Wednesday, September 15, 2004
"It lends itself to a lot of manipulation," said James O'Shea, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune. "You can have information anarchy. You have to look at who these people are. We have to put some scrutiny on the bloggers."
Fool. Bloggers put scrutiny on bloggers. For every one of these, there's one of these. Newspapers should scrutinize blogs too, but for gaps in their own coverage and for stories that they haven't thought of yet. Newspapers publish too slowly to fisk bloggers as quickly and violently as the other bloggers (that is, fiskees will be quickly fisked by fiskers, long before newspapers can edit the story, think up a headline, set the type, and deliver the dead tree to my doorstep).
Indeed, O'Shea plainly hates bloggers, and seems to think there are a couple of dozen of them instead of countless thousands:
Some pundits, including columnists who write for newspapers, have claimed this week that the blog uprising over the CBS documents signals the end of "old media" dominance. But O'Shea believes "that's a lot of baloney. Wait until people start relying on THEIR information and getting burned." He said newspapers need to closely examine who the bloggers are, their expertise and motivation, and "the phenomenon" in general.
O'Shea also does not understand whence his readers increasingly will come:
Asked what he thought about criticism from the blogs that mainstream papers downplay certain stories, O'Shea said, "I write for our readers, not the bloggers."
Ryerson of the Indianapolis Star doesn't get it either:
"It is an increasing burden," said Dennis Ryerson, editor of The Indianapolis Star, who admits daily papers are feeling the impact of bloggers. "It hurts because now anyone can publish on the Web. You have people who are politically aligned raising questions about our standards, but there is no attention given to their standards."
Knucklehead. "No attention"? In the blogosphere, for every tit, there's a tat (OK, there tends to be a few more tits than tats, but that's not what I meant).
Finally, the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks it's all a fad:
Added Bronstein, "blogging is the current hot thing and there may be something else in six months. It may be just a passing phase. And once everyone has a blog, it will become much harder to follow them all."
Er, is blogging a "passing phase," or will "everyone [have] a blog"? As an easily confused partisan hack, I'm having a hard time understanding Mr. Bronstein's point.
Denial. It can be so ugly.