Friday, September 17, 2004

Sulzberger speaks of blogs

I'm grateful to Wanda Cash of the Baytown [Tex.] Sun, president of the Texas Press Association--just about the only person I've talked to at the NNA with a positive, welcoming impression of bloggers--for tipping me off to Romenesko's citation of Arthur Sulzberger's recent address at (of all places) Kansas State (sponsor of many of the programs I've heard in the past two days). I think his take on blogs and bloggers would be mirrored by many people here at the conference:

This takes us to another important on-line phenomenon, the rise of bloggers. These individuals publish web logs that offer an ongoing narrative of their thoughts and observations. Some are professional journalists, but the vast majority of them are just folks with something on their minds.

While some of these individuals are making a serious and thoughtful contribution to our global dialogue, too many simply contribute to the sense that we're in the midst of an opinion-ridden free-for-all.

While this new medium requires innovative analysis and creative application, companies must still find a way to instill their core journalistic values into their on-line activities, especially given how important this medium is for the teenagers and young adults.

The newspaper industry is clearly on the cusp of a major, major transition--the rumblings are here though the direction is not well understood. I often think of one of my favorite journalism professors for imprinting on me, many years ago, this saying: "As Eve said to Adam, we live in an age of transition."

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