Through Dave Winer I found Cybertourists in Boston. It’s full of great professional journalism like:
With a few exceptions, most of the credentialed bloggers came off like cyberhayseeds in the big city. Many dared for the painfully obvious as they updated their posts. Most of the blogging entries I have read ranged from the insufferably pedantic to the sublimely mediocre. There were exceptions, of course, but the see-me, hear-me tenor of their reporting was only exceeded by the vapidity of the banal commentaries peddled as analyses.
Did they get co-opted? Sure seems that way at first glance. Maybe the ego-lifting moment of their 15 minutes of prime-time fame got in the way of clear thinking. Or maybe they were simply starstruck at rubbing shoulders in the lvoiine for the men’s room with folks like Ben Affleck and Warren Beatty. I remember covering my first political convention as a college junior in 1976 and how wowed I was when bandleader Peter Duchin deigned to smile at me.
But these are big boys and girls. After spending years belittling the shortcomings of the mainstream media, they had me expecting more. Instead, I had to content myself with gems such as, “Bill Clinton looks really small from the upper tiers of the Fleet Center.” Really? If that knocks your socks off, my advice would be to take in the view from the bleachers at Fenway Park sometime.
The thing is, pretty much every insult he flings at the bloggers I took as compliments! Seriously!
Meanwhile, Paul Krugman writes about the Big City journalists today:
The failure of TV news to inform the public about the policy proposals of this year’s presidential candidates is, in its own way, as serious a journalistic betrayal as the failure to raise questions about the rush to invade Iraq.
It says a lot that Charles Cooper COVERS things like bloggers, yet he is so far from “getting it.”
People who read Seeing the Forest and other weblogs learn a lot more about what is happening to their country than people who get their information from the Big City professionals. I mean hard, factual information that is important for citizen participation in a democracy. But that isn’t all that blogging — at least THIS blog — is about. It’s ABOUT the “hayseed” perspective. It’s ABOUT being told what it’s like to actually BE in a convention for the first time, and meet famous people, and what a balloon drop is like from the balcony. It’s ABOUT seeing things through the eyes of SOMEONE WHO IS LIKE THEM.
Scroll down and read the interview with the anarchist, including the invitation to Ricky to leave a comment to make sure his perspective is voiced correctly, and the rest of the comments and tell me where you’re going to find anything like that in a Big City paper. Then scroll down a little further and look at the pics starting with the one FROM THE BALCONLY — only a Hayseed would show THAT — and the rest of the pics, and tell me which Big City journalist would have posted those. And then tell me if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m getting plenty of e-mail from other hayseeds asking for more just like that. I don’t know if I have any Big City readers, though, since that’s what counts.
I’m working on a serious piece about all of this, but like I said a few days ago, I gotta get home, walk the dogs, eat actual food at actual mealtimes, etc. before I can really digest what I have seen this week.