Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Citizen Journalism - the future of Blogtopia

By Libby

We hear the term citizen journalist bandied about quite a bit, mostly on right wing blogs who expose minor media missteps, but I think almost the only blog that can really claim that title is Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo and its related sites. Cernig points out a really interesting profile piece on Josh and his crew in the Columbia Journalism Review today that's well worth the read if you want to figure out how to make a success of political blogging.

Cernig points out that Kos is often held up as the barometer of progressive blogging but he notes, and I agree, that TPM is a much better model.
TPM's mix of online journalism, healthy respect for source linking and sheer professionalism are all mixed with the kind of passionate belief in what they write that I like to read. I don't think I manage it (yet) but I try to bring a similiar mix to what I post.

Meanwhile, in comments, Not a Senator remarks the comparison is not valid. He says in part, "DailyKos is an opinion and activist site. I'll read the diaries and comments to get a feel of the progressive blogosphere's take on an issue..." and thus perpetuates the myth that Kos speaks for progressives. They don't. They're a closed community and they're devoted pretty much to advancing the Democratic Party's fortunes and validating each other.

It's not to say that there aren't great diarists or that they never break a scoop from an obscure source or connect the dots on MSM reporting, but there's nothing impartial about it. It's mainly slanted to a specific agenda and Kos rules the roost. And man does that guy love rules. I stopped reading it when he instituted the 156 rules for posting. (Okay I made the number up but there's a lot them). Among them was one that effectively advised you not criticize Democrats.

I didn't start blogging to support the establishment. I started blogging to fix what's wrong with it. Criticizing the political class is a big part of that and most of the progressive bloggers I know and respect follow that same path. To the extent that I have any ambitions about advancing as a poli-blogger, my goal would certainly be to become more like Josh. As far as I'm concerned, Josh is the future. Kos is already the past.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Anonymous Anonymous said...

kos and DU have done alot for their cause but it is creepy the way the posters always keep each other in line.

2:40:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I think they both can and do perform a useful and important function in the political process but neither can be viewed as impartial players nor should they be used as a barometer of progressive opinion.

They simply don't speak for everybody. They speak for a specific subset of progressives.

4:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I half suspect that, in 10 years or so, "citizen journalists" will be the only journalists. Profit has so corrupted mainstream journalism that credibility is no longer worth discussing.

8:05:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I wonder Kvatch. It's not like we don't need the mainstream media to get the basics but it's a full time job to keep them honest.

8:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kvatch- the desire for that same profit has corrupted the "citizen journalists" as well. Most of them can't be bothered to cover anythign other thanthe stuff harball and co cover anyway. they are auditioning to be the next generation of boring safe hacks. a better thing to do would be just to bulldoze the beltway in it's entirety

12:46:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home