Monday, June 30, 2008

In this Nation of the Blind: On Anime Journalism in the age of blogging

Now I'll admit that I don't really understand the nature of Internet journalism as omo has pointed out quite fairly. And the nature of journalism itself is changing. I mean take a look at and you'll see political blogs and "citizen" journalism by way of ireporter.

I'll admit that I'm torn.

You see on the one side, I'm a journalism elitist. I do believe that there is a proper way to report. I do believe that there should be standards and ethics and an attempt to remove the personality of the reporter from the article. In fact, I'd take it so far as to say that I hold professionals to a higher standard than I hold amateurs. I believe the majority of us bloggers (myself included) do not have the resources or the knowledge to do a good in-depth article. (Although I'll admit Scott does some really bang-up columns, like this one on Tokyopop.)

This is why I get angry at professionals who don't live up to my standards. And I don't get angry at other people.

But I also realize that I'm a dinosaur. Because like it or not, print is dead. Okay, maybe it's not dead but it is morphing into a multi-platform experience using the Web, Broadcast and Newspapers in an attempt to reach new readers or even old readers. It's becoming less top down and more of a community of people who are willing to invest themselves in the experience.

This is why I'm torn. Because like I've said before, I'm a pretty radical Civil Libertarian. I do believe more speech is better speech and that avenues of communication shouldn't be limited just because a few stodgy old men want to cling onto their precious rituals.

This leads to omo's central question. What should the nature of Internet journalism be? And perhaps more importantly (for the sake of this blog), what should the nature of anime journalism be?

And my answer is that there has to be a place to meet in the middle. Now, I'll freely admit I like Gia's site. It's quick. It's easy to read. And it's generally and genuinely informative (although I'd really like some direct quotes. Please? Anyone?) And it's quite possible it could turn into a site that I'd want to frequent to get my news.

But there's something I need as a reader. And it's something that's been lacking from almost every Internet news source on anime that I find.

And that's perspective. Anime news reporting has mastered the art of the brief. And that's great, but it's time to move past that. It's time to move into the realm of multiple source stories. It's time to move out of the realm of the Q&A and move into the realm of news articles with an angle (at least for the stories that deserve it.) It's time for someone, anyone, to discard the mantle of information disseminator and take up the mantle of a reporter.

Because the Otakusphere is chock full of commentators (myself included), it has a slew of reviewers (more than I could read in one lifetime), but what we don't have is someone who's willing to talk to multiple people, navigate the ever-shifting landscape of facts and put it into a cohesive and digestible form for me. Although, like I said, I might not understand the nature of this new world of Internet reporting. I am a dinosaur after all.

But it seems to me, that in this nation of the blind… the one-eyed man (or woman) would be king.

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