Blame the Blogger

I thought I might quote John Quiggin's witticism: "In the February edition of Prospect, William Skidelsky has a piece on the decline of book reviewing. As is standard for any adverse trend in the early 21st century, blogs get a fair bit of the blame."

Indeed. In particular, in recent months I've noticed a tendency on the part of certain fogies to try to accuse me personally, or else bloggers more generally, for the structural decline of the newspaper and, in particular, of the uniquely American model of a professionalized objective press. This as if the newspaper business were in tip-top shape as of mid-2002 and really only went into sharp decline when the Great Orange Satan moved to his community-based format and started seeing skyrocketing traffic. In truth almost every trend that people seem inclined to blame on blogs was under way long before there were any blogs. The internet has, in many instances, provided the first glimmer of hope in decades that long-dwindling media forms may be replaced by something.