Ten years of Scripting News

One week from today is the tenth anniversary of Dave Winer's blog, Scripting News. A post today says he has nothing special planned but to post ideas. Scripting News is one of the early blogs on the net. It pre-dates the term blog and its longer ancestor weblog. The groundbreaking way paved by Winer's Frontier software led to many things that today would be called blogs. One early project I started was RamLine which by today's standards would likely be considered a multi-author blog (and would be organized differently than it was).

However, I digress. There are members of the global community who perpetuate the debate about whether bloggers are journalists. One argument that frequently crops up in this discussion is how much blogs do, or don't, look like journalism, by which the author frequently means mainstream media. This all begs the question of what mainstream media looks like. We compare it to today's shrinking newspapers and increased corporate ownership of dwindling papers. Looking at an archive of what newspapers used to be one can imagine that a journalist from the 1950's might well argue that today's newspapers aren't really journalism.

So my idea for the 10th anniversary of Scripting News would be to do a retrospective of newspapers over the decades. Having spent quite a bit of time lately doing research in papers from 1947-1970 they are a far cry from what we're left with today. In many ways these papers with their local news and local society pages have a lot more in common with today's blogs than they do with the poor excuse for local news in most papers today.