osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

And They Wonder Why They Are Being Replaced By Blogs . . .

I found this LA Times piece by NYU Journalism Prof and ThinkPress blogger Jay Rosen amusing. It respondes to this August 19 op ed by pulitzer prize winner and Journalism prof Michael Skube. Skube levels all the usual charges at blogs and the "citizen journalism" movement; i.e., that bloggers are all opinion and noise without any of the skills or investigative reporting that makes journalism so sueful and important.

Rosen's article does two things. First, he demonstrates that this is simply not true. There are loads of blogs out there these days with people doing genuine investigative reporting, or people who are trained as journalists or analysts using their professional skills as bloggers. But more amusingly, he demonstrates that Skube fails miserably by his own standards. Skube not only refuses to read blogs, but he permitted his editor to insert examples into the op ed that are demonstrably false. To cap things off, Skube initially asserted that the Washington Post series on the shabby treatment of Iraq vets at Walter Reed won a pulitzer. It didn't. This is the sort of easily verifiable fact that one expects journalists to look up -- and that the blogosphere has become so useful in investigating and revealing.

I'm all for regarding journalism and reporting as real skills, and am first to admit that I am not a reporter. At best, I am an essayist and opinion writer. But Skube provides a splendid example of why mainstream journalism is going the way of the wooly mammoth, the sabre tooth tiger, and all the other "mega fauna" that used to live in North America but got wiped out by a combination of climate change and invading humans. It shall be interesting to see whether mainstream media will adapt or die.

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