Blogging Because They Want To …

19 05 2008

Mike responds to a back-handed compliment singling him out in the Nashville City Paper’s Political Animals post written by editor Clint Brewer.

This jab at bloggers looks like the flip side of the mainstream media’s presumptive disdain for people whom they think sit around in their pajamas all day and try to copy what they do themselves. So, if they’re not writing about the City Paper’s stories, then bloggers must be taking the day off because God knows, we’re not doing anything else. It’s another example of how the press doesn’t get it.

I think some folks in the press do get it but not all of them. Jack Lail has been an ambassador and spokesperson about the value of blogging and new digital media creating a lot of good will around the community and the whole country while still remaining local in Knoxville. I try to encourage people to blog although I find my community, which is based in a college town, is more focused on MySpace and Facebook quite frankly.

With that said, Mike does bring up a good point in his post regarding good will at newspapers toward the blogging community. I don’t know the history between Brewer and Enclave but I do know that telling any blogger that writes for free that they should write about something which appears in the newspaper is only going to stir the pot and highly piss people off. Bloggers write about what interests them and they do it out of a passion for writing, a political agenda, focusing on their hobbies, social interaction and the list goes on.

I think it is highly possible for there to be a marriage between traditional media and the blogosphere. I do. However, I do think that some people, in my non-virtual world in the news biz as well, do not understand we live in a new world of media, anyone can self-publish and blogging is an organic process, one that cannot be forced.

Enclave is a great resource in Nashville for what is going on in his community. His content is original. I have called him before one of Nashville’s best hyperlocal bloggers. Mr. Brewer did commend him but it was done with snark and the compliment got lost in Brewer’s chiding. I reacted as well.

I only know a handful of paid bloggers. Newsrooms are losing people due to downsizing but that’s another story for another day. I think those folks in news need to remember people who blog do it because they want to, not because they feel a loyalty to a newspaper.

They blog because they love it.

My two cents.




3 responses

19 05 2008
Jack Lail

Easy rule: The more the merrier!

19 05 2008
lovable liberal

Spot on, ‘Coma.

Opinion is free. Blogging proves that. Elite opinion? Don’t need it (other than Paul Krugman).

News analysis is cheap. It doesn’t require access, just experience, memory, and a brain. A little subject matter expertise doesn’t hurt.

The ability to write cogent and interesting prose is not universal, but it’s not that rare, either, despite whatever in the world drives the New York Times to hire and keep Kristol and Dowd, among others.

What costs money and is the heart of journalism is facts. While facts can’t be reported without an understanding of what they mean, the reporter who goes out and finds out what actually happened is much more valuable to me as a reader and as a blogger than the one who has a narrative and finds factoids to fit it.

I’m dying for the national political media to remember that its role is to put the facts before us, not to steer us to the conventional wisdom of Washington players. I suspect, though, that the soft captivity of the Washington press isn’t going to change, and that as a whole we’ll continue to have more and more opinion based on less and less reality.

Will bloggers then do more reporting? I don’t think most of us can spare the time from our jobs to do a credible job of that. For every Josh Marshall, there are maybe millions of bloggers who don’t report new facts. We rely on the more traditional media to do that.

But if the traditional media continues to cut content with every newsroom cut, the news hole will probably get filled with more features and press releases. And we’ll all be the poorer for it.

19 05 2008

Exactly, amen and ditto. There’s no reason we can’t all get along. Is my babble newsworthy? Hell no. But occasionally I pick up on a local article or some tidbit I want to share. As long as I give props to the author and link to the original, what’s the big deal?

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