Looking forward to seeing my fellow citizen journalists at the Brooklyn Blogfest this evening.
I haven't been following the Senate Commerce Committee hearings on newspapers. Much of the testimony has contrasted big-house newspapers, and whether or not they need special protections, with citizen journalists - ie: bloggers - and whether or not they are a threat. In today's Gawker, Ryan Tate takes of the speakers - David Simon, creator of the TV series The Wire - to task:
As a newspaper reporter who spent a few years covering a town much like Baltimore [the setting for The Wire] — Oakland, California — I often found that bloggers were the only other writers in the room at certain city council committee meetings and at certain community events. They tended to be the sort of persistently-involved residents newspapermen often refer to as "gadflies" — deeply, obsessively concerned about issues large and infinitesimal in the communities where they lived.
- David Simon: Dead-Wrong Dinosaur, Ryan Tate, Gawker, 2009-05-07
With so much quality civic reporting already being done online for little or no pay, it stands to reason we could eventually get quality government reporting entirely from bloggers, both professional and amateur, rather than depending on a federally-coddled cabal of conspiring nonprofit newspapers, as Simon envisions.
And there are reasons to think the quality would actually be better, since so many of the writers are deeply invested residents ...