Thursday, December 21, 2006

Blogs: "Written by fools to be read by imbeciles."

Have just read a thought provoking piece in the Wall Street Journal about blogs. The argument put forward is that we bloggers tend to have large ego and feelings of self-importance. I can't deny that I myself have often thought that too. The article asserts that the blogs are not threatening the mainstream media, but are instead riding along with it, "like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps". He goes on to say "the blogs have enthusiastically endorsed Joseph Conrad's judgment of newspapering--"written by fools to be read by imbeciles"--they have also demonstrated a remarkable ecumenicalism in filling out that same role themselves."

Harsh, but probably fair for the vast majority of blogs. I do think though that if you remove the noise it may not be quite a starkly put. After all, and certainly in the case of the UK, I'd say the the core actors within this theatre are clearly people who, IRL, were already working in the media, think tanks, and/or political parties. They are not ranting and raving loonies that make up the bulk of what passes for comment. They often break stories, and they certainly influence the political agenda within their respective parties.

Having said all this though, clearly I'm a fool and you're an imbecile.


Serf said...

Oh slap me as well....

Unknown said...

I regularly get letters in the local papers in this are (Norfolk), but was reminded by a man whilst canvassing once that "there is only one person more stupid than the idiot who writes letters to the local paper, and that is the idiot who replies to them !"

I sent that in an e-mail to the letters editor at the Eastern Daily Press and he printed it out and stuck it up above his computer.

CityUnslicker said...

I blog becuase I like it though; and yes I am an imbecile. However, I am not in the media and never will be; I don't ape to be recognised in the MSM whom I hold in such low regard.

This is often the problem that journalists encounter when writing on bloggers. They assume we all want to be journalists like them and aspire to their jobs. Not bloody likely.

This then poses a probelm to them. Bloggers who don't aspire to popularity, like DK for example, cannot be rationalised in their journalistic terms. MSM journalits then retreat to calling them small and insignificant and inneffectual; but so what? They don't care.

Praguetory said...

This piece was in the style of a restaurant critic forced to dine with the masses.

I had a sort of interesting conversation with someone influential in the media. He "took my point" when I said that I don't want to be a uber-blogger, a journalist or a diarist. In other words he didn't believe a word of it. The words fool or imbecile weren't mentioned, but at least that's something we can all aspire to.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading the blogs and getting alternative perspectives on views.

What I appreciate is that some bloggers can be far more open and genuine as opposed to just getting the hits.

Although. I must admit I have found some blogging sites to be written by people who do come across as full of self importance and egotistic. It can be off putting at times. Especially when someone makes a valid point and someone just gets totally offensive and nasty about it - Just because they can.

Merry Xmas and Happy 2007 Dizzy

PoliticalHackUK said...

And the media is such a repository for quality writing and opinion, of course.

Richard Littlejohn, anyone?

I blog because I enjoy it. I don't expect anything else to come from it other than perhaps a little more political discussion and that some others might enjoy it.

There are a number of bloggers out there with knowledge and opinions worth reading and stories do get broken or covered better by some of the blogosphere. I think that there's a place for both the MSM and blogs in the world - we aren't mutually exclusive.