(posted Saturday May 24, and

(posted Saturday May 24, and reposted because this blogger editor is acting up.)

When the Gates are Open, We are at War!

"I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self evident, that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it..."

--Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789

People speak of the distinction between professional (mainstream media) journalists and bloggers as if the latter aspire to the former. While it may be true that the best and the brightest bloggers will inevitably find themselves outgrowing their status as "pure" bloggers (and there is no reason why they should not, because they need to make a living after all), the mere fact that they will move "up" to mainstream journalism neither diminishes blogging's important status as the Sixth Estate (Is that number taken?), nor does it mean that bloggers are merely amateurs doing the same thing as professionals.

Bloggers are to mainstream journalists as talk radio is to television -- a different venue. We should not forget why talk radio became the phenomenon of the 1990s. It was not simply because people needed to hear "the other side" of the story. There was a very important additional element: talk radio provided TWO WAY communication.

That's the key to understanding why blogging is not an amateur version of mainstream journalism. Mainstream journalism means never having to be held accountable, and never providing the opportunity for the general public to communicate. Blogging is pure communication.

When was the last time anyone saw Peter Jennings "link" to Dan Rather? The idea is absurd, as is the idea of any real degree of audience participation, much less participation by and with an audience of peers. Democratic as the talk radio development was historically, peer to peer, direct audience participation takes this one step further, by removing any consideration of a host or anyone in charge of anything except his own blogs. These blogs are dependent on other blogs for mutual feedback. (Contrast this with Jayson Blair's pathetic "links" to "anonymous sources." Bloggers don't have throats deep enough to swallow such nonsense.)

Thus, blogging is unique, and it will not die off as the best of the bloggers move on to bigger pastures in mainstream news and broadcasting media.

There was a piece missing when I wrote the above analysis, and I just found it here thanks to this link.

Naturally, the tie-in invokes the classical gods: as author Eric Jannsen says, blogging has now freed us from the gatekeeper, big media. This very artificial gatekeeper construct was the past trying to prevent, and trying to control, the present. Pure decadence, in its worst form -- in this case presided over by modern media titans who do not realize that the gate is open and they have lost the war.

The past cannot shut the door now that we have crossed the threshold, for the simple reason that the past cannot slam the door on the present! Janus, god of gates and doors, which are open during war -- knows this and loves bloggers for opening the door and going through it. And he is powerful -- one of the most powerful of all the gods. The gatekeepers of the past defy him at their peril. Haven't these fools learned what every farmer knows?

You can't close the door after the horse is gone!

posted by Eric on 05.26.03 at 07:55 AM

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