Thursday, July 27, 2006

Revered journalist and NPR correspondent Daniel Schorr gives his perspective on blogging and the Internet:
What is good about it (the Internet) is people will not be able to suppress the news because you can always have a blogger who gets the story out,” Schorr says.

“But what we have here is a medium in which there is no publisher, no editor, no anything. It's just you and a little machine and you can make history. I find that scary. Nobody should get into print or on the air without some kind of editor. I have an institutional belief that nobody can be above having a good editor.”

Wish he would have read the recent report from Pew about bloggers and blogging. Once again, someone from MSM is perpetuating stereotypes and talking in generalities about something he seems to know so little about. First-person accounts of tragic events--if that's what he means by the stuff that makes history, such as the tsunami blogs/photos or the London bombing photos--are different in scope than other types of blogs. The reason they often go out without editing is the urgency of the situation--and that they are first-person. In those cases, editing could amount to censoring of timely visual information.

Which brings up the point as to when an editor becomes a censor. Editing for creating a coherent, readable product that is balanaced and judicious is important. Editing to hold back information because of an agenda is another thing totally--which seems to be what's happening with a lot of the coverage of the Middle East. Is that editing or censoring? Is the end-product good journalism or propaganda?

Wonder how Schorr would answer those questions.


Doctor B. said...

Mr. Schorr, an old-school newsman whose commentary is dead-on 99% of the time, needs to think of the blogosphere as the biggest letters-to-the-editor column that there is.

Tish Grier said...

So far, only Jim Lehrer seems to understand that it's just conversation. He's the only one that doesn't seea threat. Wish he'd explain it to everyone else.