Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

It's a Spitball! It's a Filter!

BY Jed Miller | Tuesday, October 26 2004

E&P online edtor Jesse Oxfeld wrote a sensible analysis this week of a panel discussion called "Blog the Vote" sponsored by the Allentown Morning Call.

There's a real concern that blogs are taking away readers, damaging journalism, and -- this might be the scariest part -- providing instantaneous fact checking on whatever newspapers write. ... [but] contrary to some worries, blogs and newspapers aren't competitive media. In fact, they're entirely complementary.

Panelist Wonkette said bloggers "throw spitballs from the back of the class," while Kos said he considers himself "a media filter." And there you have it: That range reflects the transitional status of blogging.

My one complaint about Oxfeld's report is that it's too steeped in the drama of Old vs. New. It's a report about a tension, not an outright war, but I still think we need to shed the tug-of-war thinking altogether and see this moment for what it is: a transition.

Maybe I'm oversensitive after all the is-not/is-too-ism of the political season, but it seems to me that sober assessments like Jack Rosenthal's pinch-hit in NYT's public editor column serve much more purpose than stories like the recent NYT Magazine piece, which was squarely in the blogs-as-circus camp, for all its good points.

If bloggers and blog-watchers are going to promote the fact that collaborative media adds nuance and memory to the public discourse, we can't frame the argument in the oversimplified terms that are now the stock-and-trade of the decaying traditional media stronghold.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

In China, Local Governments Play Whac-a-Mole With Taxi Apps

It seems these days that car-hailing apps exist only to give cities grief. In New York, car sharing start-ups like Lyft ignore labor, safety insurance laws and in China, the situation is no different except in one regard: taxi hailing apps in China are proliferating at a faster rate than in the U.S. In China, however, the taxi system is very much in its infancy and local Chinese governments are struggling to control the proliferation of new apps that flout the law. GO

thursday >

The Uncertain Future of India's Plan to Biometrically Identify Everyone

Since its launch in 2010, people in India have raised a number of questions and concerns about the Aadhaar card —formally known as Unique Identification (UID)— citing its effects on privacy rights, potential security flaws, and failures in functionality. GO

More