Ed Driscoll

Welcome To The Blogosphere, Fellas

The traditional conventional wisdom (and by “traditional conventional wisdom”, I mean about as far back as 2002), Bloggers are one-man bands, guys in their pajamas (to coin a phrase) producing material without the traditional infrastructure and interpersonal cooperation found in mass media.

The new conventional wisdom from mass media? Where do we sign up:

Under a new agreement reached this week with its labor unions, WUSA, Channel 9, will become the first station in Washington to replace its crews with one-person “multimedia journalists” who will shoot and edit news stories single-handedly.

The change will blur the distinctions between the station’s reporters and its camera and production people. Reporters will soon be shooting and editing their own stories, and camera people will be doing the work of reporters, occasionally appearing on the air or on in video clips on Channel 9’s Web site.

For decades, TV journalists have worked in teams, with the lines of responsibility regulated by union rules or simple tradition. Stories were covered by a crew consisting of a camera operator and a correspondent (and further back, by a sound or lighting technician); their work was overseen by a producer and their footage assembled into a finished story by an editor.

But technology — handheld or tripod-mounted cameras, laptop editing programs and the Internet — have made it possible for one person to handle all those assignments, station managers say.

Gosh–there’s a shocking new development.

Welcome to the 21st century, guys–we’ll be glad to show you around.