A second personal announcement: I am now a regular, every-other-week columnist for Media Guardian.
I’m delighted and honored to be there because I’ve long admired the Guardian’s media section and because I think the Guardian is the best-written newspaper in the world (in English, at least). And note that I’m there not thanks to my resume but thanks to my blog. In fact, they say they want me to write for print on themes I’ve explored here — how shall we say this? — for screen.
It’s also cool to be in the first edition of the new, medium-sized, Berliner-format Guardian.
Today’s column reiterates and polishes up some of what I’ve written about news media and Katrina. The Reader’s Digest version, just the lead and the kicker:
In less than a day, Hurricane Katrina rendered worthless the printing presses and broadcast towers that made big media big. And that will change news forever….
But journalism’s rediscovered courage and newly discovered fallibility are, I will contend, less profound changes than the one brought on by the flooding of presses and the toppling of towers. For at that moment, news was freed from the shackles of media. Now he who controls distribution no longer controls news. And news is no longer shaped by the pipe that carries it. That is what Katrina did to the news.
Rex Hammock, a magazine publisher and fellow blogger at Rexblog.com, wrote that the Times-Picayune and nola.com deserve a Pulitzer for their news blogs. I second that. It doesn’t matter whether the work came rolling off a press or a blog: it is journalism of the highest calibre and greatest service. The Pulitzer committee would serve journalism well by separating the content from the container, the medium from the message, and recognising great reporting wherever and however and from whomever it comes, with or without a press.