Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Informational Capitalism

The White House has credentialed the first known blogger-journalist for access to the White House briefing room. Garrett M. Graff, 23, writes Fishbowl D.C. , a self-proclaimed gossip blog about the D.C. media. Now, I'm not sure sure of Graff's credentials as a journalist, see my views on this, but I'm impressed that he's there. Thanks, Scott McClellan, who said: "Historically, . . . the White House has admitted the traditional media and the nontraditional media, as well as colorful individuals with certain points of view from the left and the right."

Blogging finds its wings in what I call "informational capitalism." If your blog is worth reading, it will eventually gain recognition in the marketplace of ideas. This might take time, and the readers will initially only be friends and family, but the theory holds.

Simply because one individual's blogspace occupies the same physical space on your computer monitor as, say, CNN, the New York Times, The Nation, National Review, or RealClearPolitics, that individual has an opportunity to convince you his ideas are worth considering. Regardless of his worldview, her politics, his agenda, her characteristics, or whether she does this as a "real job."

This is unprecedented in the information age; indeed since the advent of the printing press it has never been so easy to publish one's own thoughts and commentaries so that they compete with everything else in the common pool of ideas readily accessible by the reading public. Concedely, a blogger's access to you, the viewer, is not on equal footing with CNN's. You know about CNN. You know how to find it. It's harder to find Graff's blog, AJM's, or mine. And we can't do much--other than convince others to look or to sponser--to attract you to us in the way of marketing or positioning ourselves more favorably in Google-search-land.

That said, if what we say has meaning, has impact, is credible, and is worthy of your interest, we stand toe-to-toe with any other information source out there. Andrew Sullivan, the first credible news commentator/blogger, is to be thanked for blazing the way.

What an incredible thing.


Blogger ajmac said...

God bless America, where any hack with a laptop can be published, read, and, if he's good enough, get a pass to WH briefings.

11:20 AM  
Blogger NEWS4A2, blood-sucking journalist said...

Actually, it's not a pure meritocracy. There is a great deal of cronyism and nepotism as well, avenues that Warren Buffett stridently believes retard growth.

The business of politics and political reporting is incestuous. Persons jump from capital hill to the media and back again, depending on the outcome of the election. Witness George Stefanopoulis and Tim Russert.

Garrett Graff, himself, was the former webmaster to then Vermont Gov. Dean and then deputy national press secretary to presidential candidate Dean all the while his father, Christopher, was the Associated Press' man in Vermont.

Did Dean hire the son to curry favor with the father? I'm sure there was no impropriety but just the appearance of conflict of interest is enough following the ground rules the Clintonistas laid out years ago.

If Graff's father reported on Halliburton and Graff got a job on the Cheney campaign and then garnered a seat in the West Wing press gaggle, I guarantee you the media would be in an uproar.

4:03 PM  

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