Here’s the problem with newspapers. Ready? Who is your favorite newspaper journalist? Quick! Okay, who is your second favorite? Now, who is your favorite blogger? Much easier, no?
There was a time when journalists and news reporters were heroes…a time when they were huge personalities. They wrote with panache, shared ideas and commentary that struck a chord with America. Their ability to turn a phrase captivated us and the masses loved them. Journalists were the rock stars of the day. After a while, though, newspapers started to think these writers were getting too big for their britches – bigger than the newspaper brands they wrote for — and decided to turn down the dial. “If Jimmy Breslin becomes bigger than the Daily News, what happens if he leaves?”
Journalism became antiseptic. Lifeless. It lost a great deal of its humanity. When was the last time you cried after reading a piece in the paper (online or paper paper.)
Blogs to the Rescue.
Enter the blog. No bosses. No editors. No sponsors. Just peeps talking to peeps. Readers get the straight shot. Today’s most impressive, unadulterated journalists are bloggers. Ironically, when bloggers get big, big media tries to hire them. Like punk rockers that have a hard time mixing art and success, this can alter the work product of the blogger. The Conundrum. Newspapers are losing money because their writers churn out auto text. Journalism needs more heroic personalities. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Peace.
PS. My favorite journalists? Nicholas Kristof, Dexter Filkins, Cathy Horyn, Robert Scoble