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BLOGGERS, “REAL JOURNALISTS,” AND FALSE DICHOTOMIES

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By thisistwitchy  •  March 29, 2005 08:30 AM

Jack Shafer does a great job ripping apart David Shaw’s sloppy, wrong-headed blogger-bashing column.

I have only one point to add–namely, that the neat division between “bloggers” on the one hand and “journalists” on the other is not as cut and dried as Shaw seems to think. As Radley Balko has noted, most of the top bloggers have one foot firmly planted in traditional print or broadcast media:

- Glenn Reynolds blogs for MSNBC,
- Mickey Kaus blogs for Slate, a division of the Washington Post,
- James Taranto blogs for the Wall Street Journal,
- Jim Geraghty and the gang at The Corner blog for National Review Online,
- Eric Alterman blogs for MSNBC,
- Hugh Hewitt has a nationally syndicated radio show, and
- Kevin Drum blogs for the Washington Monthly.

At the same time, a number of TV commentators–e.g, Keith Olbermann, Linda Vester, Greta van Sustren, and Larry Kudlow–have blogs, as do an increasing number of newspapers and magazines, such as the New Republic, the Seattle Times, and the Dallas Morning News.

Even if we wanted to give fewer legal protections to bloggers than to “real journalists,” as Shaw proposes, it’s not clear that such a policy could be implemented given the blurring between blogs and Big Media.

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