'Mainstream Media' mocks blogosphere and bloggers

While the blogosphere celebration underway at BloggerCon IV will undoubtedly yield much “link love,

While the blogosphere celebration underway at BloggerCon IV will undoubtedly yield much “link love,” two “Mainstream Media” icons have not shown any kind of love to bloggers this month.


At the Newsweek Executive Forum “Global Leadership Conference on Science, Technology and Education" held June 9 in New York City, I witnessed, first hand, Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News, mocking the blogosphere and its bloggers. As I report in “Ten leaders brainstorm U.S. global leadership at Rockefeller University,” as moderator of the panel, “Keeping the Lead, The Global Challenge to Stay Ahead with Innovation, Education and Science,” Williams:

interjected pithy comparisons of “real” journalists versus bloggers. Williams proudly noted that while someone named “Spike,” blogging in his bathrobe in Brooklyn, may consult Wikipedia before posting, he, himself, fact checks before going on air by consulting real, hard bound encyclopedias, in real office libraries

As Williams concluded the panel by saying that he would, literally, run out by the back door, I did not have an opportunity to let him see what one Manhattan blogger looks like: I don’t blog in my bathrobe and while I have short hair, it is not spiked, and most proudly, I fact check, but not at Wikipedia (see my "Social freeloaders: Is there a collective wisdom?").

The New York Times “Select” columnist Maureen Dowd has also let us know how she feels. In her “Bloggers Double Down” June 10 piece, Dowd waxes poetic:

If I had to be relegated to the Dustbin of History, I’m glad it was in Vegas.

I, Old Media, came here to attend a New Media convention of progressive political bloggers aiming for a technological revolution that would dispatsch mainstream media to the tumbrels. It was the journalistic equivalent of mingling with your own pod replicant in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Not all mainstream media types have shown such disdain, however. Just today, Washington Post’s Leslie Walker muses about Digg:

Having attended plenty of meetings at which editors debate what goes on a newspaper's front page, I am fascinated by this attempt to create a front page of Internet news by analyzing reader behavior.

Walker’s “beat”, of course, includes the blogosphere. Her pat, “power to the people,” take, however, may show too much love for the Social Web. Walker tells “us”:

To see who will create the Internet newscast of the future, look into a mirror. You and millions of other readers are being cast as Internet news anchors by a fresh crop of Web sites that may well represent the future of news.

As I say in “Digg: 'newspaper of the Web', or its gossip column?”:

Given that the only “news” Digg actually provides is commentary on other’s news, in what it calls “digg user news" (your latest diggs, or someone else's), however, I hope Digg does not represent our newspapers of the future. Perhaps we should call Digg a gossip column, for while Digg commentary is entertaining and colorful, it is often not newsworthy.

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