Slate columnist Ron Rosenbaum unleashed a fusillade of attacks on new-media guru Jeff Jarvis today for "gloating too much about the death of print." Rosenbaum exhaustively recounts examples from Jarvis's speeches and his blog, showing how the former EW and Daily News editor repeatedly mocks old media institutions and makes claims like: "The fall of journalism is, indeed, journalists' fault." Rosenbaum, a journalist who straddles both worlds, is insanely offended, and attacks the writer cum Internet consultant:
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.
"It makes you wonder whether Jarvis has actually done any, you know, reporting," Rosenbaum asks, lamenting his "contempt for the beautiful losers who actually made journalism an honorable profession." Citing Jarvis's own practice of not reporting out blog posts (and his book on Google), Rosenbaum didn't contact him for comment. But we did, and his response was: "I'll post later today after I — gasp! — teach my class of journalists."
Jarvis calls Rosenbaum a "pissy third-grader" and says he criticizes because he's only trying to help!
I’m not sure what he’d rather have me do: Sit in my room and mope, sitting shiva for the past? Refuse to discuss the future of journalism? Tell newspapers when they call asking for brainstorming to fuck off and die? Would that be in solidarity with my hack brethren who did too little to transform journalism in the last 13 years of the web?
"Whether we save all the journalists today is entirely another matter and not my goal," Jarvis explains. "Rosenbaum believes that makes me heartless. I think it makes me realistic. And we need some realism in this business." It goes on like that for about 1,200 words.