The wisdom of the hybrid

Dan Gillmor highlights the money shot of a much-discussed Nicholas Carr post on MSM vs. "citizen journalism."

I’m all for blogs and blogging. (I’m writing this, ain’t I?) But
I’m not blind to the limitations and the flaws of the blogosphere – its
superficiality, its emphasis on opinion over reporting, its echolalia,
its tendency to reinforce rather than challenge ideological extremism
and segregation. Now, all the same criticisms can (and should) be
hurled at segments of the mainstream media. And yet, at its best, the
mainstream media is able to do things that are different from – and,
yes, more important than – what bloggers can do. Those despised "people
in a back room" can fund in-depth reporting and research. They can
underwrite projects that can take months or years to reach fruition –
or that may fail altogether. They can hire and pay talented people who
would not be able to survive as sole proprietors on the Internet. They
can employ editors and proofreaders and other unsung protectors of
quality work. They can place, with equal weight, opposing ideologies on
the same page. Forced to choose between reading blogs and subscribing
to, say, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Atlantic, and the
Economist, I will choose the latter. I will take the professionals over
the amateurs.

But I don’t want to be forced to make that choice.

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.