Jeff Jarvis has a much more reasonable take on the unreasonable Alex Beam. Says Jarvis:
What old media does best is give us the facts. Credibility is their asset.
What new media does best is give us perspective — a new perspective, the too-long-unheard perspective of the people. The people are our asset.
And new media does that best in weblogs because these are products of passionate interest where quality rises to the top. Nobody’s getting rich or famous (yet) blogging; we do it because we love it (I do it because I learn); and the best ones succeed because they’re the better than the worst ones and the audience knows the difference. Weblogs as a whole do an amazing job of editing the world of news, finding the best, warning of the worst, asking questions, poking holes, adding perspective and opinion and the voice of the people.
Both are valuable. Only the blind cannot see that.
He is right in a sense, although the credibility of major news sources is on thin ice- and that is what buffoons like Beam are upset about. As is frequently stated in the blogosphere, ‘we can fact check your ass.’ I don;t think anyone in ‘blogistan’ really intends to replace ‘old media,’ if we did, who would we read and link to every day for news. We are not out there researching the stories- we are critiquing, analyzing, and trying to put some order to the disorder and add some depth to the breadth of coverage. It is tired old farts like Beam who feel threatened. Not us. I still intend to read the bothersome NY Times every day- and then I will ridicule it.
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