"I was on a panel sponsored by Slate magazine a few weeks ago on the future of print journalism, and I found myself the lone voice defending the continuing relevance of things like newspapers. At one point I said—half in jest—that without the New York Times, there would be nothing for bloggers to blog about."
Chris Anderson, of The Long Tail, took him to task for this, and he responded:
"I’m not sure why this statement should be controversial. Has the level of self-regard in the blogosphere really reached such dizzying heights that it can’t acknowledge the work that traditional media does on behalf of the rest of us? Yes, the newspaper business isn’t as lucrative as it once was (although it’s still pretty lucrative). And it doesn’t seem as exciting and relevant as it once was. But newspapers continue to perform an incredibly important function as informational gatekeepers—a function, as far as I can tell, that grows more important with time, not less. Between them, for instance, the Times and the Post have literally hundreds of trained professionals whose only job it is to sift through the mountains of information that come out of the various levels of government and find what is of value and of importance to the rest of us. Where would we be without them? We’d be lost."
I posted the following in his comments box: