I told myself I wasn't going to write anything else about the Dave Weigel matter today, but Greg Sargent's rebuke to his anonymous colleagues whining to Jeffrey Goldberg about those awful new bloggers is worth noting. Here are some of the statements given to Goldberg:
"This is really about the serial stupidity of allowing these bloggers to trade on the name of the Washington Post."
"It makes me crazy when I see these guys referred to as reporters. They're anything but. And they hurt the newspaper when they claim to be reporters."
The cowardly hiding behind anonymonity is pathetic enough. But let's take on the substance of this. I submit that someone can be a "real" reporter if he or she is accurate on the facts and fairly represents the positions of subjects; if he or she has a decent sense of what's newsworthy and important to readers; and if readers come away from his or her stuff feeling more informed than they were before.
I remember a time when there was nothing more vile than those nasty bloggers with their anonymous comment sections. Behind veils of anonymity, the cowardly hordes of the Internet would spew rivers of bile and the real journalists would clutch their pearls and lament the decline of public discourse. Now that the bloggers have moved into the newsroom, some of these "traditional" reporters have joined the cesspool of anonymous flaming they once used as examples of why blogging couldn't be taken seriously as a journalistic medium.
How's that for a bit of irony?
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