Nicholas Lemann writes a thoughtful, measured article in the New Yorker this week on the rise of citizen journalism. He quotes the self-promoting buzz machine himself, Jeff Jarvis, at his most ludicrously nasty. And, naturally, Jarvis responds with a variation of his favorite theme: Lemann just doesn’t get it.
That said, I’m going to assign Lemann’s piece and Jarvis’ response to my “Journalism of the Web” students this fall. Lemann, a veteran journalist, is dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and what he has to say is therefore by definition important, even when he’s wrong. (I don’t think he is.)
Jarvis’ riposte is predictable and tiresome, but he still manages to score a few points.