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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Blogosphere: worrying atmosphere of self-congratulations

Usually, I like Mark Glaser's comments and his work at OJR. But this week, it's too much! At the beginning, nothing unusual: the columnist tries to see what was relevant in the year 2004 and he outlines the role of the bloggers and the beginnings of hyperlocal citizen journalism. Why not? But read the conclusion: "For way too long, it has been the mainstream media (MSM) that's played God with the American public, telling everyone what's news and what's not, what to play up and what to downplay. But 2004 was the year the power started shifting, that the Little People, if you will, started to tell the gods of media what the public really wanted." And the rest of the article and his colleagues' comments gives the impression of a long self-congratulations, even if Glazer remarks that "the bloggers weren't the be-all, end-all for 2004." And on which point is based the self-congratulations? On the failure of CBS and Dan Rather about the controversial "60 Minutes" report on President Bush's National Guard service. As if this is the definitive proof that traditional journalism will not survive! Sure there was a failure - and a major one -, but is it a reason to throw the baby out with the bath water? News organizations have always had to struggle for better fact-checking, but it is more difficult to manipulate a whole newsroom than a community of bloggers by definition more permeable to persuasion, rumors and sometimes PR companies (not to say governmental campaigns). Another point of disagreement with Mark Glaser: his wish to speak on behalf of "Little People". But who is he asking when commenting 2004? A very small panel of insiders with basically the same views (there are two or three exceptions in his list of "colleagues"). It is the Michael Moore technique: take people who share the same ideas and you create an opinion movement! That's not fair! It's impossible to ask for more "fresh air" and get to find again a sort of suffocating air of "blog correctness" (I don't know if the formula exists in English). Last point concerns the arrogance of some of Glazer's colleagues, though not him personally. Perhaps mainstream media are arrogant and maybe they have to modify their behaviour. But this is the build-up of 50 years' practice (when television began to challenge newspapers' supremacy). It seems that, in the blogosphere, five months were enough! Next step? Arrogance will become what the ancient Greeks called "hybris".

Source: Online Journalism Review. See also the "Top 10 interesting people in the Blogosphere in 2004" list according to the Blog Herald

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on December 22, 2004 at 02:42 PM in a. Citizen journalism, m. Improving editorial quality, n. Online strategies | Permalink

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Comments

Excelent point, Bertrand. A certain part of Blogosphere is been so arrogance, proud and close around theyselves like the Old Big Media.
It´s necessary:
more autocritic
less arrogance
more real life
less virtual world
more open mind
less modern correctness

Posted by: Juan Varela at Dec 24, 2004 10:37:05 AM