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View Diary: Bloggers and Journalists, Chapter 4,671.... (54 comments)

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  •  On "anonymity" (3+ / 0-)

    People know my name now. It has made zero difference. Because knowing that my name is David Waldman means absolutely nothing.

    I didn't actually know who you were, either. Now I see you're a journalist for a paper I don't read.

    Neither of us are anonymous, but I don't know anything more about you than you know about me, even though we know each others' names.

    We can go look up everything the other one has ever written that's available online, and thereby learn more about one another. But we could do that when I was "Kagro X" and even had you been "CS from OH."

    Just a side note.

    •  I get it, David (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      You have no idea who I am. Ah, well. I am humbled on a regular basis.

      •  Well, I'm not from Cleveland. (0+ / 0-)

        That's not supposed to be a dig at you. It's reality.

        It's a very, very common complaint from the journalist side of the blogger/journalist divide.

        But then when you openly and happily share your name with the complaining journalists, you get blank stares. "Who?"

        Exactly.

        The real issue here, I suspect, is that these journalists just don't think anyone who they've never heard of could possibly know anything.

        But they don't want to say that, because it's pretty much as elitist as it sounds. So they stick to the "anonymity" construct instead. But really, in effect, knowing that my name is David Waldman doesn't actually make me any less "anonymous" in the sense that you can discern and evaluate my motivations.

        Journalists, to no one's surprise, evaluate the credibility of others by examining their public record. That may make sense in a profession the point of which is to create and/or document the public record. But it's also a standard that a little too conveniently excludes the everyday citizen from the discussion, because most everyday citizens don't have a public record, even though they may very well have every bit of the understanding of the issues and more than any working journalist does. (That understanding, after all, is supposed to be the product of the work of journalists who report to us on those issues.)

        I mean, why would I know who you are? Someone has since told me, but I'm not from Cleveland, and I don't read the Cleveland papers.

        I don't expect you know who I am, even though my name is right there. What exactly is it about your name that's so obviously different that not knowing who you are is "humbling?"

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