Because whether we’re talking today or 10 years ago, it’s not the medium, it’s the reporter.
And if “we’re talking 10 years from now,” it won’t be the reporter either.
Penenberg’s other Wired “Media Hack” contributions have tended to be much more insightful. So either he’s getting defensive (“we’re still relevant as we teach journalism students to write the same way as we did 10 years ago”) or he was a bit lazy in his critical thinking. No, not the buzzword. The actual reflection.
I’m sure Penenberg and others see the implications of people’s appreciation for the convenience of skipping “reporters” to get critically at the writing itself, whether the author has been trained at NYU’s journalism department or did a dissertation in molecular biology in Madrid.
It’s this thing with journalists: they tend to think that they’re better than people at processing information. So instead of helping people use their own variety of perspectives, they delude themselves in the notion that they’re the closest thing to “objectivity” that the world can get. Not to mention the fact that they think “objectivity” is an absolute value, in and of itself (they probably never appreciated a tasty old cheese!). Well, the other problem (that we see in blogs, including my own blogging activities) is that people focus on “releasing early” instead of seeing the broad picture. No, it’s not about “depth.” It’s about taking a step back. Very few things are extremely time-sensitive and none of them is covered particularly well by journalists.
Hey, it’s not their fault. They’re trained like that. So I wouldn’t ever blame journalists. But I think journalism is more of a problem than a solution.
Once in a while, I get the impression that there’s hope and that journalists will finally see the light. But then, even the most “enlightened” act reactively.