Kuro5hin dogs blogs October 16, 2001 10:06 AM   Subscribe

The utter failure of weblogs as journalism.
posted by owillis to General Weblog-Related at 10:06 AM (25 comments total)

well, they aren't journalism, are they? where are the editors? how many webloggers go out and gather facts or interview sources?

by chance, occasionally weblog editors are in the middle of an event and serve as sort of frontline correspondents.

but journalism? linking to a series of news stories investigated by others and adding your opinion is akin to the op-ed page, to being a pundit. but calling weblogs as they now exist "journalism" is just self-aggrandizing and betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the profession.
posted by rebeccablood at 10:35 AM on October 16, 2001

i prefer "weblogs as vehicles."

what you choose to do with your weblog is very open-ended; you can do anything you like. if you choose to link to many news stories and provide opinions of them, you may do so. if you'd like to tell people about what's going on in your life, you may do so. if you would like to try to present fiction, you may do so. in journalism, when you cease to present well-researched and objective content, you provide what is basically an op/ed piece, as rcb notes. in weblogs, when you decide not to be objective or research diligently, your product is still a weblog.

weblogging is to journalism as apples are to oranges; always has been, always will be.
posted by moz at 10:48 AM on October 16, 2001

I prefer "web logs as overflow housing for my huge ego."

Does anyone doubt that it is all about me?

ME!!! ME!!! ME!!!
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:29 PM on October 16, 2001

My friend, I beg to differ.

It is, in fact, all about me.

Oh, and Wil Wheaton too.

Seriously, weblogging doesn't even pretend to be journalism, does it? It can act as a sort of broad overview of opinion, if many people post the same thing to their blog and then comment on it. You know, just in case you're curious as to the views of the angst-ridden teen girl demographic.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:29 PM on October 16, 2001

recently there have been quite a few claims that it is, and a couple of articles on the subject.
posted by rebeccablood at 1:57 PM on October 16, 2001

You know, just in case you're curious as to the views of the angst-ridden teen girl demographic.

Since I am one, in chat rooms at least, it sounds utterly fascinating to me.
posted by y2karl at 2:07 PM on October 16, 2001

Well, that's pretty silly I think. My blog is just a blog, the height of subjectivity and, as y6 alluded to, ego-stroking. I think to aspire to real journalism with your blog is in a way admirable but almost impossible. Most of us just wouldn't have the resources. The most you can hope for is, as you say Rebecca, being a pundit.

Hmm. So I'm pretty much saying I agree with everyone. And if this many MeFis can agree on something, you know something's gone rather seriously awry.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:10 PM on October 16, 2001

The utter failure of kitty litter as motor oil.
posted by jpoulos at 3:05 PM on October 16, 2001

The approach I've taken with my blog is an opinion column. I've had a few comments saying I was unfair to Republicans, and not printing "the truth". And I always say "if you want both sides of the issue, go elsewhere, I'm not a journalist".
posted by owillis at 3:16 PM on October 16, 2001

Of course, somebody could break a news story on a blog (Drudge somewhat qualifies), but to leap from that to journalism is a bit.

Although I may contend that some of the WTC "on the scene" photos and videos straddle that line...
posted by owillis at 3:19 PM on October 16, 2001

but wait jpoulos, kitty litter can be used to clean up motor oil...so are you saying weblogs can clean up the news? Or that cats can poop in weblogs? Or that motor oil has no inherent journalistic integrity? I'm so confused.

Maybe while you're at it you can tell me why my cat is incapable of using his weblog correctly?

owillis, I think that's the best response you can make. Besides who looks for news from a Redskins fan anyway?

posted by Kafkaesque at 3:20 PM on October 16, 2001

at least Dallas didn't force a safety... *covers*
posted by machaus at 3:43 PM on October 16, 2001

somewhere, far off in the night, a weiner dog in a Redskins jersey cries.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:51 PM on October 16, 2001

What I lack in speed I make up for in size.

Don't stand too close to a naked man.

Get even further away if he's big and pissed off.

posted by owillis at 4:23 PM on October 16, 2001

I'm saying that the viscosity of some weblogs simply doesn't hold up to the extreme temperatures in today's higher-revving engines. (duh!)
posted by jpoulos at 4:24 PM on October 16, 2001

At their best, weblogs are to journalism as reflection is to revelation. A different, but hardly inferior, animal. Facts, information, data, knowledge--all are essential, but without a mechanism for processing them into understanding and transmuting them into policy and action, they merely end up on the massive and rapidly-growing heap of unexamined or unassimilated data that contributes to neither man nor society.
posted by rushmc at 4:58 PM on October 16, 2001

...in bed!
posted by rodii at 5:13 PM on October 16, 2001

Drudge somewhat qualifies

Yeah, Roseanne somewhat qualifies as an anorexic, too.
posted by y2karl at 6:11 PM on October 16, 2001

::: glares at rodii, then chuckles :::
posted by rushmc at 7:52 PM on October 16, 2001

*smiles angelically*
posted by rodii at 8:21 PM on October 16, 2001

-giggles girlishly-
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:34 PM on October 16, 2001

*farts loudly*

oops! Excuse me.
posted by jpoulos at 9:05 PM on October 16, 2001

posted by Kafkaesque at 9:13 AM on October 17, 2001

::: peeks back in to see how Kafkaesques's whittling is coming along :::
posted by rushmc at 6:45 PM on October 18, 2001

posted by clavdivs at 7:22 PM on October 18, 2001

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