The Newspaper Old Guard Hates Bloggers (yes, again)

Monday, December 29, 2008
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The good, old days:

When my colleague at the Newark Star-Ledger John Farmer started off in journalism more than five decades ago, things were very different. After covering a political event, he’d hop on the campaign bus, pull out a typewriter, and start banging out copy. As the bus would pull into a town, he’d ball up a finished page and toss it out the window. There a runner would scoop it up and rush it off to a telegraph station where it would be blasted back to the home office.

So many articles like this, so little time. Yes, here’s another one of these articles from the parade of old men who can’t understand why young people (and a lot of older folks) don’t want to read their irrelevant rags any longer. “Real journalist” Paul Mulshine bemoans the loss of the censured, state-fed, boorish organs called newspapers. Another horse breeder making a plea against the automobile. His rant in the Wall Street Journal is bitter, and he seems especially jealous of the success of Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds). The days of censured news organs are disappearing, so get over it, Mulshine.

Mulshine points to the fact that only the print newspapers can produce “real journalists.” This kind of vindictive arrogance only gets these dinosaurs the opposite of what they want. They hate their customers for evolving with the times and desiring a different product. So guess what? Their (former) customers are telling them to stick it. What he really means by “real” journalist is one who is employed by an approved voice in the mainstream media. Note his reference to “alternative” media – the quotation marks convey his contempt for people who haven’t had to spend 40 years moving their way up from floor sweeper and runner to “real” journalist because the glory of the digital age creates open access and possibilities for all, and at little or no monetary cost.

Mulshine doesn’t believe that people who get their news on the Internet can appropriately distinguish between good and bad journalism. Apparently, there exists a distinct definition of real journalism that is escaping me. He wants us to trust that which comes from the printed press, because surely, that must be “real.” A newspaper is a source you can trust.

Some people – especially people I know at work – do like the hard copy of the War Street Journal because they like to be seen with a seemingly “smart” paper. They like to take their paper to a coffee shop to read. My WJS papers pile up in my mailbox curbside because all I care about is the electronic edition. In fact, most digital news sites are set up to be downloaded on PDAs, such as my Blackberry. The WSJ, Blooberg, etc. – they all look and read great on a PDA.

Didn’t Mulshine purport to support Ron Paul? And how does he think the Ron Paul Revolution was born? Does he think Paul’s success was due to all of that unbiased coverage in the printed press?

Newsflash for the old goats standing in stagnant waters: your complaints have become monotonous and they are a source of annoyance. Poor souls, you cannot tolerate that the free market and free flow of information has produced something far, far better than the products you ever delivered.

And hey, Mulshine – I disliked CDs for the first two years they were on the market. I got over it and you can, too.

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