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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 >

First POST: Moneyballed

The Gates Foundation's new "global citizens" email database, and why it's a terrible idea; why young people like the NSA more than older people; using open data about NYC taxi drivers to ID Muslims; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Monkeying

Net neutrality proponents call foul on the GOP's plans; StandUnited.com seeks to be the right's Change.org; tons of civic tech news from mySociety, Chicago and Civic Hall in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Punch List

Obama's State of the Union and the Internet; how HealthCare.gov shares personal data with third-parties; Facebook says it will give users tools to tag false or hoax content in their News Feeds; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Goggles

More on the shifting net neutrality debate; how Ready for Hillary plans to share its digital assets; the family roots of Civic Hall; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Urgency

How Republicans are starting to embrace net neutrality; more predictions of the blockchain's impact on society; new "innovative communities" legislation in Massachusetts seeks to boost civic tech there; and much, much more. GO

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