Monday, February 11, 2008

News Flash: Newspaper Editor Denigrates Blogosphere!

This column is so dripping with elitism that I'm not sure I can fisk it properly. It's laughable, really. The Psychosis-Gazette writer focuses on blogs that deal with literary criticism, since that is his area of expertise, but really, you could apply his attitude towards any area of concentration:

A book review in the Post-Gazette and other newspapers is the product of several people, from me, the editor who selects the book and its reviewer, to the critic to several editors who read the review and point out problems and errors in reasoning, fact and language.

Then we publish it. If mistakes persist, we correct them in print. Bloggers have no responsibility or obligation, except their own personal integrity, to do any of the above.

The newspaper book page is therefore an "authority," backed by several levels. Authority, however, is not a core value of the Internet mentality, Siegel writes. Just being alive and having access to a computer are enough to qualify one to write a blog.

A high priesthood writes the sacred text to be presented as gospel to the unwashed masses! The writer doesn't question our right to free speech; he just questions our qualifications to craft our own opinions and share our thoughts openly with anyone who cares to know. We need his ilk to tell us what to think, and just shut up about any conclusions we might happen to reach on our own. After all, most of us are unpaid independent free thinkers. God forbid we should compete with the moneyed editorial interests.
Some of us still read books, write letters, shop at real stores and make up our own minds about art, film, drama or music.
So he's suggesting that blogs are telling people what to think? Isn't that what newspapers are for? A thought's not fit to think unless it's printed in ink, after all.

He isn't exactly telling us to shut up, but when you see this kind of opinion expressed in an establishment newspaper, it is not hard to foresee a day when the free expression that we exercise in the online world will fall subject to some sort of government regulations, thanks to the powerful lobby of the oppressive journalistic class.

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