November 10, 2004

Now that's a symbiotic relationship

Every blogger triumphalist knows that blogs make the mainstream media work harder, right? But an enterprising New York Times writer has figured out that blogs can reward the lazy too:

Juan Cole, a Middle East historian at the University of Michigan, wrote on his Web log that Mr. Abdul Hameed's move "raises the question of whether a mass Sunni Arab boycott of the elections is in the offing, thus fatally weakening the legitimacy of any new government."

It used to be that lazy reporters would call the experts whom they knew would express the opinions they needed. Now they can just check their blogs. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've seen this phenomenon -- a quote taken from a blog in a story not about blogging and used for the same function as any other quote might be.

I should note that I'm not really accusing Times reporter Edward Wong of being lazy. He is, after all, churning out several stories a day from Baghdad, while I can barely haul my ass out of bed to write this post. But it's only a matter of time before a lesser writer with less of an excuse starts resorting to this quote-farming tactic, and soon enough, I suspect it will be rampant. Ooh, quote me next!

Posted by Daniel Radosh


The first time I saw it was 3 weeks ago, when CNET quoted Buzzmachine about the Jon Stewart/Crossfire thing. The advantage of having your blog quoted is that your name is already spelled correctly, so it's tougher for them to screw that up. So quote away!

"soon enough, I suspect it will be rampant"

If it does happen, at least it won't be so easy for those in the mainstream media to write off bloggers as illegitimate amateurs.

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