I'd disagree on your top 3 paragraphs, that's very much a print journalism mindset that seems to not realise the impact of the modern internet. The way this forum is set up means that a post will almost immediately be indexed by Google and the other search engines and be very high up the searches for those subjects. Have a play with some of the main topics on the front page of this forum! I have Google Alerts set up for some rugby league subjects and I get notifications almost immediately on some sensitive things that if I had to wait for print would either be late or irrelevant. For example, I found out about Terry Newton's death through a post made on here that triggered an email from Google Alerts that I got on my phone, all long before any major media source had picked up the story and while I was not likely to be looking at the forum for hours.
Finally, if you want to look at it in the terms of "quality", surely this forum is more like a peer-reviewed journal than an editorially-reviewed magazine? Put up an idiot argument on here and it'll get demolished in short order. Put up an idiot letter to LE and it just needs to get through the editorial process. On the other side, put up an excellent post here and it gets read and will still get reviews. Put up an excellent letter to LE and it might not get published if there's not enough space or doesn't fit with the editorial drive of that issue.
I'm not sure we disagree.
Your first paragraph points out that the advantage of the Internet, and of a forum like this, is its immediacy and its potential for being read by large numbers of people.
That is undeniable, and you don't need to be any particular kind of journalist to be able to see that.
But the potential is all too often not realised.
Your second paragraph makes a fair point, although I wouldn't quite compare a forum to a peer-reviewed journal myself. An idiot may find his argument is demolished, but all too often the idiot is the last person to realise it, and forum topics become a ######-for-tat process that only a few individuals can be bothered to read. Reading through forum topics can sometimes be infuriating for that reason.
But both have their advantages, and the trick is to recognise both.
Edited by Martyn Sadler, 13 December 2013 - 03:20 PM.