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Reality Check

March 15th, 2006 · 1 Comment

In the course of making various perfectly good points in a tussle over the relative merits of Old Media and the blogosphere with an anonymous commenter, Jeff Jarvis drops this bizarre argument:

First, it’s a shame that whoever this is hides behind the nom d’interactivity of “journalist” without the conviction to stand behind these words with a name. But that itself is all too emblematic of how old news operates: They have made themselves into institutions; they have forgotten how to have a conversation, person-to-person. Perhaps their bosses make them afraid of speaking out loud and speaking their names. Perhaps they are afraid themselves. In either case, my first message to them is: Don’t fear the people you are sworn to serve. If you want to argue with me, do it eye-to-eye. If you want to serve the public, meet the public.

To which I reply: Jigga-wha? Slinging attacks from behind a pseudonym is emblematic of old media in this little face-off? Can’t we just acknowledge the complementary value of these two sorts of reporting and commentary—increasingly indistinct anyway as traditional outlets launch blogs and bloggers publish in big media—without making “legacy” media into Dar al-Harb?

Tags: Journalism & the Media



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jeff Jarvis // Mar 15, 2006 at 8:50 pm

    Right, good point. The problem was that I wasn’t complaining so much about the anonymity but about the fear of engaging directly. In other words, I’ll be the guy is anonymous not because he wants to sling — he really doesn’t — but because he’s afraid of his bosses, who are, in turn, afraid of dialogue with the public. That’s what I was thinking. What I said did, you’re right, create a rather, well, ironic comparison.