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19 July 2004

Journalists resent us?

Joe Gandelman points us to an LA Times opinion piece from yesterday’s paper, in which a Kennedy School professor
complains that bloggers are “the sizzle, not the steak.”  Joe
rightly notes that much of the skarky sniping in the mainstream press
comes because many of them seem unhappy that we haven’t paid the dues
that they have to win the right to do what they do.

Some of us bloggers have some special expertise in the subjects that we
write about.  I would actually contend that I’m often better
equipped to write about politics than a political reporter, because I
can explain to you why the phenomena that we see might actually be
happening.  Yeah, I might have to use some math, statistics, or
systematic research to do that, but I’d contend that my specialized
knowledge makes me (and some of my other fellow bloggers) well suited
to cover a political convention.  For example, take a look at my post from the primaries that explains why John Kerry was preferred over Howard Dean and why (relatively) centrist candidates usually win in the American electoral system.

Moreover, bloggers aren’t usually trying to replace the mainstream
media.  We have our own specialized niche audiences.  Some of
us speak to academics, to librarians, to computer geeks,
and so forth.  The reward that the media get for all their
dues-paying is this: that they get to speak to a larger portion of the
public than anyone else (well, that and all the money they
command).  But the reward is not that they get a monopoly on
telling us what’s going on.  Bloggers probably provide one of the
few outlets for outside-the-media/politics-system coverage
available.  I’m glad journalists have appointed themselves the
role of guarding the Republic by providing and digesting
information.  But they are not the sole guardians, just the

Posted in Politicks on 19 July 2004 at 1:03 pm by Nate

NYT ed on the bloggers

The Times sounds threatened by us. Or jaded by their own profession.

We do wonder whether a blogger’s buccaneer self-image will suffer from
having to wear a garish credential necklace just to watch
conventioneers as they mainly say, “Nice to see you!” to each other.
Will bloggers be tamed into centrism? Or, like Mencken, will they
gleefully report that the convention’s main speechmakers are “plainly
on furlough from some home for extinct volcanoes”? Log on to find out.

Posted in OnTheWeb on 19 July 2004 at 1:38 am by Nate

Domain name

Forgot to mention this a couple of days back.  For those of you
who find me via googling “nate knows nada”, you can now just type that
into the URL field.  I’m at

Posted in OnTheWeb on 19 July 2004 at 1:09 am by Nate