Reporters threatened by bloggers, version 2013

This argument has been going on ever since a blogger crawled up on land and said Hello World. Reporters project the qualities of reporting on blogging, and find it fails. Sigh. Because blogging !== reporting. Not the same thing. Not used the same way. Different qualities.

I’m participating in a thread on Facebook on this subject, and just posted this bit, trying to put the matter to rest, for the 18th time in 19 years. Here goes.

  • I don’t like blanket statements about bloggers, just as [pros] probably don’t like blanket statements about book writers, or essayists, interviewers, op-ed writers, radio personalities. There are all kinds. But each medium has its strengths. When you project the qualities of another medium on blogging, you’ll find it wanting. That’s not much of a revelation. But if we tried to judge NPR reporting, for example, on the standards of blogging, it would be found lacking as well.
  • Blogging was never able to do what a reporter does. It’s not what it’s about. It’s about empowering the people you cite as sources to go directly to each other. That creates a flow that reporters can use. They are using it now, but didn’t get that at the beginning. That, to me, means that blogging has totally achieved its purpose.

I really think that’s all there is to it. NBA players gossip openly with each other, providing fodder for sports reporters. Same with Angela Merkel, the President of the United States, would-be Presidents, the Pope. They all communicate publicly with each other, openly — and reporters do better work because of it. That’s the story. Wrap it up and ship it. 😉



About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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