By Patrick Appel
Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses blogger-hate:
There are many things wrong with Alter's analysis, but let's begin with the fact that Alter is basically taking the top 5 percent of print journalism--a mature form that's had a chance to iron out its wrinkles--and comparing it to the worst of a very new form. It's true that "anyone can sit at home pontificating in their PJs," but not everyone does it well, which is why some bloggers attract an audience, and some don't. Moreover, the idea that blogging consists of simply spouting off is moronic and reductionist. The first thing I discovered--and this has been repeatedly rammed home to me--is just how much reading I have to do in order to be credible. Frankly, I still don't do enough. But the sheer amount of info you have to absorb, in order to be good, is pretty incredible. The best bloggers may not pick up the phone much--but they do research. It's just not clear to me that talking to some bureacrat is anymore revelatory than reading a ton. It's probably best to do both.
I read 8 to 12 hours a day and blog the best of what I find, less than 1% of the total. Google reader tracks how many blog posts I've read: as of this writing 21,779 posts in the last 30 days. And that doesn't count the times I go directly to blogs or news websites, something I do frequently throughout the day. Reporting is important but I fully agree with Coates that reading is a key part of blogging. Blogging isn't just writing; it's editing.
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