Sunday, August 19, 2007

I am not a Journalist

By Libby

The latest to engage in the new sport of blog bashing, Michael Skube, basically says we are a bunch of loud mouthed amateurs who have no credibility because we don't get get paid and we should get over ourselves. Ironically he then cites four of the few bloggers that actually make something approaching a living from it.

But don't bother him with details and opinions. He's on a roll and we're getting in his way. I especially like his big denouement.
The more important the story, the more incidental our opinions become. Something larger is needed: the patient sifting of fact, the acknowledgment that assertion is not evidence and, as the best writers understand, the depiction of real life. Reasoned argument, as well as top-of-the-head comment on the blogosphere, will follow soon enough, and it should. But what lodges in the memory, and sometimes knifes us in the heart, is the fidelity with which a writer observes and tells. The word has lost its luster, but we once called that reporting.

The patient sifting of fact? Excuse me while I vomit into my wastebasket. After six years of reading stenographic recitations of White House press releases and other authorized leaks of half-truths and outright lies reported uncritically as fact, with zero historical context that any decent blogger can uncover in 60 seconds or less in a google search, forgive my cynicism.

If the 90% of the so-called professional journalists would get off their lazy butts and start doing some real reporting again, us filthy rabble would be supporting them instead of challenging them. If Mr. Skube wants to be treated with respect for his professionalism, he might start by showing some.

For instance he might try a little more "patient shifting of fact" before he shoots his mouth off. Most of us do not hold pretensions toward being "citizen journalists." If he was paying attention he might have noticed that it was the PJMedia crowd who declared war on the MSM and vowed to supplant them with citizen journalism. That Army of Davids thing - that was Insty, not the lefty bloggers he chose to illustrate his point -- and that's a fact.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with his particular criticism, but I think alot of bloggers are really just trying to make their way in to professional pundit circles and are often indistinguishable from them. It leads to a kind of fervent belief in whatever way the wind blows.

12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I think that's true Lester. A lot of bloggers have ambitions to become part of the paid punditry or otherwise join the party machines.

I'm not one of them.

6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's nothing wrong with wanting to get paid for something you enjoy doing. But if the bloga sphere turns in to simply a training ground for pundits than it's not much fun. It should be edgy and in many cases it's just a repeat of stuff that's on hardball or hannity and colmes.

1:35:00 PM  

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