Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

All journalism, all the time

Posted by Ron Coleman on July 18, 2007

Dan Riehl notes a picture taken of the picture takers at today’s Grand Central Station explosion — which, these days, is everyone: “[W]hat caught my eye via Drudge was this picture. Everyone is taking video, or snapping photos with their cell phones. I imagine they easily outnumber the journalists doing the same.” (HT to IP.)

Yes, we’re all on board — journalism is something you do, not something you “are,” i.e., not a privileged caste. True. And for my part, I love my Blackberry Pearl with its camera.

But I’m not sure I love this development from the point of view of being people, as opposed to being journalists, all the time. I used to be an avid amateur photographer — yearbook editor, the whole thing. Always with the camera. Later on I realized that this was a pretty geeky way to go through life, at least as a teenager (think “AV club”). When I started having a family, I made a conscious decision not to get a video camera. Sometimes when I see the little snippets of movin’ pitchers with my kids on them from when they were little, I wonder whether I made a mistake. But I had decided that I didn’t want to experience videos of my experiences at the expense of the experiences themselves. As a photo-bug I realized I was not living in the moment, ever; I was living in anticipation of how the pictures of the moment would look.

Okay, now this was not a fun or a warm or a happy moment — it was an explosion. Someone was killed, unfortunately. But in general, I feel the reality of life slipping away in favor of not only the virtual, but the digital or, perhaps, the digitized. Do we all really have to be journalists, all the time?

UPDATE: Links to this from Glenn Reynolds and Ed Driscoll — always nice of a late Wednesday night, and my first hookup with Ed — yet I can’t help but think they didn’t either of them read the whole piece!  They both elided right past a classic, “It is true … but” throwaway acknowledgment formula used all the time to make a completely opposite point — by journalists.

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5 Responses to “All journalism, all the time”

  1. Explosion Reported Near Grand Central Terminal

    Bloomberg (the wire service, not the mayor) reports:An explosion was reported near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 41st Street near Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, the New York City Police Department said. There was an underground explos…

  2. Trolling for attention from Professor Reynolds, I see…

    I think the next generation will see this sort of concern as silly. They’ll see a number of ways of experiencing the world, with digital channels actually being one of the richer methods. I see them already today staying in near-constant contact with their friends, no matter how distant. As digital channels broaden and deepen, you’ll be able to be “with” the people who matter to you and experience the things they experience any time you like. Yes, there are times and experiences where only physical presence is good enough; but those will become less and less common.

  3. Blady said

    Martin, you have already succumbed to the virtual world. Physical presence is first reality, all of the time. When you are with your friends through a “digital channel,” you are with a digital channel… NOT your friends. The friends part is a replication.

    Who thinks you can really know a Rembrandt by looking at a photograph of a Rembrandt???

  4. […] All journalism, all the time Dan Riehl notes a picture taken of the picture takers at today’s Grand Central Station explosion — which, […] […]

  5. […] by Ron Coleman on August 19th, 2007 Oh, we’ve said for a long time that journalism is something you do, not something you are. But now the returns are in, and something else that bloggers have been […]

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