3/10/2005|||111039823705486736||||||
JOURNALISM 101 - PT 2

Power Line reports on a constructive encounter with MSM VIPs including Simon Jenkins.

There's also a thoughtful post on blogging and anonymity - or the lack thereof - prompted by a snide
attack on pseudo-journalists in the pages of The American Prospect. One of the things I enjoy most about surfing blogs, especially those I'm not too familiar with, is trying to guess details of the author's "real" life. Who do you trust? Who has an axe to grind? (And a question I ask myself every other day, who is the always-provocative Wretchard?) It's fascinating to see a community of voices working out its own informal protocol.

Over at the Economist, of course, the writers have long enjoyed a form of corporate anonymity. Even though I'm a subscriber, I've never warmed to the absence of by-lines - so much omniscience, page after page, is hard to take. Was that piece on the EU dreamt up by a Bright Young Thing or someone who's spent the past 20 years lunching at the Foreign Office? Even the Bible tells us who brought the Ten Commandments down from the mountain, so why can't I be told who's reviewing Kazuo Ishiguro?

Not that the don't ask-don't tell policy has done the magazine any harm - weekly sales have now topped a million. In a celebratory interview, editor Bill Emmott says he has no plans to name names:

[I]s there any chance that Emmott will end the anonymity of the magazine's writers? There is not. It's a tradition and now a point of difference but above all, he believes, it helps the magazine to retain a collective voice. "The identity of The Economist is a very strong thing and it benefits from co-operation between journalists. The articles are not written by a collective but there is a certain collective approach and methodology," insists Emmott, the advocate of individual liberty.

Funny, that sounds a little like the blogosphere. Perhaps the two have a little more in common than I thought.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/journalism-101-pt-2-power-line-reports.html|||3/10/2005 12:32:00 pm|||||||||
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