26 Oct 2005, Comments (0)

Typing with intent

Author: Helen

Heard a panel discussion on RN the other day on ìnew media publishingî, with reference to online magazines like New Matilda and blogging. As with other references to blogging in the msm (Main Stream Meeja) lately, it was patronising, insulting and depressing.

One lowlight was journo / opinion writer Andrew West opining that much dead-tree writing is superior to Just “Any Old” blog. Oh, well then. So Robert Manne, Adele Horin, Ross Gittins and himself are stacked up against a few OMG WTF LOL livejournalling teenagers. Apples and pears. He frames the discussion so as to set the blogosphere up to fail.

And the old saw that blogging isnít journalism. Repeat after me 100 times: Blogging is not, and has never been, intended to be journalism. (Political blogs – which are only one of many categories – can cut through the agenda-setting of the msm by highlighting and pointing to stories that otherwise would be buried by the stories the powers that be consider suitable for us.)

It was evident the panelists had done little or nothing to really find out what is available in the blogosphere.

The other bit which had me whimpering in frustration was Hilary McPhee saying (Erratum: it was Ramona Koval) that she really didnít know where the ìnew mediaî was going to go in terms of readership, because, she says, there is no serendipity there. She reckons you have to ìlog onî somewhere in order to read anything on the net. Iím not sure what she was trying to get at but she seems to imagine that people choose one or two online mags which they have to know about first; subscribe; log on to those one or two sites and just read. Sheís aware that people come in and comment at New Matilda, but she doesnít seem to understand how people really move about on the internet.

For exampleÖ hasnít she ever, for instance, gone over to Barista from where she follows a link to Professor Q (while being directed to various overseas mainstream media articles which she otherwise might have missed, along the way), then decided to go over to the Purple Rodeo for a while just because the link is on Quigginís blog, or maybe via Catallaxy, canít remember; thus discovering a treasure trove of historical writing called Philobiblon, who, together with Susoz, provide enough feminist links to keep her up way past her bedtimeÖ

Serendipity, in spades. I didnít know any of the blogs I knew today a couple of years ago. I have followed an interlocking, non-linear mass of links to topics and writers that particularly interest me ñ and many topics, and writers, that intrigue or horrify. A person who is running an online journal should know how the internet works. (See “Typing with intent redux” above for correction).

Iím not the only onewho has been disappointed lately with the attitude of the msm to bloggers. What’s with this tribal sniping?

Update 29/10: Found a transcript, and the comment was actually made by Ramona Koval, to McPhee. See Typing with Intent Redux.

Comments (0)

  • Trevor says:

    Isn’t it more to do with making a living from writing?

  • Sedgwick says:

    it was patronising, insulting and depressing

    – not to mention circling up the wagons against what might be a challenge to the entrenched and blinkered media-ocrity. The words and phrases “patronising”, “ignorant” and “damning with faint (and studied ignorant) praise” readily come to mind. Won’t even mention the word “luddite”, bugger I just did didn’t I? Well, that bloggers for you isn’t it?!

  • Laura from Sills Bend says:

    Thanks for bothering to write this post. YES, a person who runs an internet journal should know how the interent works. When yet another one demonstrates s/he obviously doesn’t, “More fool they” and a huge shoulder-shrug is about as much energy as I can expend at this point. I heard a promo for the RN progran and avoided listening.

    A much pleasanter hour was spent listening to Phillip Adams interview Kurt Vonnegut the other night – among other good things, Vonnegut said, in reply to a question about whether he feel politically isolated in the USA under the present regime, that his advice to his creative writing students has always been to write a story that says “you aren’t alone – other people feel like you do.”

    I don’t think it has much to do with making a living from writing – but living by writing, perhaps there’s something in that, now?

  • Guy says:

    It’s something of the “you didn’t do a journalism degree, stay out of it!” syndrome, methinks.

  • flute says:

    I see what you’re saying, but it’s not unusual for bloggers to criticise msm is it?

    Of course, we’re right.

  • Sedgwick says:

    msm has been at it for much, much longer than bloggers and it still has trouble casting its collective Cyclops above its navel. Apples and oranges I say. Fruit salad anyone. I say tomarto, you say tomayto.

    Criticise the msm and watch its members circle the wagons. Ever decreasingly.

    And Kurt will ever be an international living treasure, long after the presidents, kings and emperors without any clothes are finally shrouded and interred.

    Now, without much further ado about nothing, we must away to our breakfast of champignons.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.