Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hysterical whiners on our side

Seriously, if you find yourself writing an angry email to Tom Tomorow of all people, whining that he and the MSM (how they were aggregated, I'll never know) deserve to die in a fire, you need to find some cool stream and jump in to clear the cobwebs. Because something with your brain has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

And while I'll bow to no one in my contempt for the worst failures of the media, I've never understood the logic that said unpaid part-timers could replace paid labour in journalism. The difference between having 8 hours in a day to follow a story and having 3 hours after work and before bed is kind of easy to grasp, yet the blog triumphalists have never really grasped that.

1 comment:

Gar Lipow said...

Also, what we mostly do as bloggers is the stuff op-ed writers do. We look at the same sources op-ed writers look at and write opinion and analysis - hopefully factual, based on those sources. And really many unpaid political bloggers do a better job than George Will or Tom Friedman or Maureen Down. I'd say the best bloggers do as well as Paul Krugman. Paul Krugman is great, but so is Billmon, or Daniel Davies, or hell sometimes you at your best. So in practice op-ed could be replace by carefully selected bloggers with no loss of quality. But there close to zero bloggers engaging in actual journalism. Investigative reporting, interviewing. Most bloggers don't do the lightest of feature stories if they require getting out of the chair. And the majority of those who do get out of their chair are paid.

So I think the page typically devoted to op-ed bloviation could easily be replaced by unpaid bloggers with no loss of quality. It is the rest of the paper that requires paid staff - including cartoons.