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PressThink (SF Version)


One of the themes that runs through Lefty debates – particularly in the on-line community – is a steadfast belief that if traditional media were doing it’s job better, George Bush wouldn’t be president, the U.S. would never have invaded Iraq and a small group of Republicans wouldn’t have taken their party hostage and ruined the country.
This way of looking at the world is common in the tech community whose members believe their job of changing the world now – with blogs and blogging software – has extended to the press. It’s a direct descendent of the “blame Big Media” sentiments expressed during the Dean Campaign and it makes normally intelligent people claim that, for instance, the war in Iraq is an “under-reported” story.

This is also fueling a lot of well-meaning but ultimately ineffective efforts to use on-line to “improve” the news business. Now, don’t get me wrong, the news business is flat broken. But a better-informed electorate isn’t going to rise up as soon as they start reading “credible” journalism on the web. And even if they do, they’re not necessarily going to change the way politics in this country is understood or practiced. For more on this, please read the talented Marc Cooper who spells out this “If Only” philosophy in stark detail. His post is well worth your time to read.
Along those same lines, those of you in San Francisco tomorrow can come hear me, Dave Pescovitz of BoingBoing and Jean Chen from Pop and Politics talk about what we do on-line. The SF Bay Guardian’s headline implies that we will answer the question “Is Blogging Journalism?” But the first person who actually poses that questions is going to have to buy all of us a big, expensive drink. If you don’t think these sites offer journalism, you’re probably better off staying home and reading the archives. The rest of you can meet at 6 at the London Wine Bar, 415 Sansone (at Sacramento).

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 12:57 PM | Permalink

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