U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who made his
fortune selling greeting cards and flowers online, gave a shout-out to
the blogosphere Saturday, giving it — and himself — credit for the
“demise” of traditional journalism.
“I have to say, that when we say, ‘Who killed the Rocky
Mountain News,’ we’re all part of it, for better or worse, and I argue
it’s mostly for the better,” Polis said at the Netroots Nation in Your
Neighborhood event in Westminster, according to a recording posted
online. The group supports progressive politics.
“The media is dead, and long live the new media, which is all of us,” said Polis, a Boulder Democrat.
The Rocky shuttered its operation Friday.
Polis also told those at the event that “since wekilled the newspapers” and “own the media,” bloggers and citizen journalists have a responsibility.
“We can’t just kill it and walk away,” he said. “It’s important for
all of us to reach out to some of those . . . on the other side and
present the progressive point of view,” he said.
Well, that’s really awesome. I’m sorry, there’s a way to be a human being about this, and showing up at the funeral and jumping up and down on the body flailing with a big foam finger is NOT IT. Print journalists and bloggers get nowhere by pointlessly stoking hostility against one another in order to pump up their own egos and this is exactly what’s not needed right now. Especially when the body’s not even cold, I mean, come on.
You don’t “own” the media. Until you are Viacom, you can stop waving your pom-poms around. You didn’t kill newspapers. Massive mismanagement, greed, an enduring habit of ignoring trends until they couldn’t anymore, an inability to reorient sales forces, and most of all an unwillingness to do what was necessary to survive killed newspapers. You might have filled the void for particular kinds of information and commentary, and while that’s not nothing, it’s not everything, either. Calm down.
There are online operations that can truly lay claim to becoming independent news sources, doing original reporting. Talking Points Memo is one. There are financial models emerging that do challenge the traditional corporate media structure, like ProPublica and other nonprofit operations. There are changes happening in the way newspapers are funded and produced. But did you ever notice you don’t hear those people screaming at the top of their lungs that BLOGS IS TEH ROXXORZ and WE PWN J00 and whatnot? Probably because they’re too busy working. It’s not the people doing the job that feel the need to shove it in your face all the time.
We’re not THERE YET, and to proclaim that we are, to wave a candlestick around and say you killed the Rocky with it when there’s a knife sticking out of its back and you weren’t even in the same county that day, that just makes you look silly. And mean. And everytime somebody does this it just starts the whole stupid print-vs-online fight all over again and I have to listen to people dissing blogs for three days in order to prove Polis wrong, as if the one or the other is the point.
Update: Oh God it gets worse. The press is now the“third estate:”
other factors that have contributed such as the recession and a decline
in advertising, the very fact that we are discussing this issue here,
in the online forum of the DP, is demonstrative of the rise of new
media. The newspaper industry has yet to figure out how to monetize
online traffic, and until they do, I worry not only about the demise of
the RMN but I worry about the future of a strong third estate across
our great nation.
Somebody stop him beforehe talks again.