This isn’t an argument at all.

Sigh. Leonard Pitts is at it again, although this time it’s not about the racial grievance-mongering.

I don’t understand why he and his kind try to paint journalism as some kind of dark art that only the chosen few can fully understand. The fact that a piece of writing appears on a bunch of folded sheets of newsprint on the doorstep every morning (or its online or TV equivalent) doesn’t by default make it any better than any other supposedly well-researched piece of writing. Sure, the big media outlets have more resources, but as anyone who’s paying attention knows, those resources aren’t always put to full use. How else would you explain the fact that Operation Fast and Furious was uncovered by, again, a couple of no-name bloggers?

And this, of course, goes to the whole credibility issue, which is why I find it so laughable that Pitts would imply that bloggers don’t have the credibility to replace journalists, painting Old Media journalists as some sort of expert:

And every day, thousands of their colleagues attend the council meetings, pore over the budgets, decipher the court rulings that help the rest of us understand our cities, nation and world.

It’s as if he’s never heard of the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. Going back to a couple of focuses of this blog, the people who write for Hearst Newspapers don’t seem to know anything about guns or gun laws and the people who write for Rolling Stone don’t know anything about music — so why should anyone believe anything they write about any other topic? And that’s not even taking into account how journalists won’t even take the time to get elementary things like road names right!

As Kevin Baker said, if Leonard Pitts wonders why journalism is swirling the toilet, maybe he ought to take a look in the mirror.


One Response to “This isn’t an argument at all.”

  1. Sabra Morse Onstott Says:

    And yet again I am forced to note that newspapers have made no effort to make themselves indispensable. I bought Thursday’s paper when we were out and skipped over much of the Metro section because I’d read it on the paper’s website the day before.

    The Express-News is filled with not only national news but “metro” stories from parts of the state where I neither live nor visit. (My go-to example is still the article about a water park over near Houston. Who in San Antonio is going to care about that?) Meanwhile, the Current is covering local stories and doing the investigative reporting the Express-News and its “100 journalists” ought to be doing–it was the Current which broke the Dan Ramos story and brought to light the city’s habit of ignoring due process in demolishing houses, just to name a couple of recent things. There’s a REASON traditional newspapers are failing, not that the higher-ups grasp it at all.

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