Thursday, July 19, 2007

An Arendtian Read on Bloggers (Dilettantes) vs. Journalists (Literati)

The latest debate on the relationship of journalism to blogging got me reflecting on political philosopher Hannah Arendt's division of the "life devoted to public-political matters" into three:
Labor assures ... individual survival ... [and] the life of the species. Work and its product, the human artifact, bestow a measure of permanence and durability on upon the futility of mortal life and the fleeting character of human nature. Action, in so far as it engages in founding and preserving political [broadly considered] bodies, creates the condition for remembrance, that is, for history [Source].
In these terms, I would put blogging in the sphere of action with some overlap in work. Likewise, I would put journalism in the sphere of work with some overlap in action. The overlap is disputed territory where "citizen journalism" gets defined, interrogated, and attacked. It is also the territory where professional journalism must account for its investigative choices relative to relevant public-political matters.

1 comment:

  1. S-Town...This is good stuff...thought provoking and interesting. The "Mainstream" media is loosing ground by the minute and frankly has no answers for the blogosphere.