Fascinating article in this month’s Atlantic, written by Andrew Sullivan, titled “Why I Blog”. Conventional wisdom says that blogging represents the death of journalism. Sullivan says no, blogging is simply another type of media that complements traditional journalism. His analogy: blogging is to journalism what Jazz (when it first came on the scene) was to classical music– it represented a different aesthetic, required a new way to think about music, but it didn’t make Bach or Mozart obsolete.
Some will take issue with Sullivan’s point of view. After all, the rise of the internet is being blamed for the cutbacks at newspapers. Right? But those who “get it” know classifieds are what paid the bills. So, it’s not, for example, the Drudge Report that’s challenging the traditional newpaper model, it’s Craig’s List. And Craig’s List is not about journalism.
Of course it’s not so black and white. But it prompts rethinking the view that online journalism is the primary culprit.
Sullivan’s piece is brilliant because it speaks to the fact that blogging is the great journalistic motivator– it provides the masses with the opportunity for public expression, idea sharing and knowledge expansion. “The blogosphere has added a whole new idiom to the act of writing and has introduced an entirely new idiom to the act of writing and has introduced an entirely new generation to nonfiction.”