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Granger scorches the "faux democratization of ... culture" (BLOGS! related)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pringle, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    David Granger, the editor in chief of Esquire, writes this month about all the yahoos who keep the money lining the Google guys pockets by working for free by posting YouTube content.

    He's talking about video sharing as well as reality television, but he could just as soon be talking about blogs.

    Some highlights:

    "We've lowered the bar for what kind of unreachable dream we're settling for. It used to be riches. Now we settle for the honor of having our efforts recognized."

    "Here's the thing: The sense of well-being and possibility that this faux democratization creates causes us to ignore the fact that while we do the work, the rich rake in the fruits of our labor."

    "The new opiate of the masses is the illusion of participation in the culture, even as the underpinnings of a good life - money, mostly - are stripped away and handed to the filthy rich. It's a hell of a dynamic. As the minstrel once said, the rich keep getting richer an the rest of us just keep getting old."

    So all you bloggers out there who think that mainstream "media elites" (who make $25K-$35K a year in a lot of cases) are the villain, congratulations for your terrific work. Because you want to work for free, a lot of people now don't get to work at all.

    What a narcissistic fucking society we live in.

    The other shoe is going to drop eventually. It's Babel out there. Everyone's talking. No one's listening.
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Sorry, dude, it's not bloggers who are putting journalists out of business. Fraudulent accounting practices and lying about circ stats have put a lot more people out of work than bloggers have.
  3. Esquire just did something they called "The Napkin Fiction Project" where they sent out 250 napkins to 250 writers looking for contributions. They got 100 responses.


    Maybe I'm not hip but I didn't recognize the name of any of those who sent in some "work". I have to wonder if these writers were paid for their napkin writing or if Esquire just counted on the sense of well-being the writers would recieve for having their napkin published in such a prestegious magazine. If this was the case - I wonder if David granger sees the irony.
  4. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    He has a point. I don't agree with it in lockstep, but he has a point.
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    In the late 1960s, offset printing made it cheaper and easier than ever before to publish a newspaper. As a result there was a flood of underground weekly newspapers, several to a city. Those that made the effort to have some sort of professional standards still exist, those that served as a forum of rants didn't. The San Francisco Bay Guardian lived, the Berkeley Barb died. The Village Voice lived, the East Village Other died. There was a flood of new media, and even advertisers who wished to reach the longhaired, unwashed audience still opted for the most credible underground options, which eventually starved out the crazies, who became weary of working for free. I think the same thing eventually will happen with the Internet.

    David Granger, though. Strange for him to be preaching. His magazine happens to be my favorite, but it does whore for its advertisers. I went to Esquire's Web site just now and saw that it has the Five Shoes Every Man Needs. I happen to know something about shoes, and on each style there are better-made yet cheaper options than the overpriced, third-world-made brands Esquire is pimping. Is this editorial content a reader service? I think not. And this is not an isolated case. If Granger wants to fight off the Internet invaders, he ought to either scrap his fashion content or make it honest. That kind of professional standard is what separates us from the shills. In the battle for readers, and ultimately advertisers, it usually comes down to who can we trust to tell us the truth.
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