‘Two-bit blogging’: an example

March 25, 2009

A couple of bits and pieces I picked up today. Literally – a couple:

1. Noah Shachtman, editor of the Danger Room at Wired, is (almost) accused of being a ‘two-bit blogger’ by a spokesman for Donald Rumsfeld:

"I think if you’re going to accuse Rumsfeld of ‘blowing the war in Afghanistan’ and do it on spurious grounds, that’s your prerogative, but if you’re a professional journalist and not a two-bit blogger, I think you at least owe the reader the other side."

To be fair, Shachtman did publish the ‘other side’ as the spokesman, Keith Urbahn, requested. But it does highlight the difference between traditional journalism and blogging journalism. Whereas ‘good’ ‘old’ journalists were supposed to canvas both sides of the story before publishing, ‘blogging’ journalists do have a tendency to go straight to publish and wait for the other side of the story to drop by their post. Is one way better than the other? Are they just different?

2. In a post about the strategic effect of tactical decisions in the 21st Century, and in the context of the IDF’s war in Gaza, Andrew Exum says this more generally:

"Can we agree that — in the age of television and the new media — decisions made by corporals and sergeants have strategic effect? Is this really controversial?"

I answer: Yes; and I don’t think so. But you might think differently. I’d post any thoughts over on the original post – you’ll probably get a more enlightened response.



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