Tuesday, August 06, 2002

A footnote from Quentin Schultze on personal media and public responsibility:

I think the personal voice is important for "good" journalism, which stands above plain reporting (or telegraphic reporting) in my book. But the personal needs to be tied to the public, to the common, shared interest (and shared good).

I've been thinking about this in relation to the future of newspapers, which are captive to old-fashioned standards of "objectivity," which so neutralize and paralyze the text that they become almost unreadably boring (great read on this here). The opposite problem is columnists (and increasingly reporters) raving wildly off the top of their head, merely puffing up their own egos and peering for their own reflection in the mediated space. I was trying to toe the middle ground with my blogging piece in the Tribune and make it personal but also responsible and useful. This balance must be the future of newspapers. As fantastic LA Times columnist Steve Lopez says in a must-read
Howard Kurtz profile today:

A column ought to have blood pumping through it... [Too many people today] don't feel a human connection to this newspaper.
That's exactly it.

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