Saturday, January 26, 2008

ahh... immigration blogging

Is like slipping into a hot bath on a cold winter night. The anti-Pritchett is George Borjas, himself an American immigrant (this gives him cred in the same way that former atheists have born again cred), and he's finally found an argument to make journalists understand.
It is not uncommon to see a Journalist (with a capital J) launch into a diatribe against bloggers and sometimes even call for regulations to stop "citizen journalists" from spreading the news. Although such calls are often couched in terms of noble-sounding goals like protecting the integrity of information in a free society, there's also an important self-serving economic motive at play.

It doesn't cost all that much to become a citizen journalist: a computer and your own time is about all it takes for you to start reporting your view of the world to whoever wants to read it.

The laws of supply and demand suggest that the rewards to being a Journalist would drop because anyone can now start reporting news and opinionating a la Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd. It's as if the Journalistic profession has received its own influx of illegal immigrants--increasing competition, lowering rewards, and creating havoc along the way.

Maybe now the Journalists will learn how those workers affected by immigration have long felt.
Nice example, especially on a blog. Journalists like the ones described here are ridiculous and a pretty standard reaction to this is that despite the regrettable hardship faced by journalists is that this is on balance a good development. But more than that, actual attempts to prevent bloggers spreading the news would require an intolerable clampdown on our civil liberties (most especially our right to free speech).

I don't feel much connection with people who automatically think that they have veto power over anything that harms them in the slightest. Pareto improvements are rare indeed and are not required for anything to ever happen.


trev said...

Good Journalists can now go solo...

In the same way as good musicians who don't mind playing live shouldn't complain about music spreading so easily.

My brother would be out of a job if people stopped smoking as he wouldn't have any legs to amputate.

Tracy said...

It's a good example which has repeated itself throughout history. A small group resists change that will be better for everyone although worse for them as they will loose their elite status. It somehow feels justified though when you're in the elite group.