Monday, July 12, 2004

Be Careful 

Global PR Blog Week 1.0 is underway and has thought-provoking reading. But in the midst of skimming articles, a queasiness began to fill my stomach. Where had I seen rhetoric like this before? It came to me that I had seen it at least three times -- when PCs were introduced, with the rise of the Internet and now with blogging.

There is too much enthusiasm for what blogging can do. It is like discovering a new world and dreaming of what the land can be before one finds it has poisonous snakes and deadly spiders. Certainly there should be enthusiasm for blogging. It is a low-cost, widespread communications tool that gives millions an opportunity to express themselves. But it is not a revolution in communications. For one thing, if everyone is blogging, who is reading and listening? The noise would be deafening and good ideas potentially driven out by bad ones.

Ultimately, blogging needs an editorial process like journalism. It needs an objective eye overseeing it and asking if the story is complete and accurate, the opinion thought out and the grammar and spelling correct. I have never agreed with journalists who maintain that blogging frees them from editing. Their blogs should be edited right along with their copy because whether they like it or not, what they say in blogs reflects on journalism and the media they work for.

Please put down the stones and put away the faggots. You can burn me later for heresy.

I believe there is room for unedited opinion and reporting in blogging, but after the first few successful libel trials, there will be less.

Now you can light the fire...


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