Who's the parasite?
Tuesday, March 06, 2007 by Dave Winer.
I've finally watched the third installment of the Frontline News War report.
They just repeated the point of view of professional reporters, over and over, from every conceivable angle, a p.o.v. we've been hearing for a long time. They want reassurance that they're at the top of a pyramid that includes all the rest of us. Very much like the tech industry, probably like very other group of people. I bet doctors feel that way about the rest of us too (including reporters).
In an offline email conversation, Andrew Baron, who was interviewed in the report said something that I think bears repeating -- that there's a difference between reporting and journalism. I think he's right about that.
But they miss that they feed off their sources, in other words they are parasites of their sources (to use the same negative tone they use with bloggers), and their sources aren't waiting for them anymore. What are they doing? Key point -- they're becoming bloggers. Duh.
A bit of history -- at the same time I asked the NYT to support RSS, I also asked them to offer Times-hosted blogs to anyone who is quoted in a Times article. If only they had done that, how different things would be now.
USA Today sort of took a half-step towards that, but none of them, so far, have been willing to extend their authority to their communities. Hell, none of them have even made the leap to realize that their sources are part of their communities, a very very important part of their goodwill, and worth developing, at least conserving.
Jay Rosen is my rabbi when it comes to the authority of the Great Newspapers of the 20th Century. That would be a good title of a book, eh? (Not for me to write, I'm thinking about the great bloggers of the 21st Century).