JAY ROSEN AT PRESSTHINK ASKS WILL COLLIER @ VODKAPUNDIT A QUESTION.
" Let me ask you something, serious question, Will: Is the point to have a dialogue with the MSM or cause its destruction?"
Much is then heard from those of us in "Commentariat." My own response was, in essence, "Quite frankly, my dear Rosen, many bloggers don't give a damn one way or the other. Dialogue or destruction aren't the only possible points.":
The point could also be to merge with [MSM] or supplant [MSM].
Of course,[professional media] people could be getting upset because what used to a a single closed network of affiliations, social connections, professional associations, and a lot of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, now finds itself confronted with a much more open network of looser affiliations, social-network connections, and associations, that finds prating about professionalism without accountability noxious, with a lot of email, email, link link.
Another, perhaps deeper, source of unease among journalists collecting a check from a media company is the simultaneous revelation and discovery that there are a great many people who collect no check from any media company that are simply much better writers, editors, and checkers.
It was once the case that to assume the mantle of "writer" you had to get a job writing "for" something. Now all you need is a modem and a motive. And while I'll grant you that this means there is a lot of very bad writing swirling about, all that gets filtered out pretty quickly. What is astonishing to me is that, regardless of what subject you care to name, I can quickly discover a substantial number of people with a great deal of expertise in that area who are also quite good at expressing themselves.
And don't even get me started on the generalists....
Add to that the inescapable envy that must be felt by the "pros" as they note the vast number of online writers with solid skill sets who are also unconstrained by the "needs" and "policies" and "stylebooks" and all the other junk that media companies throw up around themselves to distinguish one apple from the next apple in the bin. Plus there's the freedom of telling it like you see it without worrying how this might affect promotion within or without the organization. On the one hand, yes, they do it for free, but on the other they are free to do it as they please. That's gotta grind like grit on the molars.
Put it all together and I don't think there's a drive to have a "dialogue" with MSM, because frankly dear Scarlett, most don't give a damn. I do think there's a yen to help MSM along to destruction but that's a fantasy ideology. MSM isn't going to any destruction that it isn't fashioning for itself. These little jabs may help it along a bit, but they aren't the determining factor.
What you've got is not some sort of battle to the death in a Hobbesian world, but simply a new species that is thriving in the online environment to an extent that MSM cannot possibly grasp, if for no other reason than that the people who still drive and direct the MSM from atop the corporations cannot, for the most part, type.
If you've ever seen the movie "The Forbin Project," you'll recall that it only got interesting when the rulers of the United States looked up and saw the message board above them begin to flash "THERE IS ANOTHER SYSTEM."