Monday, April 24, 2006

A good point from Romenesko

Real journalism is difficult and bloggers want no part of it

Philadelphia Inquirer

Jonathan V. Last says bloggers are always saying how easy journalism is,
yet very few of them have ever really practiced it. "Real journalism --
the practice of adding to the store of public knowledge by reporting
news -- is a difficult, thankless, and often unpleasant task. Bloggers
want no part of it. Everyone wants E.J. Dionne's job; no one wants to be
Michael Dobbs. ...Taken as a whole, the Old Media performs an enormous and
valuable function that the New Media is neither able, nor inclined, to
emulate."

1 comment:

Peter Schrenk said...

I agree that real journalism is difficult and that most bloggers do not fulfill the role that MSM journalists do. From covering local school board meetings to going to Iraq, most reporting is done by professional journalists who are employed by traditional news organizations.

The complaint a lot of bloggers (and we all know this is primarily about *conservative* bloggers) have about the MSM is that all too often they exhibit grossly biased and sloppy reporting practices. This is very different from the charge that "bloggers are always saying how easy journalism is." Just reporting the story in that way is a perfect example of sloppiness.

A reporter should ask: Who are these bloggers who say "Journalism is easy!"? Whatever happened to the old adage that if your mother says she loves you, check it out? Why believe Jonathan V. Last when he talks about "bloggers" and their alleged statements? It could very well be a strawman argument.

I think that it is legitimate to question the use of anonymous sources in many cases. The overuse of "experts say" and "many believe" and other phrases that are often used by reporters who want to bypass any argument that is contrary to the view they want to promote. This is the kind of criticism I've seen of the MSM. I don't ever remember reading that "journalism is easy" or other nonsense. Perhaps I have read that reporting from a hotel in the Green Zone in Baghdad has a tendency to provided distorted and incomplete reporting.