Blogging As An Embodiment Of An American Ideal

Andrew Sullivan argues:

I believe the blogosphere first truly gained traction in America for a good reason. There is something about blogging’s freedom from the constraints of conventional journalism that captures an American ideal: civic engagement totally free of anyone else’s influence. It is an ideal of a fourth estate hostile to authorities public and private, suspicious of conventional wisdom, and, above all, confident, even when confidence seems absurd, in the power of the word and the argument to make a difference … in the end. The rise of this type of citizen journalism has, in my view, increasingly exposed some of the laziness and corruption in the professional version – even as there is still a huge amount to treasure and value in the legacy media, and a huge amount of partisan, mendacious claptrap on the blogs.

But what distinguishes the best of the new media is what could still be recaptured by the old: the mischievous spirit of journalism and free, unfettered inquiry. Journalism has gotten too pompous, too affluent, too self-loving, and too entwined with the establishment of both wings of American politics to be what we need it to be.

He goes on to draw support and inspiration from several Thomas Jefferson quotes.

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