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April 08, 2005



But always remember that it's BLOGS that's really the problem...

(What's the emoticon for rueful despair?)

Jack Krupansky

Maybe we need to rethink our desire to be known as "citizen journalists" or engage in "grassroots journalism". So many "professional journalists" really are not worth looking up to. Sure, they may adhere to the "standards" of their "profession", but how useful or dependable is that profession anymore? What is "journalism", anyway? Maybe we should be more humble and simply engage in "commentary" and be "citizen commentators" and pursue "grassroots commentary". Less pride and more punch.

Did you see some of the "professional" pictures of people viewing the pope as he was moved? All those "citizens" with their digital cameras and camera phones? With just a few of those "amateur" photos uploaded to the web, who needs the professional ones?

-- Jack Krupansky


Damn! It's like it's contagious or something. And, so brazen!

Ran Talbott

Well, Dan, this is what happens when you try to bestow the title of "journalist" on everyone who can string together three gramatically-correct sentences and avoid misspelling his/her byline: mirabile visu, not all of them adhere to "journalistic" standards.

Chieppo is not what most people would consider a "journalist": he's (or "was", since the Herald has dropped him now) an op-ed columnist. I.e., he's supposed to inform and stimulate debate by presenting the admittedly-biased viewpoint of some particular group(s).

Mostly-news publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to the (hypothetical) People's Socialist Worldwide Weekly publish op-ed pieces by everyone ranging from Alexander Cockburn to Jesse Jackson to Bill Clinton to Henry Kissinger, and any of them could appear in any paper. Sometimes they get paid for their pieces, sometimes they don't. But nobody over the age of 12 who's capable of beating their dog at checkers expects them to even _try_ to meet the standards of balance, thoroughness, and objectivity that apply to the "news" pages.

Some of the hand-wringing by people who are shocked (Shocked!) to hear that there is gambl^H^H^H^H^Hbiased opining going on on the op-ed pages reeks of hypocrisy. I never heard of Chieppo until I read your blog entry, but it took less than a minute to find out, via Google News, that he's well known among his target audience as an ideologue who recently resigned an appointed political position to become a "consultant".

It's absurd, and possibly even dishonest, to suggest that "we the people" can magically wade through the torrents of logorhea, food fights, and sock puppet wars in The Blogosphere to pick out The Truth (tm), but are incapable of noticing that we're reading an "opinion" page if it's presented on dead trees instead of an LCD or CRT.

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