The Internet is not a problem in and of itself, any more than it is a solution. The Internet — and to a lesser degree, blogging — is a tool to be used in accomplishing any number of ends. Parents use it to share photos of their children. Knitters use it for knitting discussion. Musicians use it to broadcast their songs. And journalists use it for journalism. It’s the work that determines what somebody calls him- or herself, not the medium in which it’s disseminated.
Allbritton, a former reporter for The Associated Press and New York Daily News, raised money from his site’s readers — nearly $15,000 — and paid his own way to Baghdad in 2003. While there, he’s covered stories as varied as the Iraqi insurgency and the emergence of the country’s stock market, as in this April 28, 2006 posting:
“All investment comes with risk, but Iraq’s investors face special — and deadlier — risks. Baghdad is the prize in a civil war that rages even as the Iraq Stock Market attempts to rebuild itself and Iraq’s shattered economy. The fighting that often rages outside the old hotel which houses the bourse is marked by violence that is indiscriminate and savage. In Baghdad, car bombs, ethnic cleansing and massacres are the hallmarks of this fight. Located in Hayy al-Awaya, a Christian neighborhood, massive concrete barriers surround the entrance to deter car bombs, and grim gunmen carefully search anyone who gets close.”
Before Williams mouths off again about the uneducated rabble he’s up against, he might want to take a look at Allbritton’s site. That’s the kind of work that should inspire journalists’ admiration, not scorn.