From Jay Rosen’s talk about this topic at SXSW:
If you ask journalists why they chose their profession, they give a range of answers: to see the world, something new every day, I like to write. The most common answer is some variation on: to make the world a better place, to right wrongs and stick up for the little guy. Social justice, in other words. No one ever says, “I went into journalism because I have a passion for being… objective.” Or: “Detachment, that’s my thing. I’m kind of a detached guy, so I figured this would be a good field for me.”
And yet… When they get there, people who always wanted to be journalists and make the world a better place find that the professional codes in place often prevent this [bolding is mine]. It’s hard to fight for justice when you have to master “he said, she said” stories. Voice is something you learn to take out of your work if you want to succeed in the modern newsroom. You are supposed to sacrifice and learn to report the story without attitude or bias creeping in. And then, if you succeed in disciplining yourself, you might one day get a column and earn the right to crusade for justice, to move and convince.
This is a moral hierarchy, which bloggers disrupt. They jump right to voice, which appears to mock all the years of voicelessness that mainstream journalists had suffered through.
Bloggers are not some new creation, but the newest set of the barbarians at the gates. They are the people who don’t trust the system and it’s artifacts. It is to writing, what rap is to music, the coming of democracy to a trade. What [Hunter S.] Thompson and his peers did in the 60’s and 70’s, we do today. But free of the constraints of editors and publishers and the need to hustle up work.