The Latest Rumbling in the Blogosphere: Questions About Ethics
By ADAM COHEN
Published: May 8, 2005
Bloggers like to demonize the MSM (that's Mainstream Media), but it is increasingly hard to think of the largest news blogs as being outside the mainstream. Bloggers have been showing up at national political conventions, at the World Economic Forum at Davos and on the cover of Business Week. Establishment warhorses like Arthur Schlesinger Jr. are signing on to write for Arianna Huffington's blog collective. And Garrett Graff, of FishbowlDC, broke through the cyberceiling recently and acquired the ultimate inside-the-Beltway media credential: a White House press pass.
Blogging is at once revolutionary and mundane. It's just another way to poke content onto the Web. The Drudge Report and Dave Farber's Interesting People list were extremely influential long before "blogging" entered the lexicon. They merely used different tools to publish. As Bill Moyers has pointed out, the pamphleteers who helped incite the American Revolution were the real pioneering bloggers: they got their hands stained with ink. Blogging is the continuation of the Web revolution; it's an authoring tool, not its own revolution.
Finally: time to talk about emperor's new clothes, and someone steps up to do it.
A Blog Revolution? Get a Grip
By TOM ZELLER Jr.
Published: May 8, 2005
At a time when media conferences like "Les Blogs" in Paris two weeks ago debate the potential of the form, and when BusinessWeek declares, as it did on its May 2 cover, that "Blogs Will Change Your Business," Mr. Denton is withering in his contempt. A blog, he says, is much better at tearing things down - people, careers, brands - than it is at building them up. As for the blog revolution, Mr. Denton put it this way: "Give me a break."
"The hype comes from unemployed or partially employed marketing professionals and people who never made it as journalists wanting to believe," he said. "They want to believe there's going to be this new revolution and their lives are going to be changed."
Finally someone deflates hype about blogging. My favorite NYT commentary on the blogging phenomenon remains a wonderful photograph they ran in the magazine in 2004, showing Old Media trying to figure out New Media, aka Wonkette:
I think that's R.W. Apple of The Times on the left, and Jules Witcover of the Baltimore Sun on the right. The blonde needs no introduction. Just a hell of a great image -- worth thousands of words.
Of course I do like this photo from The Times as well: