The Modern Blogger is the equivalent of the early American pamphleteers. George Orwell has said of Pamphleteers:
“The pamphlet is a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and "high-brow" than is ever possible in a newspaper or in most kinds of periodicals...” George Orwell
A famous pamphleteer of the American Revolutionary War was Thomas Paine. Another famous pamphleteer was Witte the With. Today a pamphleteer might communicate his missives by way of a weblog, but before the advent of telecommunications, those with access to a printing press and a supply of paper used the pamphlet as a means of mass communications outside of newspapers or full-fledged books. (From Wikipedia)
Understand that pampleteers have been a thorn in the side of the MsM from day one. Why? Freedom to write anything they want. The Pamphleteer‘s torch has now been passed to the Blogger of the 21st century. And the Mainstream Media is furious!
In the past week I have read three articles, all in the newpaper, and all written by members, or contributing members of, the MsM. I came away amused by how little they actually know about blogging and how afraid of us they are.
First of all, many bloggers were, or are, members of the MsM or, contribute, at some level, to the MsM. So there is a small amount of intergration present between the two. Independaent Bloggers shun any association with the MsM. Many of us, however, have come out of the culture of the MsM.
A syndicated columnist might write one, maybe two, articles a week for publication. A blogger may well write ten or more!
And yes.. for the most part we do not have editors telling us what to write, what to write about, or the “style” we must use, and then tearing up a piece, with the editing pencil, when we have labored long and hard over it. NO, we do not have that frustration. We are unfetteredby by the millstone of an editor around our necks… or just standing over us.
The problem with Blogging as opposed to a syndicated columnist is… we don’t get paid, as a rule, for our work. So, if there is a downside to blogging, that would be it.
As I mentioned above, we have freedom. That, I think, is the problem. That is the burr under the saddle of our columnist friends and editorial writers, and commentators everywhere. The other sore point is: We reach millions with one publication as opposed to thousands with their one publication. Plus, the reader is not expected to pay one red cent to read our publications.
And then there is the conversation we have with our readers through their abillity to instantly comment on what we have written. Unlike the “letter to the editor” a reader can contact us in short order and can take us to task, or praise us, for what we have written. There is easy acess for the public to the blogger.
It is a fact that newspapers in this country are suffering badly. Bloggers are an easy target for their ire. Problem is, they have been unable to stop our rising popularity while theirs tanks. As a result they are frustrated. And they are beginning to flail about, and swing wildly in our direction, hoping to strike a blow for the “Old Media”. So far, they are about as effective as “shadow boxing”.
At some point, in the not too distant future, I expect the MsM to take their case to a sympatheic Congress and lobby for laws that will curb and possibly silence bloggers. My guess is, they’ll get those laws.
As print publications, namely newspapers, turn more and more to the Internet, they are attempting to apply their old rules to their Internet publications. As they are beginningto learn... those old rules won’t work out here in the ether. If they persist, their internet efforts will suffer just as surely as their hard copy print publications are suffering.
The blogosphere is a new medium with new rules. If the print media wants in they will have to adapt to the new rules. To continue with their old ways of publication will only insure their demise on the net.
The Pamphleteers adapted and became the Boggers. What will the newspapers become?