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Why I Agree With Google’s CEO About the Value of Newspaper Editors

“Google’s Schmidt to Bloggers: Drop Dead!”

Well shoot!

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. ;-)

  • http://www.otrtiresupply.com Kurt

    The thing is, many people still trust these editors/journalists more than they do a blogger. One of my partners in business doesn’t trust bloggers, or see the value in it.

    Newspaper journalists have fallen down on the job of basic reporting. Gone are the days of really digging into the story, behind the story. Now, most stories are just rehashed press releases.

    Bloggers are journalists in the tradition of the old-school papers, back during their glory days…the ones who dig out, and find resources that traditional journalists either ignore, or don’t know about.

    Full disclosure: I am a blogger (sorry for the high opinion I have of my profession).

  • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

    Oh boy. Bloggers v. Newspaper editors. A Steel Cage Texas Death Match of reporting for sure. Trouble is that there is no real competition. Few bloggers are real reporters. Bloggers disseminate news and analyze news.

    If newspapers would stop being shills for political agendas and actually report the news their relevance would immediately sky rocket. I, for one, would celebrate it. It would be a very col world of newspapers reporting news and facts and then letting everyone else duke it out in the court of public opinion.

    That’s how it was supposed to be. Nowadays though it’s about slanted reports that run to the left or the right with little consideration for the facts. You know why newspapers are really dying? It’s because people are sick of having a paper’s angle shoved down their throat. You see, people like to think for themselves. Until newspapers get that again there will be no hope for a recovery of journalistic integrity.

    Heck, we bloggers are at least open about our biases and shortcomings. Newspapers think that when they are done in the bathroom it smells like a bouquet of roses. Puh-leeeze.
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..If Content is King, What Are SME’s Afraid Of? =-.

    • http://drivingonlinesales.com/ Wynne

      I think you are dead right there. Newspapers must up the Ante and actually bring value to their readers.

      Bloggers can do all the easy stuff. It’s up to the newspapers to provide the added value that bloggers don’t have the resources for.
      .-= Wynne´s last blog ..Why Bother Integrating Social Media for Your Business? =-.

  • http://www.SocialMediaCommando.com Social Media Commando

    Both this post and the comments that follow make good points.

    Newspapers hold onto a certain level of ‘establishment’ and/or trust, but lack the originality and speed of response that bloggers provide as a necessity (because they have to compete against both papers and other real time blogs).

    The line that struck me most is that newspapers “should let their benchmark be the year 2010–not 1910.”

    Try as they might, most papers I read outside the New York Times and Wall Street Journal still report on generic ‘kitten in tree’ stories that don’t hold my attention and serve mainly as stomping grounds for comment trolls. I want to be surprised by the newspaper websites (in a good way).

    Newspaper editors — what do you think?
    .-= Social Media Commando´s last blog ..Social Media Marketing:Making Money Without Sacrificing Ethics =-.