Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Friday, January 18, 2002

There is some serious bloggage by Ken Layne over this piece in the virtually unheard of Online Journalism Review. Now, I won't do the traditional blogger piece by piece takedown of the article, but it is readily apparent that this guy just doesn't get it. There are some serious journalists out there running blogs (or, more specifically, warblogs), but most people doing this are doing it FOR THEMSELVES. Because they get joy out of putting their thoughts to paper(or keyboard). The problem for people like Mr. Cavanaugh is that it becomes apparent after doing this for a few weeks that most reporters and writers at major newspapers SUCK. They are not talented writers, and they are not thorough reporters (IMHO, of course). It is also apparent that things like the Online Journalism Review can't compete with unpaid, amateur, untrained hacks for well-written commentary on the press and the news. I won't spend much time on this, but it is worth noting that the world of blogging is evolving, and that two generalized groups are forming; One is the professional or semi-professional journalists (Blair, Welch, Postrel, Layne, Sullivan, Kaus, etc.) who either write for a living, or, like hyperblogger Glenn Reynolds, are simply so good at this that they become gatekeepers. The second group contains people like me, who enjoy putting down their thoughts, but have no time to do this to the extent that others can, and no illusions about being great writers, but feel better about having written down the thoughts that persist in our heads. Some amateurs, such as Bjorn Staerk, Steven DenBeste, Moira Breen, and many others, obviously are very talented writers as well, and have become cross-referenced and linked so many times that they "get a lot of hits." I don't think the # of hits is as important (good thing!) as the expression of free speech that this medium represents. We all don't become journalists because we write blogs, but we all get a chance to say what we feel, and even if no one reads it, we can feel better for having spoken our minds.