What am I supposed to say about Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s comments, now that RWW had already taken the “bloggers can drop dead” angle? How am I supposed to keep Pilgrims entertained, if the sensational has already be discussed?
How about I surprise you by agreeing with Schmidt, but first you need to read what he actually said:
There is an art to what you do. And if you’re ever confused as to the value of newspaper editors, look at the blog world. That’s all you need to see. So we understand how fundamental tradition and the things you care about are.
I totally agree. I guess ole Eric and I are on the same page: newspaper editors simply have little value these days.
Ouch! Did that strike a nerve with anyone?
Look, there are some great newspaper editors out there, but there are also some great horse & carts, transistor radios, record players, and portable devices with–can you believe it–real keyboards! My point is that newspaper editing is pretty much becoming a job that is no longer needed. At least, not as a standalone role.
Bloggers are swift. Bloggers are edgy. Bloggers are, well the envy of newspapers, because they don’t have an editor to worry about. Sure, that means the (very) occasional typo. The grammatical error. The sentence that appears to go on forever without punctuation and you wonder if it will ever end and you hope that it will end because you can’t believe the writer didn’t notice that he’s rambling. Yes, bloggers are guilty of all those things, but here’s why it doesn’t matter much these days.
You see, we live in a world of short pithy comments, 140 character outburst, txt msgs that lve out impt syllbles. The world around us had changed the way it communicates. It has lowered its standards–and that’s what really scares the crap out of traditional editors.
So, yes, I agree with Eric Schmidt. Newspapers should take a look at the blog world in order to get a sense of their value. However, instead of feeling smug that they hold themselves to a higher standard, they should let their benchmark be the year 2010–not 1910. Their value has changed. Newspapers won’t die out altogether, but those that don’t learn from the gritty, speedy, fun style of bloggers will likely spend another 10 years cursing Google–instead of embracing what it’s done for publishers.
Disclosure: I am a blogger.