Blogs, media and voice

Ian Buruma, author and Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College writes an interesting piece about the soundtrack of protest, and finishes with some comments about blogging:

As the mainstream media, especially in the US, have become part of the same corporate entertainment empires that own most popular music, there is little or no room for a new Edward Murrow to stick his knife into the powers that be. But the blogosphere is buzzing with life. Subversion of all kinds, much of it mad and malicious, has been privatised, as it were. If hip-hop and rap fill large niche markets, internet journalism fills millions of niches, some of them no bigger than the author him or herself. [Guardian Unlimited | Arts front | Silent protest]

A characteristic of the more popular blogs is that they have a ‘voice’, a very particular personal presence. And it is not surprising that David Brooks and Paul Krugman regularly feature in the top ten Technorati searches, as high-profile print ‘voices’. Library blogs are probably more edgy and current than our somewhat dreary mainstream print literature, and they cater for niche interests.
I sometimes wonder if it is significant that Blaise Cronin and Michael Gorman are both strong library ‘voices’: they are prolific and self-consciously stylish contributors to that print literature, across the scholarly to popular spectrum.

2 thoughts on “Blogs, media and voice”

  1. To whom? I only notice Gorman when he disses technology, which I don’t think he does with any real coherence, and I only noticed Cronin during his brief stint as a Gorman wannabe.

  2. Well, to quite a few, surely. My reference prof held up Gorman’s _Our Enduring Values_ as a shining example of what librarianship is and does.
    (I read the book on her recommendation and it made me feel vaguely queasy, wondering for the first time if the profession would even welcome me. Fortunately for me, I got over it.)
    Checking in WorldCat, just as a convenient proxy for impact… _Our Singular Strengths_ is in 878 WorldCat libraries, and _Our Enduring Values_, 852. Not unimpressive.
    We wired (or shifted, or whatever you want to call it) types ignore Gorman’s substantial following at our peril, in my opinion.

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