cart & buggy
Lately I find the real distinction between old and new media most obvious when comparing blogs to op/ed columns. Really, I enjoy Ross Douthat’s blog at the New York Times so much more than his weekly column there. I imagine it’s also a lot more fun to write a blog than a weekly column as well. Ross seems to have more fun on the blog.
Blogs are more visceral, more immediate, and more personal. Columns feel stiff and confined – no matter who’s writing them. Blogs may not be able to imitate narrative journalism. They may not be able to capture the breadth or depth of a good long-form piece, or the hard data and real reporting of actual news stories. But one thing they can do is make the traditional op/ed column seem awfully archaic.
Of course, blogs can’t be replicated in print. So as long as dead-tree papers are with us, we’ll have the column too. All I know is that I wouldn’t mourn the column’s passing the way I would mourn the death of long-form narrative journalism. There can be strength in limits, of course. 800 words can make what would otherwise be a long and rambling piece into something tight and concise. But you can do it even better with a blog.