Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Never ending argument: it that a bad thing?

Jay Rosen, the NYU journalism prof who writes at PressThink, has a piece on the UK Guardian website wondering why the NYT's Bill Keller is so leery of transparency that he doesn't read Romenesko. In "The never ending argument," Rosen offers a fairly balanced discussion of why Keller finds blogospheric debate too self-referential and endlessly contentious to be worthwhile. Unsurprisingly, Rosen disagrees, and approvingly cites one of my least favorite press critics -- Jeff Jarvis -- joining in rebuttal.

Taken all in all, I find Keller's point of view articulate, reasonable and entirely understandable, but I think Rosen and Jarvis have the winning arguments.

I curious what it feels like to you.


  1. I think everyone is right. Early in his tenure at The Times, you could almost picture Bill Keller sitting at his computer hitting the refresh buttons on journalism sites. Maybe he had to respond to everything at a time when The Times was under heavy fire. But I also bet he had to pull back just to keep his nose above water.

    You can't really check out of this ubiquitous debate, of course, because the debate is about survival. Not to mention it's endlessly fascinating. But how to take it in, with discipline and not obsessiveness, how to tune out when it's just bluster or rehash, how to tune in when something really important is said (and perhaps swing immediately into action)... I find it pretty hard to find to find true north here. (Maybe Google's geniuses need to beta test a BS filter. On second thought, forget it. This probably wouldn't make the cut.)

  2. I find it curious that a sharp guy like Bill Keller wouldn't be curious enough about the industry to read Romenesko.

    At the risk of coming off as self-absorbed, I note that I do blog searches every day or so to see what, if anything, is being said about The Bee in the "blogosphere."

  3. I'd like to respond but I don't know to whom I should respond. Why don't you all sign the posts?

  4. Hi Jeff -- I never noticed the software didn't append signatures to the initial post, but the fact is that almost all these (including this one) are mine. I believe anybody can post comments (which are signed) but since we've invited a large group of McC journalists to register and post items, I guess we'd better add names when posting. (I don't see a way in this blogger format to mandate signatures in the posts; if somebody knows how, let me know).

    If you want to email me, I'll post your reponse in a main window: hweaver (at) mcclatchy.com