In response to Michael Skube’s freewheelingly critical opinion piece about the blogosphere in Sunday’s LA Times, the paper has published a response entitled “The journalism that bloggers actually do” by Jay Rosen, NYU journalism professor and PressThink blogger, via its online Blowback feature. For more information on the Skube affair, check out A Blog Around the Clock. I don’t have a problem with Skube’s assertion that blogs are no substitute for the mainstream media–I agree–but Skube is just so contemptuous and dismissive toward the blogosphere (a phenomenon he doesn’t seem particularly familiar with to begin with) that his assertions warranted a response.
The real value of Rosen’s response, though, is that it contains an informative list–compiled from suggestions on his blog and with links included–of high-impact reporting done by blogs. Check it out. He included my role in the resignation of George Deutsch on the list, for which I’m honored, but I mention this primarily because I thought that this was a great example of how the old and new media should interact. I broke the original story, but Andrew Revkin of the The New York Times verified the story and put it out in the “official” print record for a wider audience (and the story I broke was a follow up to a story that Revkin had reported a week earlier). We communicated openly throughout all of this.
Although efforts such as Skube’s don’t help the cause, blogs and the traditional media should be complementary aspects of the same phenomenon: the dissemination of information to the public. And, after demonstrating that yes, in fact, blogs do “real reporting” as well, Rosen says it best:
No one owns the practice of reporting or assigns the right to do it. It’s a democratic thing to tell others what’s going on and “show your work.” Some people will not be deterred from doing that. Most of them don’t care what you call them. They do care if their story stands up.