(Connie Schultz as interviewed by Tim Harmon of the South Bend Tribune, 04/18/10)
What do you as a professional newspaper columnist do for readers that the blogospherists can't or won't?It's patently obvious that Ms. Schultz hasn't been reading many blogs.
The overwhelming number of the blogosphere's "citizen journalists" would benefit a great deal by adhering to traditional journalism's best practices, starting with posting under real names and then setting out to verify, verify, verify. Gossip is not fact; at best, it's a starting point for running down facts and unraveling rumors. Too many blog posts begin with, "I heard that..." and then launch into rants and speculation. No phone calls, no e-mails, no interviews to find out if what they "heard" is true. It's the Internet version of the busybody neighbor, except far less benign.
It's also obvious that Ms. Schultz feels bloggers should act insane, following the same journalism "best practices" that have led newspapers and network news to the brink of financial collapse.
Ironically, in this same interview, Ms. Schultz engages in the very same activity that she despises of bloggers. Anecdotal forming of opinions used to smear large groups, assumptions based on fact.
The mistake made, as I talked about yesterday is viewing independent or party bloggers as news vehicles. For the most part they are not. They are opinion drivers and opinion (by its very nature) is a messy, unruly, fluid medium. A place where there are more exceptions to core beliefs than bats in Dan Patrick's belfry, where consistency is checked at the front desk and where augmentative logic is barred from the meeting upon penalty of being forced to spend its days making a case for the newsworthiness of anything in ChronBlog's Good Life section.
Opinion is where America hangs its intellectual undies out to dry.
Trying to apply the standards of journalism to that makes as much sense as getting marriage counselling from Pamela Anderson.
All that said this interview is good for being a revealing insight into the mind of an MSM stalwart, and further explains the lack of understanding between media and the blogosphere.