A world without editors
: The LA Time’s Tim Rutten takes a long time to say little in the controversy over the Sacramento Bee’s blog policy. At the end, there’s this:
Question: Perhaps blogs, which derive their immediacy and vibrancy from the Web’s essentially egalitarian and libertarian ethos, and conventional news organizations simply are incompatible in their pure forms?
“An edited blog is a contradiction in terms,” said Orville Schell, dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. “It’s a characteristic of the Internet in general that forms like the blog emerge with great exuberance and edgy promise and then the overseers move in. That’s a pity. We need frontiers of plain-speaking, even it’s politically incorrect. I understand why the Bee did what it did, but it leads to a restraint on free-thinking, which is lamentable.”
Rutten’s question is pretentious and silly. There is no “pure” form of either medium; when there is, it will lie dead in a museum.
Schell’s answer is almost right. But the issue isn’t so much free-thinking, it’s immediacy and honesty and understanding what makes blogs great.
Nick Denton said it better in an IM exchange I’ve quoted often here. What do we love about blogs? Denton: “No editors.” That says it all.