Thursday, December 21, 2006

One Man's Take on Blogs: They Traffic
In Pronouncements, Not Persuasion

From a piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal editorial page, by assistant editorial features editor Joseph Rago:
Blogs are very important these days. Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has one. The invention of the Web log, we are told, is as transformative as Gutenberg's press, and has shoved journalism into a reformation, perhaps a revolution...Every conceivable belief is on the scene, but the collective prose, by and large, is homogeneous: A tone of careless informality prevails; posts oscillate between the uselessly brief and the uselessly logorrheic; complexity and complication are eschewed; the humor is cringe-making, with irony present only in its conspicuous absence; arguments are solipsistic; writers traffic more in pronouncement than persuasion.

You can read the entire piece here.


At 2:50 PM, Blogger redhorse said...

I detect arrogance and a preening for the "formality" of newspaper writing.

And then the slam: blogs just nibble at the MSM scraps. Well, duh.

Both assertions can be batted away rather easily: the majority of bloggers are not journalists by trade. Thus, we don't have time to conduct even routine reportage nor are most bloggers encumbered by j-school writing standards.

Or, in other words, yet another MSM columnist misses the point.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Many thanks for visiting RH, and I believe this your first time commenting. I both enjoy and respect your primary blog, and I hope my readers will wander over and check it out if they haven't already:

I was going to link this bit of dyspepsia with another similar take published today by the bowtied bloviator, George Will, but thought better of it. There's only so much negative vibe one should ingest around the holidays. Anyway, happy holidays to you, Redhorse, and thanks again for intelligently adding to the conversation and for hosting such an intelligent ongoing conversation yourself.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger redhorse said...

And to you too, John.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Jim Kenny said...

The MSM react like anyone who perceives a threat they don't understand -- they deny it.

However, ironically, why do bloggers keep pointing us to it? It is we who are guilty of dignifying their ignorance.

JE, Mery Christmas to you and yours. I'm looking forward to breaking bread with you in the new year.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Jim, thanks as always for visiting. And of course you're right about the dynamic. Just to set the record straight, though, I'm both and neither when it comes to mainstream media and blogger. I just think of myself as a writer whose work happens to appear in various places, including blogs, mainstream and alternative (whatever that means these days) pubs, print and online. I'll let others figure out what to call any of that. The labels shouldn't really matter a whole lot.

And yes, I'm also looking forward to sitting down and catching up after the new year. Enjoy your holiday, Jim.


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