I’m wrong.
We are dealing with Internet chat rooms: sleazy and unreliable, with no accountability. Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter’s notebook.
Maybe not. But many reporters have a notebook with a silver spiral holding pieces of paper together. Many bloggers have a notebook with a wireless connection to millions upon millions of instantly-searchable pages of information. Maybe I’m wrong.
Mr. Coleman explains how he learned some valuable lessons from his dad, paid his dues covering all things at all times, and how he’s been a professional journalist longer than most bloggers have been alive. That’s all well and good.
But most bloggers are talking about the next ten years when they discuss Big Media and the blogosphere. Mr. Coleman apparently prefers to discuss the past four decades when comparing Big Media and the blogosphere.
So, how is it that nakedly partisan bloggers who make things up left and right are gaining street cred while the mainstream media, which spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, are under attack?
Actually, isn’t it the nakedly partisan mainstream media who make things up left and right (or at least pass on obviously made up stories) which is under attack? I know I’ve never attacked the self-critical segment of the mainstream media even once, and I don’t know that anyone else in the blogosphere has, either.
Of course, I’m not really sure where I’d find the self-critical segment of the mainstream media. Certainly not at Mr. Coleman’s desk at the Star-Tribune, it seems.
Of course, the blogosphere gets stories wrong. And there are more than a few extremists and wackos out there. But all in all, I think most news bloggers are open and up front about their political preferences, use the resources available to them in the most efficient way they can, and truly are self-critical and self-correcting.
I don’t see that in Big Media, and that’s why they’re under attack.
Mr. Coleman can blow off the blogosphere. He’s earned his stripes and paid for his wisdom. If he thinks blogs are a fad, fine.
I think he’s wrong. I think this tele-vision thing might catch on. I think guitar bands might make a comeback. I think this internet thing is here to stay. I think Big Media needs to undergo major changes or it is going to continue to lose credibility and the respect of the public.
I might be wrong.