Scoop Culture And The Professors
Felix Salmon, using a Brad DeLong post as a springboard, explains why academics have taken to blogging more easily than many journalists:
“Situating your work and your contribution in the ongoing discussion” is exactly what bloggers do and it’s something that journalists find very difficult. Being original (the fetishization of the “scoop”, even if it’s only by five minutes) is vastly overpraised in journalism, and journalists as a group tend to imbue everything they do with an incredible amount of secrecy. Try asking a magazine writer what she’s working on: she probably won’t tell you. After all, you might scoop her!
I think Brad’s insight helps explain to a very large extent the reason why academics took to the blogosphere with so much more alacrity than journalists, and why journalists-turned-bloggers can be pretty stingy with links and hat-tips, at least when they’re starting out. And of course it helps explain the otherwise inexplicable decision by Bloomberg to bar its reporters from even discussing “media competitors”, let alone linking to them.