You blog, therefore you aren’t
A journalist, that is. Columbia Journalism School dean Nicholas Lemann has a few choice words for self-aggrandizing bloggers. This ought to send them into a fugue state.
One of the more amusing examples of bloggish journalism Lemann offers is an “interview” with New York Times tech reporter John Markoff, which was conducted by Jeff Jarvis, whose responses to Markoff were added after the fact.
I certainly can see that scenario, where all these new technologies may
only be good enough to destroy all the old standards but not create
something better to replace them with. I think that’s certainly one
Pardon me for interrupting, but that made no frigging sense whatsoever.
Can you parse that for me, Mr. Markoff? Or do you need an editor to
speak sense? How do new standards “destroy” old standards? Something
won’t become a “standard” unless it is accepted by someone in power—the
publishers or the audiences. This isn’t a game of PacMan.
The other possibility right now—it sometimes seems we have a world full
of bloggers and that blogging is the future of journalism, or at least
that’s what the bloggers argue, and to my mind, it’s not clear yet
whether blogging is anything more than CB radio.
The reference is as old-farty and out-of-date as the sentiment. It’s
clear that Markoff isn’t reading weblogs and doesn’t know what’s there.
Hey, fool, that’s your audience talking there. You should want to listen to what they have to say. You are, after all, spending your living writing for them.
If you were a reporter worth a damn, you’d care to know what the
marketplace cares about. But, no, you’re the mighty NYT guy. You don’t
need no stinking audience. You don’t need ears. You only need a mouth.
Jarvis will be a professor of journalism at the City University of New York this fall.