October 11, 2004

Don't ask me why they're using cover art from two months ago

My absence from the blog last week can only mean that either I was working on another Talk of the Town piece or I was on a crystal meth binge. Or perhaps that, fueled by a crystal meth binge, I cranked out a Talk of the Town piece. Either way, you can read To the Editor in this week's issue and find out how exactly to get your letter into the New York Times.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Seems like this would be a good time for a link to the story of Harry Potter and the Ham-Fisted NYT Letters Page Editor.

The more pertinent question is why, in what might be termed the "ascendancy of the blogosphere," is anybody interested in getting a letter published in the NYTimes? There are still reasons- but I don't believe they are the same as they used to be.

Because while anyone can post a jackass comment on a blog (or start their own blog), you have to make it past a screening process to get in to the Times.

So an opinion or a story is somehow more valid if it can make it past the NYTimes editor? Frankly, I'm not sure I buy that. The gatekeeper function of the mainstream media allows its inherent bias (whether politically or financially based) to function. In a closed media market, this restricts the nature of any debate. While the blogosphere bypasses the gate and allows any yahoo with access to spout an opinion, it also allows a more freeform debate of those opinions. The same goes for stories- as any observer of the recent Rather flap could see.

The democratization of the flow of information is what free speech is all about, natch.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2