I wrote my essay, Bloggers vs. Journalists is Over, in 2005. And it should be over. After all, lots of journalists happily blog, lots of bloggers journalize and everyone is trying to figure out what's sustainable online. But there's something else going on: these two Internet types, amateur bloggers and pro journalists, are actually each other's ideal "other." A big reason they keep struggling with each other lies at the level of psychology, not in the particulars of the disputes and flare-ups that we continue to see online. The relationship is essentially neurotic, on both sides. Bloggers can't let go of Big Daddy media— the towering figure of the MSM — and still be bloggers. Pro journalists, meanwhile, project fears about the Internet and loss of authority onto the figure of the pajama-wearing blogger. This is a construction of their own and a key part of a whole architecture of denial that has weakened in recent years, but far too slowly. The only way we can finally kill this meme--bloggers vs. journalists--and proceed into a brighter and pro-am future for interactive journalism is to go right at the psychological element in it: the denial, the projection, the neuroses, the narcissism, the grandiosity, the rage, the fears of annihilation: the monsters of the id in the newsroom, and the fantasy of toppling the MSM in the blogosphere. That is what my solo presentation will be about: a tale of the Internet, told through types. Lisa Williams will moderate and run the backchannel.
I'm a press critic and writer who concentrates on what's happening to journalism today. I've been on the Journalism faculty at NYU since 1986. I direct the Studio 20 program there, which is a graduate concentration focused on innovation for the digital age. My blog is called PressThink. I'm also on Twitter a lot. I'm on the advisory board of two newspaper companies: Journal Register Company in the US, and Post Media in Canada.
Lisa Williams runs Placeblogger, the largest searchable index of local weblogs. She's also a fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she focuses on the future of news and civic engagement
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