Monday, February 24, 2003

Journalism and Blogging

Some good meaty reading from several bloggers on the relations between journalism, blogging and accountability.

It began with a long post from Rev. Donald Sensing discussing an appearance on a Nashville radio show. The hosts were clearly clueless about blogs (as many radio people still are, and many in the newspaper industry are too), and Rev. Sensing's frustration occasioned a good post.

Well, Bill Hobbs picked up on it in his blog, adding his own observations and fleshing out the perspectives Sensing laid out. And Chris Lawrence, a blogger I've pointed out before from Oxford, Mississippi, had his own thoughts. All three have real journalism experience and it informs their comments to great and damning effect.

The subtext of their posts is that "professional" journalists have an inflated and proprietary view of journalism. They seem to take the First Amendment as written for them, and not the masses. A perfect example of this can be seen in the contrast between their cavalier treatment of the Second Amendment and their fierce defense of the First. Try, just try, to picture the howls of outrage and gallons of ink if we did nothing more than require registration of journalists. Never mind if we set out to require that "professional" journalists meet minimum standards of writing or reasoning, or we required competence in the area they cover (ie. medicine, economics, defense). You see the double standard, I hope.

Speaking for myself, I don't view this blog as "journalism" per se. It's more a formalization of the posting I've done in other forums, and the standard-raising of my public opinions. I make every effort to write well and reason clearly, to get my facts and cites right, to be honest and not merely sensationalistic for effect. Half-Bakered is an effort to inform, to persuade. I want readers to come away with information or insight they might not get anywhere else, or in quite the way I do it.

I guess that makes me a peddler in the marketplace of ideas. Ah well....

In a related story, Michael Kelly of The Atlantic manages to name-check a huge number of blogs while doing a devastating obliteration of Leftist myopia on dissent. A short read, but perfection of critique.

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