My baloney has a first name, it's A. R. G. U. S.

From today's Argus Leader (Randall Beck's Column):

In our electronic age, when anybody with an Internet connection and an ax to grind can distribute baloney disguised as news, a good newspaper with high ethical standards plays a critically important role in any community or state.

Read it all here

I'm not sure whether to be irritated with Randall Beck and the Argus, or to pity them. It was all well and good for the Argus to blog with the rest of the SDBlogOSphere during a prior election. At least, until it completely flopped, because it was simply a regurgitation of what was printed.

What is even more galling about that quote, is the number of times that I've read things in the Argus that come from blog sources. Recently, I noted a news item coming from CCK's blog, and there was another item that originally appeared on my blog that "found" its way to the Argus about a week after either of us noted it. Uncredited, of course.

I've said it before (and it's a staple in my SD Political Blogging talks) that blogs affect coverage in the same manner that letters to the editor do. If there are items that generate a lot of buzz, they will generate coverage from main stream media sources. That's what we do.

Let's face it. The Internet is here to stay. News coverage is continuing to change because of the web, and news blogging is only a recent entry forcing evolution. Newspapers are the focus at the moment, because that's who see blogs as a threat - based on our use of the written word as the medium of communication.

You think a few newspapers like the Argus who don't "get it" are squealing right now? Wait until VLogging catches on. As the technology becomes cheaper and more "desktop" it's the evening news broadcast that's going to take the next steps at forced evolution. After suffering for years under the spell of vapid reporters and bad newscasting, the public themselves are going to have their shot at it. Some will come, and most will go. But there's going to be a few who change the landscape forever.

"A good newspaper with high ethical standards plays a critically important role in any community or state" I agree. And it's unfortunate that the editors of the Argus don't realize that no matter how much they pontificate in an onanistic manner that many people don't associate the state's largest newspaper with the words "high ethical standards". (Maybe that should be the next Argus Leader Reader's poll).

As for my morning? As usual, I read the Argus. Now I'm going to read the Rapid City Journal to see how a paper with "high ethical standards" covers the news. Sometimes they write things I like. Sometimes they don't. But I can take comfort that the Rapid City Journal "gets it."

the SDWC Baloney Distribution Center

P.S. And check out Mt. Blogmore.


Todd D. Epp said…
Amen, Brother PP!
Anonymous said…
I believe there are some in the traditional press who are starting to understand what this blogging and online journalism thing is all about. Beck appears to not be among them. Whether or not he is correct, I guess, remains to be seen, though I think he's wrong.
David Newquist said…
Once when I worked for real newspapers, I received an offer for which I went to an interview. I said no after the managing editor told me that the paper can't cover everything, but the people in the region could depend on it to be there when the big fires, murders, disasters occured. Great comfort. At the time I worked under an editor whose philosophy was, I don't care how boring it is, be there to find out.

The point is that there are huge areas that receive no coverage whatever. In my hole of the universe, there are a multitude of governments, government agencies, and two reservations that receive nary a mention unless there is a murder, a fire of suspicious origin, or a 16-year-old groping a 14-year-old on a school bus. These government agencies do strange things, a lot of incompetent things, and some good things, but they get nary a mention.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, democracy does not work too well in some places that are rated 50th in government integrity and freedom of information. Weblogs on occasion fill the gap.

The resumption of the role of the press as the nervous system of democracy won't happen with new technology. It will happen when some editors realize that nothing done in the name of the people should be left uncovered
PP said…
I firmly believe that bloggers cover many of the little stories that turn out to be "the big one" that the MSM should have picked up on in the first place.

Yes, we can be opinionated. But that's what people expect when they read a "Republican" or "Democrat" related blog.

I like to think that the more people read, the better read they become.
Douglas said…
The Rapid Journal may have a dreadful editorial policy, but it is an interesting paper anyway. They also print a lot of letters to the editor compared to the Argus.

The Mt. Rushmore Blog is an interesting mixture. It is big enough there is a variety of opinions and knowledge, but not so huge as some forums that are a blizzard of posts. The moderation by the staff journalists also tend to keep things on track without them being continuous nannies or prudish censors.

The Argus Letters to Editor policies just plain suck.

I have requested that Mt. Blogmore powers that be submit a description of their blog for my SD Blog listing, but nobody there has found time to do that yet.

Popular posts from this blog

Breaking News: Frederick not in SDGOP Chair Race

A strategic move by Sutton. Good for him, bad for Dems.