Sunday, October 22, 2006

Podcast Against Blogging

After listening to a podcast from L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik called, “Fog in the Blogs: Many blog critics of The Times seem more interested in making political points, than doing real criticism of the journalism,” I was left with many questions.

In this podcast, Hiltzik criticizes bloggers such as Patrick Fry, accusing him of writing 11,000 words of propaganda and distorting of the L.A. Times. He says that Fry has a liberal agenda, which he thinks to be a commonality amoungst other political bloggers. Hiltzik says that Fry’s techniques include short hand slurs and quoting the Times' articles selectively. He then compared these methods to the ones used during the times of Stalin in the 40’s and 50’s.

However, this scenario is quite the opposite. Hiltzik has it all wrong. Blogs do not hold the same prestige as a publication such as the L.A. Times, even though the Times’ readership is down and they seem to be in a steady downward decline. Blogs have the freedom to be biased. They do not have the same responsibility as newspapers do, whose main goal should be to distribute the news.

Hiltzik speaks in vague terms without quoting what the bloggers are writing. This podcast would be more helpful if I could access it in a print version. He says that bloggers don’t have experience in daily journalism but that doesn’t disqualify them from writing blogs. Hiltzik says that they couldn’t do real reporting if their lives depended on it. Is he taking into account journalists who write blogs on their free time?

It doesn’t matter if they are real reporters. People are listening and reading blogs so much that even reporters from the L.A. Times are dedicating entire podcasts to them. Hence, they do matter. People do listen, and the bloggers are heard.

Hiltzik uses fancy prose saying, “Let them embower themselves in their sedulously sought ignorance, if they can keep it.” Hiltzik’s column, “Golden State,” runs in the L.A. Times every Monday and Thursday. His podcast on this topic was recorded on January 4.

To hear this podcast click here.

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