This line of thought on the blogosphere is so tired and arcane and disappointing as to barely be worth a mention. Except this time it’s coming from Aaron Sorkin who, among other things, just won the Oscar for writing the Social Network, a generation-defining film about, among other things, life in the age of the Internet.From the Atlantic Wire’s excellent What I Read series, this is Sorkin weighing in on the Internet (his homepage browser is Yahoo: “From time to time I’ll read some of the comments under stories on it to get a sense of what it must be like at a Klan meeting.”).
Right before he launches into this he notes that he’s neither on Twitter nor Facebook and reads the papers in print.
The upside of web-based journalism is that everybody gets a chance. The downside is that everybody gets a chance. I can’t really get on board with the demonization of credentials with phrases like “the media elite” (just like doctors, airline pilots and presidents, I prefer reporters and commentators to be elite) and the glamorization of inexperience with phrases like “citizen journalist.”
When I read the Times or The Wall Street Journal, I know those reporters had to have cleared a very high bar to get the jobs they have. When I read a blog piece from “BobsThoughts.com,” Bob could be the most qualified guy in the world but I have no way of knowing that because all he had to do to get his job was set up a website–something my 10-year-old daughter has been doing for 3 years. When The Times or The Journal get it wrong they have a lot of people to answer to. When Bob gets it wrong there are no immediate consequences for Bob except his wrong information is in the water supply now so there are consequences for us.
Welcome back to 2005! I mean honestly, it’s hard to decide whether Sorkin is simply being a snob in the worst way or just plain lazy. Either way, disappointing.
Aaron Sorkin: What I Read [Atlantic Wire]
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