Blog battle continues

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The continuing saga of blog boosters and bashers is getting increasingly bizarre.

The latest to weigh in? Veteran broadcast journalist Dan Rather and fashion maven Anna Wintour.

Rather gave a keynote speech at the South By Southwest music and media festival in Austin, Texas, on Monday in which he lambasted his journalist brethren for becoming lapdogs to power. When asked about blogs, he said he sees great potential in the blogosphere but tempered his enthusiasm with concerns that it's easy to flame someone behind the cloak of anonymity the internet provides.

He expanded on his remarks in an interview with CNet News:

Anybody who blogs, who does real reporting, which is to say, make telephone calls, go interview people, go talk to people, in a spirit of independence ... and [tries] to do journalism with integrity, I would consider a journalist. Good journalism, great journalism, starts with owners who have guts.

Of course there are an increasing number of bloggers now who by any definition are reporters or journalists. There are some others who in my opinion would fit into a gray area.

In stark contrast, the New York Post reports that Vogue uber-editor Anna Wintour has so much contempt for the word "blog" that she refuses to use it and wants her staff to invent a new word for the medium:

According to one Vogue-er, "They are expanding the Vogue Web site and getting more involved with the Internet. But Anna hates the word 'blog' so much, she refuses to call anything on her site a blog and has charged her staff with coming up with a new word that isn't as garish-sounding. She wants it ASAP - in time for launch."

Another staffer refutes the allegation, raising an eyebrow for anyone who read that book or saw that film that's not about her.