Sunday, March 01, 2009

On Our Blindness

I have not been counting, but I believe Marc Fisher has penned the one millionth screed by an old-school reporter against those dang-ole, dang-ole blogs. Beyond the usual carping I found this exchange enlightening, my bold.
"Because of the Web, we've actually increased the number of words that we write about state government and politics," says Robert McCartney, The Post's assistant managing editor for metro news. Reporters who may find it harder to get stories into the paper write in more detail, often several times a day, for the Virginia Politics and Maryland Moment blogs.

Critics say that shift serves only the elite that's intently interested in state news, not the broader audience. "The insiders are still getting a full report on the blogs, but the rest of us see only what we want to see instead of the news we need to see," says Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and a former politics reporter for the Daily Progress in Charlottesville.
Again with the assumption that because something was in print it was seen; like the newspaper is a daily multi-vitamin that if swallowed distributes its contents equally throughout the mind. As is evident by McCartney's statement newspapers are increasingly posting "o'er land and ocean without rest" and contrary to Gibson's accusation of elitism they clearly "also serve who only stand and wait." The fact that this audience is blind is not a failure of the press, it is a failure of the people.


Bob Gibson said...

I'm not knocking blogs, in fact I love blogs, bloggers and everybody they serve. I am just noting that the decline of news in print right now deprives many people of the news about government that is so essential in a demcracy. I say, Blog on, but don't celebrate the demise of good news coverage in newsrooms and statehouses.

Brad said...

Bob - not celebrating the demise of the print media – at all. The point I was trying to make is that as media delivery shifts rapidly toward “on demand” services, we as a people need to demand mo’ better. A frustration of mine, in this case, and in many other areas, the blame is always shoveled on the suppliers, as if the consumers have no say in the market.