I just wanted to follow-up on that swipe I took yesterday in this post praising Ezra. I think I probably could have thrown in some context that might clarify where I'm coming from.
The first thing that needs to be said is that I consider myself a print guy. I started in print, and should I be lucky, I'll die doing print. I wrote, almost exclusively in print, for over ten years before I started blogging. In that time I covered everything from community development to police brutality to local politics to Bill Cosby to M.F. Doom. At almost every stage I was aided in that pursuit by editors who were willing to make space for stories that pushed the limits of the average attention span. I don't dismiss criticism of bloggers by "traditional" journalists out of any questioning of the value of newspapers, books and magazines.
That said, I do find this sense that, say, people writing on the internet don't report to be snobbish, ignorant, and ultimately unreflective. Journalism is riddled with problems. It's practitioners are fond of claiming "objectivity" while practicing weak-ass "on the other hand"-ism. It's often poorly written, and betrays a loyalty to getting a quote, but not necessarily to getting a quote that tells us something. (Less spokespeople, please.) It uses anonymous sources as a crutch, hence reducing whatever reserves of trust still remain in the reader. At the highest level, it's dominated by the Ivies to such an extent that you'd think no one at a state school ever had an original thought.