Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

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Posted by shannonclark on March 18, 2003

Whispers of War – QuickTopic bulletin board

A discussion of a recent post by Kevin Sites (CNN report in Northern Iraq), I contributed the following as a comment on blogging vs. traditional media:

Traditional media serves many masters – the editor(s), the publisher(s), the company that owns the media source, the advertisers, even just the constraints and priorities of “other” news – i.e. what gets to be on Page 1 is dependant on many factors – most outside of the control of the journalist.

A blog, in contrast, is generally an individual voice (or a group of voices), yes still serving some “masters” but generally far fewer than in “traditional” media – in large part because the costs are significently lower.

Further, a blog is generally more a commentary or opinion piece than “hard” news – so different rules apply (in terms of language, tone, focus etc).

The negative is that all these other voices and forces do serve a valuable purpose – often they clarify the journalist’s original writing (short is harder than long), sometimes they add valuable insight/information.

Here in Chicago, there is a “traditional” media version of this conflict – the local papers have each launched a cheaper tabloid (Red Eye by the Chicago Tribune and Red Streak by the Chicago Sun Times) both have far less editing than their parent papers, and often run stories in their original as submitted by the journalist form – the journalists themselves have commented that this is not always a good thing…

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