Better Gatekeepers, Please

TNR has a fun piece on the decline and fall of the (in)famous Pajamas Media blogger network:

Instead, many of the laid-off bloggers have found a different way to express their angst about Pajamas Media’s business strategy: They’re calling the owners of PJM sell-outs. “The initial purpose was to support citizen-blogging as a counterweight to the MSM, but they’ve been getting away from that for years now,” says Goldstein, echoing statements I’d heard from other bloggers like Guy Rado, Rusty Shackleford,and others. “My biggest criticism is that they’ve become what they’re fighting against.”

A voluntary association of freedom-fighting bloggers was a romantic notion, but I think the Pajamas Media experiment is an apt reminder that media gatekeepers – editors, fact-checkers, reporters – serve a pretty useful function. Before blogs (B.B.?), the balance of power heavily favored  the media establishment, but now I’m afraid the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. Ironically, the brains behind Pajamas Media have belatedly recognized that an amorphous blogger alliance is a) too prone to crazy conspiracism and b) can’t produce interesting stories with any degree of consistency, and has since reoriented their business model around several A-list Internet commentators. The problem with this isn’t that Pajamas Media is suddenly emulating the dread MSM’s approach to reporting and editing – it’s that they’ve chosen the wrong gatekeepers to helm the new enterprise.

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Filed under Conservatism, The Media

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