Carb news

Carb news

: Steve Rubel, PR guy and blogger, is promising to read news only on blogs next week. Cute, but I say this is a completely bogus gimmick, a PR stunt without substance (sorry, Steve). The problem is that he won’t click on links to journalists’ stories.

Well, no [honest, sane] blogger would say that we present all the news that’s fit to print on blogs. We edit the news; we select it; we give it perspective; we poke and prod and question it. But we can do all that only because we link to others’ news and source material and only by clicking on those links do you get the complete story. I also assume that people who read blogs are not living in caves and are not idiots and do care about the world and do get news from TV and radio and newspapers and web sites. At this juncture, bloggers do not attempt to give you all the news and so the result of this “experiment” is a foregone conclusion: You won’t get all the news.

: Steve responds in the comments:

Jeff, I appreciate your opinions, as always, but this isn’t a stunt. It’s a true experiment to see if I can use the perspectives offered on weblogs as a window onto the core news delivered in the media. If you read my post I state strongly my belief that the media will always be important. I am simply trying to see if I can get the news I need to live by learning about it all through blogs. Normally, I would definitely click on the news links, but that defeats the purpose of the experiment.

: And I respond:

Sorry, Steve. Love your blog. Don’t agree with you here. I don’t see the “experiment.” Reading blogs and NOT clicking on the links they recommend to you is not reading blogs; it’s tonedeaf to the medium and how it works. Links are essential to blogs and by ignoring them, you’re not performing an experiment that tells you anything about blogs.

Separate from that, I think the apparent hypothesis behind the “experiment” is flawed because you’re assuming that bloggers even try — even as a whole — to give you a full news report. They don’t. When people yell as us for not writing about a given topic, that is what we yell back: We’re not trying to give you all the news. So this becomes self-fulfilling; you will not get some big stories (because they don’t interest the bloggers you happen to read — which is another deciding factor in the “experiment” and because bloggers assume you’ll get commodity news elsewhere).

I don’t object to this in defense of news media. I object to it in defense of bloggers; it misinterprets the medium.