...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Monday, May 09, 2005

Blog bullies?

NPR's ombudsman, Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, has posted a strangely plaintive commentary on the bumptious behavior of bloggers on his "column" (blog). He talks about bloggers' hack of the Defense Department document on the U.S. checkpoint shooting of that Italian agent last month, which NPR had posted on its site.

...the blogosphere has proven once again to be an amoral place with few rules. The consequences for misbehavior are still vague. The possibility of civic responsibility remains remote. It is a place where the philosophy of "who posts first, wins" predominates...
And this is different from the news business in what way?
As news organizations fight to regain their battered credibility and vanishing audiences, the blogs and the number of people who read them continue to grow. The blogs entertain, they provoke, and they are not constrained by journalistic standards of truth telling....This is a challenge and a danger for journalism....Can the MSM [mainstream media] adopt any blog values to attract the younger audience? Or should we wait and see? Perhaps these younger people will outgrow these youthful informational indiscretions and come to their senses -- and back to media that can serve them best...I have my doubts...

Well, for a start, you could step down from your plucking-lint-from-my-bespoke-shoulder-pad tone, Jeffrey. As NPR might say, ombuds-persons are supposed to be on our side.

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