Tuesday, April 20, 2010

can we say this

The internet’s greatest achievement is to level, somewhat, traditional divisions of status and authority. Till a few years ago, we were led by a priesthood of journalists and editors, even after the time when because of the internet, anyone and his brother were learning to communicate ideas just as well in social media. That was an insupportable structure. Having made a good living in that priesthood for 25 years, I can summon the decadence of the old order in countless ways, but the picture that leaps to mind is of a group of fact checkers and lawyers and editors gathered around any story of importance that was about to be published, and one looked to the other who looked to the other and said, “Can we say this?” That question was asked again and again in corporate media, because there was too much riding on one article, too much money, too much reputation, too much power and status for anyone to be allowed to say what they really thought; and so the imperative that a good writer is supposed to feel, Is this an accurate expression of my thoughts? was crushed under a lot of external pressures.

Philip Weiss at Mondoweiss: The internet is great for journalism but it's also destroying our lives. The rest here.

1 comment:

Andrew Gelman said...

His post seemed a bit shallow to me, full of off-the-cuff generalizations that don't seem at all true, but . . . I guess that just demonstrates the essential truth of his larger point that anybody can write anything and post it on the internet and get readers.