Ink-Stained Victims

One of the older case studies I like to cite in my public talks on the changed PR landscape entails citizen empowerment and the hatchet job The New York Times did on Blog Maverick Mark Cuban several years ago.

Instead of sulking or demanding a printed retraction, Cuban took to his keyboard to cut and paste into his blogging pulpit the unedited interview he conducted via email with the Times reporter. He made sure to wrap some fresh text around his post to highlight where the reporter allegedly erred. What better and faster way to gain retribution?

Yesterday evening, Slate’s Ron Rosenbaum, another storied storyteller, decided to take to task former print scribe and current new media pundit Jeff Jarvis for perhaps telling it too much like it really is. His piece, “The Good Life of a New-Media Guru: Is Jeff Jarvis gloating too much about the death of print?”, lambastes Jeff for laying the blame for print media’s disintermediation at the foot of the industry’s foot soldiers, the journalists themselves:

“Not all reporters had the prescience to become new-media consultants. A lot of good, dedicated people who have done actual writing and reporting, as opposed to writing about writing and reporting, have been caught up in this great upheaval, and many of them may have been too deeply involved in, you know, content—”subjects,” writing about real peoples’ lives—to figure out that reporting just isn’t where it’s at, that the smart thing to do is get a consulting gig.”

Without missing a reporting beat, Jarvis took to his keyboard to rat-a-tat out an eloquently pointed counter-point to Rosenbaum titled “There, there, Ron”:

“…He’s mad because I’m not acting sufficiently mournful and respectful at the demise of his friends’ journalistic careers (and perhaps his own). I’m “increasingly heartless” about these “beautiful losers. Sadly, Rosenbaum doesn’t debate the idea and history and fate of journalism, which might be productive or at least provocative. Instead, like a pissy third grader, he attacks me.”

Not that I have any desire to jump into this war of wordsmiths, but I thought the quality of the discourse merited sharing with you. After all, as falls media, so falls PR, as some say. Others paying attention: