If Only Bloggers Had Managing Editors…

Regarding Steve Lovelady’s ultimate reply in the comments yesterday, I think Martini Boy summed it up pretty well. No actual answers, just spin, invective, sneering and outright mistakes. Case in point, Steve (Lovelady):

And Andrew Sullivan, having never done it, knows about as much about writing a news story as I know about being an astronaut.

The quote wasn’t from Andrew Sullivan, it was from Andrew Ferguson, who’s been committing journalism for longer than I’ve been alive. He wrote it for Time, where you were (if I have the timeline correct) an editor-at-large when it was published in 1998.

Reading is fundamental, as they say.

NOTE: I’ll have a response to Jay Rosen’s new post sometime today. It’s an interesting question that deserves a better answer than I’m able to dash off at the moment. In the meantime, I encourage readers to check out Jay’s site (if you haven’t already, you’ve missed a lot), and post your own answers here, there, or on your own sites, if you’re so inclined.

LUNCH BREAK UPDATE: Never mind on getting that post in today. If my chicken-scratched notes are any indication, I’m not going to have the time to give Jay’s question the answer it deserves until tomorrow at the earliest. Between my real job and Valentine’s Day (the Mrs. would be a tad upset if I were to spend this evening in front of my computer), it ain’t gonna happen before Tuesday. Hopefully the end result will be worth the wait.


17 Responses to “If Only Bloggers Had Managing Editors…”

  1. DensityDuck Says:

    And here we go with another round of mutual congratulation. “Yeah, we really gave it to those dirty newsie commie pinko liberal bastards GOOD! Power to the people, right on!”

  2. Mike M Says:

    Hey, Lovelady made Instapundit! Far more prestigious than the link to the NY Post in which he was mentioned, in my opinion.

    Circling the wagons only creates a bullseye…and the blogosphere has a full quiver of arrows.

  3. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I love the smell of dripping condecension in the morning *snfff, snff* It smells like victory!

  4. Crank Says:

    Look, there are some real skills involved in real journalism – asking good interview questions, cultivating sources, knowing when to dig deeper. The best reporters have them, and many bloggers don’t.

    That said, how many bloggers ever wrote a news story for a high school or college newspaper? Probably a lot (I have), and it’s not hard. And a lot of us are lawyers, and thus have experience writing things where clarity, concision and accuracy are at a much higher premium than in the news biz. And so on. (Andrew Sullivan was a magazine editor at TNR at one point, wasn’t he? How’s that not journalism?) While there are some unique skills shown by good journalists, most of the job is stuff anybody could learn quickly, and most of the really important skills are in the human-relations part of the job, and could be done as easily by a good cop. There’s nothing mysterious about it.

  5. Sandy P Says:

    –Look, there are some real skills involved in real journalism – asking good interview questions,—



  6. Crank Says:

    Ask any lawyer or cop – It’s not as easy as it sounds asking questions to get answers from people who don’t want to tell you anything. There’s an art to it. I think a lot of journalists are hacks, but that doesn’t mean they all are. You don’t just wake up one day and have Tim Russert’s interview skills or Bob Novak’s sources.

  7. Robert Says:

    “And I ask one back: Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or cause its destruction? Please advise.”

    The point is to have a dialogue. Reporters hold politicians to account by asking pointed questions and investigating them. That can be good (see, Watergate) or bad (see, Jack Ryan — who cares about a politician’s sex life with his wife). However, reporters should not be immune to such criticism themselves. They like to call themselves the “Fourth Estate,” but the first three estates were all dealing with people’s public lives. In my view, reporters are at that point acting on the same plane as the others, and thus should be held up for criticism too. With the internet, especially via blogs, that can happen. I do not believe in “getting” someone simply for sporting sake, and journalists should be praised for getting things right when they do (see, Geraldo and Willowbrook in the 1970s). But when journalists make up things about others or bring up reckless, unfounded charges, then they damn well should be held accountable.

  8. New World Man - Matt? Matt's not here Says:

    The news market

    I wasn’t going to — and won’t — spend too much time on the Eason Jordan stuff, because other sites (like this one and this one and this one) have so ably covered the whole affair, but Jay Rosen’s question…

  9. Darrell Says:

    Feh. Journalism has become about “caring”, “celebrating diversity”, blah blah blah. I live in the Springs like Stephen, the local paper, once a good conservative one, has become a whiny left-wing rag. I cancelled my subscription years ago.

    BTW, it’s a beautiful sunny day today in Colorado, gorgeous!

  10. DC Carter Says:

    “The quote wasn’t from Andrew Sullivan, it was from Andrew Ferguson, who’s been committing journalism for longer than I’ve been alive. He wrote it for Time, where you were (if I have the timeline correct) an editor-at-large when it was published in 1998.”

    ~Ouch, Double Smackdown!

    This really isn

  11. Easycure Says:

    Does a college education automatically make somebody a good reporter? Hell, no. As a matter of fact, it could be said it the CSJ makes biased reporters out of ones who may have had great potential.

  12. TJIT Says:

    It seems to me at some level this is just another example of disruptive technology at work.

    The internet / blogs / distributed reporting is the disruptive technology. The “MSM” is the existing industry and it is not adapting to the disruptive technology very well.

    Existing media outlets that recognize the disruptive technology, adapt to it, and utilize it to do their jobs better will prosper. Those who do not will face a very difficult business environment.

  13. Sandy P Says:

    –have Tim Russert’s interview skills or Bob Novak’s sources.–

    Is that a trick statement?

  14. epaminondas Says:

    The answer is neither.
    Anyone who has taken part in a REAL ppolitical forum knows that the currency is the iron hard facts of objective reality.

    If a ‘story’ appears in MSM which is weak in this value system, then bloggers will (and had BETTER) pounce with all the vengeance of Dershowitz on Chomsky.

    There is no room for the wiggling feelings or political bent that SOME in the MSM have shown all to frequently. What the Columbia School of Journalism and others suffering from terminal ‘not invented here’ – ystrophy need to ome to grips with is that they are not the archpriests of transmitting factual objective reality, but they are still TRANSMUTING it, when the they get caught and called on it.

    All of us can find any number of stories on any subject.. and sometimes we can find the facts as well, and see MSM’s underpants quite clearly as Charles Johnson and others have well shown.

    This is a TOUGH, FAST milieu, and Jennings, Rather et al have grown fat and lazy from ‘destroying a village in order to save it’ thru its somewhat inevitable child… the Bush Memo.

    It’s time for them to acknowledge that they are now only a PART of the story of delivering facts.

    While journalism remains a discipline.. there is clealy fear that ‘if you can’t dance a step, you can’t teach a step’, and that their significance to a future generation of writers may be reduced.

    It will be if they continue in the present direction.

  15. richard mcenroe Says:

    Tim Russert’s interview skills:

    “Will you sign the Form 180?” “OK”
    “Will you sign the Form 180 now?” “OK”
    “No, really, this time, will you sign the Form 180?” “OK”

  16. Now You Know Says:

    Steve Lovelady Responds to the Blogsphere Lynch Mo

    Here, in a nutshell, is what mister Steve Lovelady has to say in defense of Eason Jordan and against the “salivating morons who make up the lynch mob” of the blogsphere:

  17. rosignol Says:

    epaminondas nailed it.

    What makes a source of information useful is it’s factual accuracy. Opinions, spin, and implicit assumptions buried in the information degrade the usefulness of the source of information- possibly to the point where it is no longer useful.

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