the mainstreamedia’s fatal hug

May 12, 2007

Normblog argues, contra Kamm, that there must be something good about blogs, if the mainstream media threw themselves onto the novelty.

there was also something there that the press and other media wanted a part of, wanted to be part of. They surely did.

Normblog stresses two possible explanations for the mainstream media’s interest in the (new) phenomenon:

Of course, it might just be that here was a new fashion, and being composed of human beings, the media were disposed to follow it without any very good reason, as people sometimes will. But we must allow for the possibility, as well, that there was something of positive value in this new phenomenon, and that this was what attracted the existing media to it.

I think he misses out on a third, simpler, explanation: that, in short, there was profit to be made by becoming part of, or at least showing themselves to be part of, the new, fabulous world of blogs. Opening blogs, hosting blogs, making their templates look like blogs – all things that the mainstream media has done in recent years – meant showing themselves to be blogger friendly. And given that blogging started out as an anti-establishment anti-mainstreamedia phenomenon, the mainstream media could not afford to let blogs take all the attention away from themselves, nor could they afford to miss out on the bloggers’ attention.

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