Hype Rears Its Ugly Head. Again.
I wasn't at the conference, so I can't comment on the specifics that Jack Shafer references, but I'm finding it hard to disagree with anything that's written in this Slate column. Many of the first bloggers, in addition to being geeks, were trained in journalism or writing, and that pedigree alone indicates that blogs will be one part of an increasingly rich media sphere in the years to come.
Pitting blogs against any other medium is the same reductive, zero-sum, overly simplistic irrationality that many bloggers like to ascribe to the alleged mainstream media. To reiterate: Any institution which you might consider to be a "media outlet" is actually comprised of many individual humans. Some of them will be flawed and make mistakes, and most of them will probably be alright. I'm fairly positive that there's no "Associate Editor of Blog Elimination" at any periodicals that are being published today.
That doesn't mean I don't love blogs and think they're going to have an important impact. It just means I love magazines and books, too. (Newspapers are okay, as long as they're online.)
It's worth noting that I'm speaking to the content of Shafer's article. Whether Shafer is accurately reflecting the tone or attitude of the conference is another matter, and Jay Rosen's words indicate that may not be the case. So the key here is that the issue raised is valid, though it may have been prompted by a misreading (deliberate or not) of the event.