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02/14/2005 Archived Entry: "NYT and bloggers"
Although the resignation of CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan should be news to no one at this point, the New York Times puts an interesting spin on it in a piece published today entitled Resignation at CNN Shows the Growing Influence of Blogs....
Times writer Katherine Q. Seelye opened with, "On Friday, after nearly two weeks of intensifying pressure on the Internet, Eason Jordan... abruptly resigned after being besieged by the online community. Morever, last week liberal bloggers forced a sketchily credentialed White House reporter to quit his post." The Times reporters are accepting at face value the declaration of war against mainstream media made by one blogger, Edward Morrissey, who maintains the Captain's Quarters Blog. Seelye continues, "some in the traditional media are growing alarmed as they watch careers being destroyed by what they see as the growing power of rampant, unedited dialogue." The power that is being wielded has been called "citizen's media". Personally, I dislike that term because of its air of government affiliation and its echo from the post-French Revolution period when everything was "citizen's this" and "citizen's that." (I'm not too fond of those Robespierre/Saint-Just years.) But it is good to see the mainstream media become nervous about something/someone other than government checking their influence. Blogging is the voice of "the people" in the best sense of that phrase because it does not involve coercion -- not even indirectly through tax funding -- but merely is the free-wheeling expression of opinion and arguing of positions. Sometimes the opinion are reasoned, sometimes they are rhetoric. Sometimes the expression is baed on fact, often it is not. But whatever is being said, blogs constitute a form of direct public feedback from which the mainsream media has been insulated for so long. It is not surprising that the elite feel threatened by an open forum.