In Media Guardian

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, wrote that the Times-Picayune and 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.

  • Glyn

    Congratulations Jeff, and as a Brit I look forward to reading your thoughts on paper as well as on the net (handier when in the bath).

    I see that for the next two weeks, because of its launch, the online Guardian will be free to everyone instead of only on subscription; so people will be able to read your next two weeks articles for them:

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  • JonT

    And the Guardian’s anti-american stance doesn’t bother you at all Jeff?

    (and they are anti-american – not just anti-Bush).

  • Bruce

    Jeez, Jeff, this is pretty nauseating. I always had you figured for a moderate guy, but if you believe al-Grauniad is the best-written paper in the world, I can only say I misjudged you. Well, wear a Che shirt to the staff meeting and you should get along fine…

    • MikeW

      I think you’re confusing it with the Daily Worker …

  • Jeff, As a British “Guardian” reader of some 35 years and a massive enthusiast for the Net, I’m delightedthat you’ve become a writer for the newspaper. It’s encouraged me to look at your blog on a regular basis and given me ideas for my own. The “Guardian” is a unique paper in its ownership structure – a trust rather than a megalomaniac or shareholders – and its web site is one of the best new sites in the world.

  • PJF

    Jeff, with regards to Guardian “print” and blog “screen” – are you aware of “sassygate”?

    If you are, I find it hard to believe* that you would even consider writing for that newspaper. Your expressed opinion that the Guardian is the best-written paper in the English publishing world indicates a profound ignorance of the reality of that publication (or of English), so perhaps you are indeed unaware of “sassygate”.

    *My belief is based on my earlier experience of your blog. I came back purely to see your reaction to the anniversary of September 11th. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised by the muted, distant and almost matter-of-fact nature of your posts. You seem to be forgetting.

    A day later and you announce this. You are either not sufficiently motivated to investigate the grim reality that is the frothing, anti-Western delusion of the Guardian mindset; or you have investigated and just aren’t sufficiently concerned.

    It’s still WWIII, Jeff, and you’re sleeping with those that knowingly and happily sleep with the enemy.


  • “And note that I’m there not thanks to my resume but thanks to my blog.”

    yeah right. and I suppose michael jordan got to play minor league baseball for the chicago white sox because of his stellar sub .250 batting average. give us a break. your blog would not be as well-known if it were not for your resume. there are plenty of other blogs just as well-written (if not more) with plenty of smart things to say. i’m not saying you don’t deserve a guardian column, of course you do, but don’t try to push that “one of the little people” line of bull as if it’s anything else.

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