National Post Columnist Joins Anti-Blog Crusade

If I may be permitted an aside that is about blogging in general, rather than climate change in particular:

It's not clear where exactly newspapers sit on the endangered species list, but as their circulation numbers dwindle and their influence wanes, it becomes more and more common for their footsoldiers to lash out at the forces that will ultimately replace them entirely.

There is an example today in the National Post, a publication in more imminent danger of extinction than most. Commentator Adam Radwanski condemns the blogworld as somehow more narrowminded than conventional journalism, and he declares: “A newspaper can be liberal or conservative in its editorial stance, but there simply aren't enough ideologues in any given city for it to be sustainable as a one-sided pamphlet.”

This either proves that Radwanski, like too many of his journalist colleagues, doesn't read his own enthusiastically ideological “pamphlet” or that he is speaking in prescient terms about the Post's sustainability. Either way, he's out of step.

I regret that we can't post a more useful link to his column: the Post insists that you have a subscription to read it. And soon enough, even that won't help …

Get yourself a blog, Adam, while you still can.



FYI, Mr. Radwanski has had a blog for quite a while, a simple google search turns it up as the first hit if you google his name:

Thanks Blair. It never occurred to me that someone ranting against blogs in his newspaper column might actually maintain one on the side. Still, always better to Google first, talk later …

The thing is that blogs don’t really replace real newsgathering. Take a look at this post from Jay Rosen from a while ago:

…No one really knows what will guarantee into the future the big capital expense of a fully staffed newsroom. This is what worries Big Media people, and they argue that it ought to worry us. They have most of the rest figured out, they believe. But not how to fund the newsroom. As David Weinberger: “They’re facing the possiblity of genuine discontinuity.”

If you look at the (surviving) large-market daily papers in Canada, you will find that those big and expensive newsroom staffs are already disappearing, especially as Canwest Global searches ever harder to find cost savings by sharing “content” among its many properties.

Your point, though, is still valid. Blogs in their current form can’t replace the trusted news sources of yesteryear. (But then, neither can the National Post.) We are in a transitional period - which always tends to draw out the Luddites, who blame the new, even as the old renders itself increasingly anachronistic.