Daz has a great post on the media’s response to blogging. In it, he refers to an article by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, titled “Bloggers, they’re just trying to put the “me” in media”.
Taking an extrospective approach though, I can see how the threat blogging poses to traditional media and journalists, and the lack of job security she must be feeling in the current media climate, is enough to exculpate her actions. I mean, for a long time, journalists and the media had carte blanche over what we recognised as fact. Subtracting the impact that books and teaching have on our core learned knowledge, a large majority came from magazines, television, newspapers, and the like. And then came the web, and new channels of information.
But we still relied on journalists and the media to present us with what we assumed in good faith, were the facts. But then the biggest blow arrived by the way of bloggers, suddenly I could publish to a well respected and easily accessible medium my perspective and opinion on a topic close to home, and someone on the other side of the world could access and digest it. What’s more, they could engage with me, and add comment or feedback, thus taking the concept of “published as is” to a new level. It was now a conversation.
Meanwhile, we started to see contradictions in the traditional media channels, for example, articles like these, that made those who knew a little something about the subject matter react along the lines of, “Hey, that’s just downright wrong!”. Whoa, now the media were in a new area of threat, not only were people making their own news, they were calling out the gaping inaccuracies of the traditional news channels. If I read something I didn’t quite agree with in he paper, my only recourse was a letter to the editor. Now, I could post on my own channel my own opinion, and the readership might be influenced to consider another opinion, not just the journalists.
So then you get to the stage, where as in Daz’s post, you have a New York Times columnist having a sook about the fact that a new era of “publishers” and “journalists” are making their way into the media fray. And like most things, only a credible threat will elicit such an acerbic reaction. If Maureen wants the world to think of bloggers as a passing phase, or sub-par news channel, the last thing she should have done was bemoan their pervasiveness. If I’ve learnt anything in my time on earth, it is that, when the game changes, don’t run home crying to mummy, work out the new rules, identify the top dogs, and get amongst it. Like they say, “if you can’t beat them, bite them!”.
So my recommendation to Maureen, and all those like her; stop whining, create a blog, start contributing some compelling, opinionated new ideas to the rest of the world, and invite them to get involved in the conversation, and you will find the resolution to that which you lament!
Failing that, follow this how-to guide to a tee!