October 10, 2003

The Jeff & Jay Show: II

Jay Rosen, head of the New York University journalism deparment, and Jeff Jarvis, head of Advance.net, continue their conversation about the confluence of journalism, blogging and audience.

At one point Jarvis asks: "Weblogs edit the world for us. And if you also write weblogs, they empower the writer to influence politics and commerce and culture. Is that a revolution?"

And Rosen answers: "If there is something radical afoot, I think it’s best grasped by reference to the last 300 years of communication history. The dawn of public opinion was in the eighteenth century when someone said: the Greeks were wrong, you can have a republic over an extended territory. Government by discussion does not have to be limited to a state so small that all its citizens can gather in one place, like the agora in ancient Athens.

"What made this previously unthinkable thing possible? The existence of the press, which can amplify or extend public conversation, and sustain it through time. By putting citizens of an enlarged democracy at the receiving end of the press, we connected them to the nation and its affairs, but not to each other. Now we have a chance to correct for that, and bring government by discussion forward a full step. Maybe that chance is the weblog."

Read it all at Rosen's site, PressThink, or Jarvis', Buzzmachine.

Posted by Tim Porter at October 10, 2003 09:29 AM