Einstein would’ve blogged this assignment better, but here goes

September 3, 2006 at 1:22 am 3 comments

“Value” is relative and depends on the agreement of the parties weighing it. That smudged portrait of Ben Franklin on green paper only has “value” because we agree to its utility as a method of exchange. Same goes for journalism.

Seems we’ve stepped into one sticky wiki, dear would-be-journo colleagues. How so?

Thanks to the Internet, we must now prove our value as exchangers-of-information on a daily [if not hourly] basis. Given this click-happy Darwinian environment, how do we ensure audiences will value what we have to convey? I believe it comes down to this [please read as gender-neutral]: Balls. If you’re sensitive, call it courage, eyewitness reportage, experience.

Soon, very soon, the interested world [not to be confused with the general public] shall tire of blogger bluster. A longing for authentic experience will supercede this superficiality. Most readers will be precluded [thanks to their consumerist existence] from stepping away from their keyboards/mortgages/children to experience the larger world. They’re starving. And that’s when great journalism steps in with a pass to the gourmet buffet.

Which brings me to the title of my blog: Sapid and Rapid. Did you look up sapid yet? I’m a word-nerd and attempt to find definitions when I’m uncertain. When this adjective appeared in one of my fave essayist’s work, I jotted it down. Looks like “vapid” or “insipid” but is not even close. According to my weathered Webster’s it means, “Having taste or flavor; palatable or agreeable to the mind.” “Rapid” you already know.

Valuable journalism in the 21st Century must be sapid and rapid. We as edgy journos must immerse ourselves in a subject, situation, sassy confab and be ready to relate its flavor to increasingly isolated audiences. Simply reporting the facts will not suffice. And we have to be quick about it. This work is not for the feeble of mind or body. But when we do it well, it will be a wellspring for those who wish they could live like us.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeff Jarvis  |  September 3, 2006 at 11:22 am

    Right. Many in the business fear this “click-happy Darwinian environment” and dismiss it as the result of short attention spans or too much buzz. But it has always been there; we just couldn’t measure it. Little did we know how often people turned the page on our stories or left the room during our standups. It’s scary to be judged and measured but this is the essence of why I’m hopeful: The good work will rise. That’s why links are so much fun: they are another measure of value (which we’ll talk about more next week). Well done.

    Reply
  • 2. benlevisohn  |  September 4, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    There’s always that tendency to long for the “better days,” but as history teaches us, there rarely have been better days. Human nature seems to be human nature and as Prof. Jarvis points out, people have always wanted the new and dispoable. Personally, I’m a hug fan of the broadside.

    Reply
  • 3. dodyProbe  |  May 22, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    hmm. luv it..

    Reply

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