For those of you familiar with Jeff Jarvis’ elegant weekly column in the Guardian or even more erudite blog Buzzmachine,you may already have heard of the spat “between digital news evangelist Jeff Jarvis and veteran print author Ron Rosenbaum” as Craig Stolz puts it. If you need to catch up with the latest twists and turns, Stolz brings all the pieces together with a posting yesterday.
There is one further twist to the tale, a posting by Simon Owens in his blog Bloggasm headlined “Make Jeff Jarvis earn his street cred”. What follows is an exchange of comments where Jarvis argues for his right to speak for new media despite a traditional newspaper background. Owens is no insubstantial blogger himself but he must have been delighted by the exchange coming to his blog despite his tone of cynicism. I have seen Jarvis so involved in the conversation before. He normally leads the digisphere.
I am also not quite sure why Jarvis made such an effort. Owens’ argument is that Jarvis had not earnt his digital “street cred” like Digg’s Kevin Rose or Google’s Sergey Brin. But that confuses the means with the media – you don’t need to be able to build the kit to use it. Surely what new media has shown us again and again is that those journalists who were talented and important in the old world, like Jarvis, are just as good and rightly influential in the new.