The blogosphere goes professional. Where Huff leads, who follows?

The Huffington Post itself is on the soft sell as the MSM grinds it axes. This from Howard Fineman, as if nothing has changed.

 My best teacher at Columbia was a man with a sly grin, a razor wit and a gift for Delphic utterances. He told us that journalism had one mission and one method: “to go there.”

In one sense, however, everything has changed. These days, my teacher’s mission statement applies not just to journalists, but also to us all. EVERYONE is a journalist, or can be. Technology gives us all the ability – digitally – to “go there”: to Tahrir Square, to the talk of Cairo streets, to diplomatic cables, to live feeds.

If the 21st century is about “self-determination” – and I think it is – then we all need to be actively informed and engaged. Journalism has become an interactive, communal exercise in self-education.

“Up to point, Lord Copper,” as Mr Salter, the supine editorial director of the Daily Beast said to his megelomaniac proprietor. A cool $315 million from AOL is bound to change something . The Guardian’s Comment if Free is nearest over here to Huffpost, offering a mix of paid and unpaid comment. Their Emily Bell scents trouble ahead, as Ms Huffington makes a massive profit from others’ sweat of brow and brain.

And the lesson for Slugger, such a prize asset but so far utterly uncorrupted by serious dosh? If somebody makes you an offer within a thousand miles of that one Mick, the choice simple: it’s off to Vegas or turn it into a cooperative.


Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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