: Dan Gillmor urges us to look at the Pulitzer winners and ask whether bloggers could produce such work. “Reporting and editing of this caliber is why I hope Big Journalism survives and, despite its failings, thrives in the emerging world of grassroots journalism.” Fair point.

Dave Winer asks why these journalists couldn’t have blogs themselves to use them in their reporting. Fair point.

I come at this from an other perspective and ask why the Pulitzers matter. Too many news organizations edit their work with a prize jury in mind instead of their readers. I’ve said before that if I ran a paper or a TV news show, I wouldn’t enter anything into contests, for the contest that matters is serving our readers and viewers.

That’s why I’m glad that this blog world hasn’t gone prize mad. Oh, we have various popularity contests and that’s fine. And I think it’s good to recognize quality where we see it (I was a judge of The Week’s opinion awards and was glad, mainly, for the attention and respect they gave to blogs).

But I see bloggers lusting after links and traffic more than prizes and that is how it should be.

  • bob

    Lusting? Did I miss a blogette wardrobe malfunction?

  • billg

    Asking if bloggers can be journalists, or vice versa, is is a bit like asking if chef can be a farmer. Sure, but he’s not chefing when he’s farming. And just because a farmer fries some eggs in the chef’s kitchen, it doesn’t mean he’s chefing.
    If a blogger goes off and does the things a journalist does, he’s a journalist, not a blogger. If he does the things a new reporter does, he’s a news reporter, not a blogger. If he publishes the stuff he writes on a blog, he’s still not a blogger. He’s a journalist using a blog as a way to publish.
    If a journalist goes off and does the things a blogger does, he’s a blogger. If he simply posts today’s newspaper column on the web, he’s still not a blogger.

  • Stryker

    An award named for a paragon of Yellow Journalism would seem to be a perfect match for bloggers.

  • The LA Times wins 5 of those things and we’re still supposed to take them seriously? C’mon.
    They’re giving Pulitzers for fish-wrapping. Which is appropriate.

  • felixrayman

    Could bloggers produce work of such quality?
    Yeah, Juan Cole does, every day. He takes a story, sinks his teeth in and won’t let go.
    Juan Cole deserves a Pulitzer.
    Josh Marshall, too. Same reason. Follows up on stories, pursues leads, publishes what he knows and what he thinks and makes a clear distinction between the two.
    Blogging is journalism sent back to its roots. Journalism originally meant someone travelling to a foreign location and keeping a journal and sending it back. Eventually they began to get paid for the service. And that then degraded into the press as it is now known.
    The “press” as it is known isn’t going to disappear, but the return of real journalism is a good thing.
    And bloggers have produced work of a caliber the regular press only dreams of…the regular press will not dig for a story, they take the scraps they are fed.
    It’s sad.