Monday, November 28, 2005

What He Said, and Him, Too
We have periodically noted here examples of mainstream media criticism of blogs--particularly the idea that since bloggers aren't necessarily trained journalists, or because they don't have editors or fact-checkers, they are not merely not journalism, but represent some kind of threat to Truth, or to The Public's Right to Know, or something. Atrios (who, in real life, is a fellow at Media Matters named Duncan Black) periodically talks about this too, but his post on the subject today is a good candidate for being the last word on the subject.

Atrios picks up on a characterization of the mainstreamers as "gatekeeper media," which is--according to them--engaged in filtering out the false, defamatory, and the generally ungood to keep it from interfering with the high-minded discourse that occurs in the public square:
However, it isn't blogs that destroyed the Gatekeepers. It wasn't blogs that put Rush Limbaugh on as an election analyst. It wasn't blogs that gave Bill O'Reilly the flagship show on a major cable news network. It wasn't blogs that gave Michael Savage his own television show on a cable news network. It wasn't blogs that put Ann Coulter on the cover of a major national news magazine. It wasn't blogs that created all of the various and often fact free screaming heads shows. . . .

Gatekeeper media may be dead, but to a great degree they dug their own grave and dove right in. Blogs didn't really get there until after the funeral.
Recommended Reading: Tom Tomorrow has said that he's heard criticism of his strip, This Modern World, for using too many words in a medium that's supposed to be visual. Not this week. Also from the comics page, The Onion's AV Club talks with Aaron McGruder about putting The Boondocks on TV, and about revolution, and other stuff.

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