David Shaw's LA Times media column (reg req) this week was surprising not so much for its conclusion -- that bloggers don't deserve any special journalistic privileges -- as for its sloppiness.
Slate's Jack Schafer explains it well. Quote:
"Shaw seems to believe that the First Amendment and its subsidiary protections belong to the credentialed employees of the established corporate press and not to the great unwashed. I suggest that he—or one of the four experienced editors who touched his copy—research the history of the First Amendment. They'll learn that the Founders wrote it precisely to protect Tom, Dick, and Matt and the wide-eyed pamphleteers and the partisan press of the time. The professional press, which Shaw believes so essential in protecting society, didn't even exist until the late 19th century."Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis smartly breaks down the component parts of journalism: witnessing, asking, editing, commenting and distributing.
The question that we have to ask, in the end, is whether anyone deserves special treatment as a journalist. I think so, but I'm increasingly hard pressed to figure out how it'll work in world where anyone can be a journalist. More to come on this topic soon...