A friend of mine works for the online newspaper the Huffington Post, aka Huffpo. Not as a reporter or anything. But he’s had a sort of… well I don’t know if it’s a theory, but a regular complaint about news blogging versus real news agencies. And that is that bloggers just pick up information and report it. They don’t go out and get the story, at least not in the same way real reporters do.
And he’s entirely correct. Blogging is to Journalism as my woodworking skills are to those of Norm Abram. The death of Walter Cronkite has had everyone examining his life and it highlights the problem even further. No blog is ever going to produce a journalistic badass like Cronkite. Or Edward R Murrows. Or Larry LaSueur, who Murrows hired in World War 2, who broadcast from the rooftops of London while the Blitz was going on (HUGE balls). Or Robert Capa, the photojournalist
dumb gutsy enough to be taking pictures on Omaha Beach.
Of course, even real news agencies won’t produce journalists like that anymore. They do go out and get a story of course… they wouldn’y have much to do if they didn’t. But on the 24 hour networks, journalists are replaced with partisan blowhards and opinion pieces. On the big networks it’s replaced by morning news shows with hard-hitting journalism like talking about ways to slim down for the summer, tips for motherhood, a performance by random popular music performer of the month, and a five minute bullet-pointed list of someone else’s headlines. And all of that is sad because in the end you can get more useful information from ‘citizen journalists’, aka, bloggers.
Anyway. Food for thought. And if anyone reading this hasn’t seen ‘Good Night and Good Luck,’ do so.