Thursday, March 10, 2005

Weisberg is Right

I never thought this day would come. I am in complete agreement with a Jacob Weisberg article in Slate. Discussing the roles of bloggers and journalists, Weisberg, in effect, welcomes bloggers into the journalistic fold.
Journalism does not require any specific training, or institutional certification, or organizational membership, or even regular employment. It's just an activity some people engage in that is protected under the Constitution.
I first began posting on the internet in the Slate Fray - the reader feedback forums, in Weisberg's Ballot Box column (if you search for "Bluto" in the Fray search function, you can find my posts). I was one of the conservative insurgents who regularly battled with the liberal slate reader/Fray poster majority. It was great training for becoming a blogger, and, in fact, many former Fray posters have started their own blogs.

But I never, ever, had occasion to agree with a Weisberg column, until now. This is, after all, the man who has created a cottage industry for himself by documenting Bush malapropisms, both real and imagined. Jacob Weisberg, now Slate's editor, is one of the last people I would have expected to pen this article.

Weisberg says that blogs have been beneficial to journalism as a whole:
For journalism, the Internet is having an even more immediate but no less beneficial effect. Blogs and Internet publications have essentially solved one of the biggest worries of the past few decades, that media consolidation is diminishing independence and plurality of voices. At another level, the ability for readers to respond to the mainstream press is raising standards of accuracy, care, and professionalism. Simply put, you can't get away with being lazy or careless anymore, because too many self-appointed patrolmen are trying to catch you jaywalking. The "MSM" is unlikely to embrace competition from bloggers, because what business ever really embraces new competition? But competition is healthy nonetheless both for those who face it and for society as a whole.
Giving credit where it's due, Weisberg has hit this one out of the park. Never thought I'd say that.

Via Captain's Quarters